Copper Mountain Resort presents first Mac and Cheese Fest this Saturday |

Copper Mountain Resort presents first Mac and Cheese Fest this Saturday

Jessica Smith
The Copper Mac and Cheese Fest is this Saturday, Aug. 22 from 2-5 p.m. at the Center Village in Copper. Eight local restaurants will compete to win the Best Mac and Cheese prize.
Courtesy of Thinkstock | iStockphoto

if you go

What: Mac and Cheese Fest

When: 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22

Where: Copper Mountain Resort

Cost: $25 for full sampling adults 21 and up; $20 for full sampling for ages 12-20; $10 for kids 11 and under; $1 per Ala Carte individual ticket

More information: Visit

Bacon may have been enjoying its time in the trendy food limelight recently, but this Saturday it’s going to have to step aside and give another delicious food a chance to shine. Copper Mountain Resort is holding its first Mac n Cheese Fest this Saturday, Aug. 22.

The festival is one of several that Copper has created this year in order to bring more food-centric events to the summer lineup. Others include the Burger Summit, which took place July 25, and the upcoming Chubby Chili Pepper cook-off on Sept. 19.

When event organizer Holly Robinson did some research on potential new food festival ideas, she ran across a few other macaroni and cheese related events, and the idea just stuck with her.

“We were looking for an event that would be super family-friendly,” she said, “that would appeal to adults and kids.”

The Mac and Cheese Fest will feature macaroni and cheese dishes prepared by eight Copper Mountain restaurants. Each dish will be paired with its own signature cocktail, designed by the restaurant chef to perfectly complement the style of the dish and its flavors.

The menu, which can be found online, showcases a wide variety of types of dishes within the medium of mac and cheese. Alpinistra Family Bistro, for example, will offer pulled pork mac and cheese paired with a bacon bloody mary, while JJ’s Rocky Mountain Tavern features smoked salmon, bacon and roasted peppers along with a sweet lemon fizz cocktail.

The restaurant with the winning mac and cheese dish will receive $500 and a trophy, with a plaque for the two runners up. Visitors will be able to vote for the People’s Choice winner, which will receive a $500 cash prize.

Tickets options allow guests to sample all dishes and cocktails at $25, with those ages 12 to 20 able to purchase tickets for $20 to pair the mac and cheese dishes with non-alcoholic drinks. Tickets for kids 11 and under are $10. For those who just want a few samples, “mini mac” tickets will allow them to pay for each dish individually. Tickets can be purchased online ahead of time or at the event. The event may sell out, as the Burger Summit did in July.

Other events surrounding the mac and cheese festivities include a magician, craft center, balloon animals and improve poet for the kids, as well as a mac and cheese eating contest, “which I think all the teenage boys in Summit County should be super excited about,” said Robinson.

Live music will start at 2 p.m. with the John Truscelli Band. At 3:30 the award-winning Denver-based band Hot Lunch will take the stage until about 5 p.m.

Meanwhile, Copper’s usual activities will be available, such as go-kart racing and riding the chairlift to the top of the mountain.

“You can work off some mac and cheese, you can go for a hike if you want,” said Stephanie Sweeney, communications manager at Copper. Trails start from Center Village, where the mac and cheese fest is, or people can choose to ride the chairlift and walk back down.

Parking will be free, and Sweeney recommended B Lot, Chapel Lot or Copper Circle as the lots closest to all the action. She also suggested people arrive a little bit before the event starts at 2 p.m. to make sure they can get their tickets and to walk around.

Above all, anyone and everyone is welcome to come listen to some music and taste test some unique mac and cheese dinners, whether they’re young in age or young at heart.

“Everyone loves a good mac and cheese,” said Sweeney.