Community service center Thrive Baltimore will host the city’s third annual vegan macaroni and cheese competition February 10. The World Vegan Mac ‘n Cheese Championship (formerly The Baltimore Vegan Mac ‘n Cheese Smackdown) will take place at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Baltimore to begin the second annual Baltimore Vegan Restaurant Week. “We’ve been getting so much interest in the event this year that we had to book a much larger venue to accommodate everyone,” event organizer Brenda Sanders said. Last year’s event garnered 2,500 attendees—double the amount from the previous year—and 26 competitors from across the nation. A panel of celebrity judges will rate various categories, including best “from scratch” macaroni and cheese and “most like grandma’s” macaroni and cheese. Prizes this year include plaques, T-shirts, and gift cards for local vegan businesses. Attendees will vote on the people’s choice category, and a grand prize of $2,500 will be awarded to the winner. Similar competitions have taken place across the country in states such as South Carolina, New York, California, and New Mexico. Last year, Baltimore cemented itself on the vegan map with the opening of all-vegan restaurant The GruB Factory—founded by the winners of last year’s macaroni and cheese competition.
Photo courtesy of Daiya