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Philly MAC-Down Official Rules!



Think you make the BEST vegan Mac & Cheese in Philly? We’d love to see you show off your skills! You can apply to enter here (but read though this first)!

Here are the rules:

1. This is a VEGAN competition! All ingredients MUST be vegan: That means:

  • NO meat
  • NO fish
  • NO dairy (milk, butter, whey, casine/casinate, etc)
  • NO eggs
  • NO gelatin
  • NO honey
  • NO confectioner’s glaze (shellac)
  • NO animal-based food dyes
  • NO products derived/sourced from ANY animals (this includes insects too)

Note about sugar: You MUST refrain from sugars filtered through bone char. For a list of approved sugars, please click here!

Not sure about an ingredient? Email us!

2. This is a VEGAN MAC & CHEESE competition. Therefore, your dish must include vegan macaroni (pasta) and vegan cheese in the ingredients. You can be as creative as you want in your recipe and presentation. It just has to be VEGAN (See Rule #1)!

3. This is a PRO-AM competition. Amateur home chefs and kitchen professionals are welcome to compete!

Note: If you are a professional cook/chef, you will be representing yourself and NOT your business/employer. Culinary students are welcome, but again, you will NOT be representing your school at the event, just yourself and your mac & cheese wizardry. Got it?

Double Note: Weary about competing against a pro or an amateur, YOU GOT THIS!

4. The minimum age of each contestant to participate is 18 years of age.

5. There is NO KITCHEN at the venue. All cooking will need to be done before you arrive to the venue. You may assemble your dish at your assigned table, which you may share with another competitor.

Note: If you want to use a warmer or hot plate, please contact the organizers at

6. Prepare enough food to provide 250 tasting samples for the voting audience, judges and press. If in doubt, make more. 250 is the minimum!

7. Bring THREE (3) copies of a printed list of your ingredients. This will be helpful to those with allergy questions

8. Make a sign, as simple or as festive as you like! Include the name of your mac & cheese awesomeness! Get creative!

9. Each competitor is allowed to bring ONE (1) help with them. Your helper will NOT need to purchase a ticket (and neither will you). Please email us with that person’s name and have them added to the guest list.

We will also have volunteers on hand to assist teams, if necessary. Based on the number of volunteers available, we will try to assign 1 to everyone 1-2 competitors.

10. Doors will open at 2:00pm. Sampling will begin at 4:30pm. You may show up as early as 12:30pm to set up, get settled and have some friendly sMAC talk banter with your fellow competitors. Please arrive no later than 1pm!


Up for grabs will be the prestigious GOLDEN ELBOWS trophy, a beautiful gift basket full of goodies (we're keeping HUSH right now), and BEST OF ALL..BRAGGING RIGHTS FOR 1 YEAR!

We'll also have prizes for Second Place, Third Place, MOST ORIGINAL and PHILLY'S CHOICE!