Bob Buckhorn continues to cement his title as Tampa's “foodie mayor.”
The mayor's office announced Wednesday that Buckhorn will host the inaugural Mayor's Mac & Cheese Throwdown on May 10 in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.
“Everyone loves mac & cheese – its comfort food at its best. This event will highlight some of the best local eateries in Tampa and give families another reason to come downtown to explore our urban core,” Buckhorn said in a news release.
More than 25 restaurants will compete to determine the best local macaroni and cheese, the announcement said. Categories will include Classic Mac, for traditionalists, Brews & Mac, for “recipes with a twist paired with craft beer,” and Wine & Cheese, for recipes using high-end cheeses paired with classic wines.
James Beard Award-nominated chef Greg Baker, of The Refinery, will lead the delegation of judges, and attendees will be able to vote on a People's Choice Award.
Among the restaurants set to participate so far are Holy Hog BBQ, Anise Gastro Global Bar, Sunny Side Up, Bamboozle, Cigar City Brew Pub, Splitsville/Tina Tapas, Doormet, Yacht Starship, Taps, and Malio's.
The event will also feature live entertainment, including musicians Mighty Mongo, Matt Hires, Cleamons Road, and the Sh-Booms, as well as games and other family-friendly activities, the release said.
Admission will be free. Food sales will benefit the Friends of the Riverwalk, a non-profit organization that works to enhance the Tampa Riverwalk.
Restaurants interested in participating should contact Shaun Drinkard, executive director of the Friends of the Riverwalk, at (813) 221-1539.