|The people's choice for best booth (photo by Bill Dowd)|
|Chef Mike Spain shows off|
(photo courtesy of the Times Union)
Just like last year at Siena, Druthers took first place in both the balloting by a panel of judges (including yours truly) and the people’s choice voting, this year for a clever "Big Mac-and-cheese egg roll," served up in a takeout-style sandwich container on a bed of shredded lettuce with a drizzle of special sauce.
The event, which drew about 2,000 people to two afternoon tasting sessions, is a benefit for the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York. It is co-sponsored by the Times Union and its Tablehopping blog.
|Imagination wasn't limited to the food|
(photo by Bill Dowd)
The wide-ranging recipes also included such concoctions as a s'mores dessert mac from the Philly Bar & Lounge in Latham; a savory gouda/cheddar/chorizo/apple dish from the Savoy Taproom in Albany; an item called "Porky's Revenge" from Blu Stone Bistro in Colonie that included crisp pork belly, ham and bacon; a Peruvian aji pepper dish from La Empanada Llama in Albany; and, a tasty cheddar jack, cheddar, porter, BBQ pork dish from Tipsy Moose Tap & Tavern of Latham.
Among a lineup of home cooks, Stephen Piorkowski of Delmar won for his Italian-American mac and cheese with meatballs.
This wasn't his first winning rodeo. He also took top honors in the first Mac & Cheese Bowl back in 2010.
• Go here to visit the Capital Region Brew Trail
• Go here to visit Dowd On Drinks
• Go here to visit Dowd's New York Wines Notebook