Did you know that Mac ‘N Cheese Day is NEXT WEEK?
Yup, July 14th is nationally dedicated to the beloved, cheesy dish that is mac ‘n cheese and as part of an early celebration, we headed to City Works Eatery & Pour House in Disney Springs! City Works invited us to go BEHIND THE SCENES of their mega-popular Mac ‘n Cheese and we’re taking you with us!
We met up with Executive Chef Cory Hoekstra for a close-up demonstration of how City Works makes the Smoked Cheddar Mac ‘N Cheese. We’re dreaming of cheesy sauce already. Chef Hoekstra explained that this dish was introduced when City Works reopened from the 2020 closure and quickly rocketed to being one of the most popular on the menu!
Part of what’s awesome about this recipe is that it can be replicated pretty easily at home (although good luck getting the same smoky flavor!). It all starts with chunks of chicken breast and thick chunks of DOUBLE SMOKED bacon. Did you know City Works does a lot of their smoking in-house?
Once the bacon and chicken are cooked through (or warmed up if you cooked them in advance), it’s time for a solid pour of heavy cream! This is the main base of the sauce so if you’re a little heavy-handed with your pour, you’ll end up with a creamier end product.
We let the cream cook down around the meat and then it was time to get the MAC in the game. City Works uses Cavatappi noodles for Mac ‘N Cheese. The benefit of a big swirly noodle? More space to hold that cheese sauce!
Chef Hoekstra gave those noodles a good toss in our creamy, meaty mixture and once it was thoroughly mixed, it was CHEESE TIME. Obviously, this is the best step. The dish gets a solid cupful of shredded smoked cheddar all over the top. Chef Hoekstra noted that you can use whatever cheese you want when you’re making this at home, but that smoked cheddar smelled out of this world.
Now, we wait in anticipation as that beautiful cheese melts and mixes into the creamy sauce. TBH, it was kinda hard to stop our stomachs from growling. To finish off the cooking process, this mac gets a generous pinch of salt and black pepper.
And then that WHOLE PANFUL of Mac ‘N Cheese goes right in a serving bowl with some parsley on top. Seriously, this serving is HUGE. It’s certainly a full meal size or plenty to share!
Of course, we gave the dish a try. Maybe watching the whole process made us REALLY appreciate this dish, or maybe it’s just a darn good bowl of Mac ‘N Cheese. It’s a great mix of classic cheesy pasta with that punch of smoky flavor for a more unique bite. The meat was tender and the bacon, in particular, had the perfect amount of delicious chew.
The sauce sticks to the noodles super well and you’ve got that awesome smokiness from the cheddar that stands out as the star. It’s not so different that a picky eater would want to skip it, but it’s way more interesting than a regular bowl of Mac ‘N Cheese.
If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous (whether you’re celebrating Mac ‘N Cheese Day or not), you could also try the Tex Mex Mac N’ Cheese!
You can pick up the Smoked Cheddar Mac ‘N Cheese at City Works Eatery & Pour House in Disney Springs for $18. As always, stay tuned to DFB for the latest cheesy updates (and all the other Disney updates too).
What do you think of this Mac ‘N Cheese dish? Tell us in the comments!
Disclosure: In nearly all circumstances, Disney Food Blog writers and photographers pay full price for their own travel, hotel, food, beverage, and event tickets. We do this because it’s important to us as journalists to ensure not only that we give you unbiased opinions, but also that you can trust us to do so since we’re paying our own way. On rare occasions, when we are invited by a company to attend a preview as media, and when we choose to accept that invitation, we will always make you, our readers, aware of that situation. Today, we were invited by City Works Eatery & Pour House to attend a demonstration of one of their most popular dishes. Note that when we attend events as media we are 1) Not required to review that event/food on any of our channels, and 2) Not required to review that event/food favorably. You can always count on DFB to give you a 100% unbiased and honest review of any event that we attend, food that we eat, or beverage that we drink. You can see more in our Disclosure Policy. Thank you for reading. — AJ