A Valley News Publication

Hint: There was more than macaroni and cheese. 

The five official macaroni and cheese judges compare tasting notes on one of the 17 entrants in the Vermont Mac and Cheese Challenge at Artisan’s Park in Windsor, Vt., Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018. The judges were, clockwise from left, Meredith Fitzgerald, of Haverhill, Mass., member of the American Cheese Society, Graham Kist, of Hartford, Conn., a food writer and barbecue judge, Ben Parker, of New York City, a sales rep with salami maker Charlito’s Cocina, Mary Tuthill, of Waitsfield, Vt., head cheesemonger at Mad River Taste Place, and Faith Raymond of the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets. (Valley News – James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

The entry that judges said was the best macaroni and cheese at the 6th annual Vermont Mac & Cheese Challenge in Windsor on Sunday had everything from wild boar to edamame in it. Chef Joseph Madzia of the Omni Mount Washington Resort said the winning Wild Boar and Short Rib Mac and Cheese included smoked Tilsit Cheddar cheese, tomatoes, smoked baby carrots, edamame and mushrooms.

“We made a barbecue sauce for it. It was a Harissa and pineapple barbecue sauce, and then we did fried onions on top that we dusted with the maple Castleton crackers,” he said in a phone interview on Monday.

“There was a lot going on,” he added.

Chef Joseph, who grew up in Ohio and has been at the Bretton Woods, N.H., hotel for three years, said it was his first time at the Windsor-based competition.

“It was very exciting. There were more people then what we expected, but we were ready for them,” he said. “I think I looked down once, and looked up 10 minutes later and there were probably 1,000 more people in the room.”

Madzia said the resort regularly offers mac & cheese, but the winning entry is only available periodically as a special.