Boys and Girls Club is big winner in Mac & Cheese Festival at Destin Commons

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

Some tossed in a little bacon, others shrimp or pineapple, but two things they all had in common were macaroni and cheese. 

About 2,000 people filled main street of Destin Commons on Sunday afternoon to get a taste of the macaroni and cheese served up by the nine area restaurants which participated in the third annual Mac & Cheese Festival. 

The event pulled in $45,000 for the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast. 

Stanley's Street Treats won the Judge's  Choice award at the Mac & Cheese Festival on Sunday at Destin Commons. The line to their booth stayed backed up.

“The festival was a huge success and thoroughly outperformed our own expectations,” said Servin Rassa, chief executive officer of The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast. 

"We are extremely thankful to all that attended, all of our cooking participants, Destin Commons, and all of our sponsors for making this year’s event a success. Every cent raised through this event will make an impact on the over 4,000 youth we serve on an annual basis,” Rassa said. 

“Our team is already working on next year’s event, we look forward to an amazing fourth year,” Rassa said. 

More:Shrimp and Grits Festival raises $20,000 for Boys and Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast

As for this year’s event, the people in attendance were loving the cheesy cuisine. 

“Mac and cheese is one of the best dishes on the planet,” said Jereme Rightley of Orlando as he taste-tested one of the pasta dishes. Rightley is the drummer for the band Shenanigans, which was performing at the festival. 

Holly Shutz and Samantha Sheyka, both of Niceville, enjoyed taste-testing the mac and cheese at the festival on Sunday at Destin Commons.

Rob Jordan and James O’Donoghue, both of Santa Rosa Beach, were loving the mac and cheese. As a matter of fact, they had tried them all and were getting ready to go back through for another taste test. 

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“We’re going to test just for the cheese and noodles this time,” Jordan said, noting that a lot of the restaurants had added other things to the dish. 

Brandy Jacobs of Jackacuda's serves up their mac and cheese at the festival on Sunday. "It's hard to keep up," Jacobs said as the lines of people continued to flow  through. Jackacuda's won the People's Choice award at the festival held at Destin Commons.

Holly Shutz and Samantha Sheyka, both of Niceville, were enjoying the sunshine as well as the pasta. 

“Oh my gosh, it’s amazing,” Shutz said as she took a bite. 

“It was delicious … one of my favorites,” said Sheyka of the mac and cheese served up by Jackacuda’s. 

Jereme Rightley of Orlando loved the mac and cheese. "It's one of the best dishes on the planet," he said.

Jackacuda’s went on to win the People’s Choice Award. 

Stanley’s Street Treats won the Judge’s Choice Award. 

The winner of the Kid’s Choice was Gulf Coast Burger Company.