There was never a doubt they would achieve their goal as Chef John Folse & Company and Cabot Creamery Cooperative set out on the morning of Thursday, September 23 to establish a new Guinness World Record for the world's largest Mac & Cheese. The result was a 2,469 pound serving of Mac & Cheese that shattered the existing Guinness world record of 414 pounds, using Cabot's award-winning cheddar cheese. More important than the Guinness record was the reason behind the event -- raising money for New Orleans Area Habitat For Humanity (NOAHH) while supporting the critical work of The Magnolia School and Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans. In the last six months, through this and other activities, Cabot has helped raise more than $21,000 for the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity.
"We chose to partner with New Orleans nonprofits to celebrate all of the powerful work these organizations have contributed to the city," said Roberta MacDonald, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Cabot Creamery Cooperative. "We hope our involvement will assist these organizations in their future efforts towards positive change."
More than 2,000 people attended the event that took place from 12 Noon to 2 p.m. on Harrah's Fulton Square in downtown New Orleans. Guests who donated $5 or more were given colorfully painted ceramic bowls good for "all you can eat" servings of the Mac & Cheese. So successful was the event that all 1,500 of the hand-made bowls created by participants of The Magnolia School, a nonprofit organization based just outside New Orleans that provides assistance to adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities, sold out in less than two hours. Adding to the excitement and drama of the event was the fact that the record-setting creation was cooked in a massive 213 year-old cast iron sugar kettle that had to be gently lifted into the air by forklift to determine its record setting weight -- not an easy feat considering the age and fragility of the circa 1797 kettle.
As the current cheese fondue Guinness World Record holder, Chef Folse relied on 30 years of enormous-cooking experience as he blended Cabot Creamery's famous cheddar cheese and butter, Brown's Dairy's 1,100 pounds of milk and King Arthur Flour with elbow macaroni and breadcrumbs. Guinness World Records judge Amanda Mochan was on-site to verify the world record as the kettle was raised and lowered with equipment and expertise generously provided by Deep South Equipment, Lift-All and Michelli Scales.
While Cabot Creamery and Chef Folse worked hard to break the record, the achievement of this dish extends well beyond executing a traditional southern comfort recipe; the meal and the event's true success will be measured through the long-term success of NOAHH, The Magnolia School and Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans.
In conjunction with the Cabot Road Show, Rouses Supermarkets generously put signage in every one of their 36 locations throughout Louisiana and Mississippi, in addition to pre-selling tickets for the hand-made macaroni and cheese bowls.
Proceeds from all sales at the event will contribute to the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity's housing efforts. In the past year, the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity has sheltered 93 new families with homes.
Dozens of local celebrities, public officials and sponsors served guests the ceramic bowls filled with the warm-and-creamy pasta while dozens more volunteers helped check guests in, serve ice cream compliments of Brown's Dairy and collect donations for soft drinks and water from NOAHH, clean tables and pass out literature for the non-profit organizations. Among those volunteers were New Orleans City Council President Arnie Fielkow, members of The Big Easy Roller Girls squad, Second Harvest Chef Tony Biggs, New Orleans Hornet's Dance Team girls and Hornet Mascot Hugo and Lisa Ferris, CFO of NOAHH.
Entertainment was provided by former New Orleans Jazz artist Samirah Evans, who was displaced by Hurricane Katrina five years ago and moved to Brattleboro, Vermont. Evans returned to New Orleans to reunite with local musicians for this monumental event.
The National Association of Housing Cooperatives (NAHC) proudly showed their support for sister Cooperative Cabot Creamery and New Orleans Area Habitat For Humanity as nearly 300 NAHC members descended upon Fulton Square to purchase lunch in support of NOAHH.
While most of the record-setting Mac & Cheese was consumed at the event, not all of it was used but NONE of it went to waste as approximately 600 pounds of leftovers were given to Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans.
About Cabot Creamery
Cabot Creamery Cooperative has been in continuous operation in Vermont since 1919, and we make a full line of cheeses, yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese, and butter. Best known as makers of "The World's Best Cheddar," Cabot is owned by 1200 dairy farm families located throughout New England and upstate New York. For additional information on Cabot Creamery, visit http://www.cabotcheese.coop
World's Largest Mac & Cheese Guinness World Record 2011 Video