Last week I was invited along to the launch of The Mac Factory pop-up in Debenhams on Oxford Street. I absolutely LOVE mac and cheese so I was excited to go along to try it out. I took my lovely friend, Genevieve, with me as my guest.
The Mac Factory was established in 2014 by South African chef Graham Bradbury and is a firm favourite in Camden Market and festivals around the UK. Having a reputation as the go-to gourmet mac and cheese brand in London (with an Instagram account to DROOL over), led to the pop-up partnership with Debenhams.
One of my favourite dishes as a kid, was mac and cheese – there’s just something so comforting and indulgent about it. I remember my mom used to add sliced tomatoes to the top and bake it, which I loved. Let’s just say that the choices at The Mac Factory are a little more sophisticated – and there’s no baking involved!
There are six standard mac and cheese options on the menu and two specials. On the night we were going to get to try a classic mac and cheese and one of the specials – Lobster Boy and the Factory Cheese Steak, which is a take on a Philly Cheese Steak.
Graham took us through the process of how they make the mac and cheese – and each one is cooked to order. The fresh macaroni pasta is die-cut through a pasta machine straight into boiling water and then the freshly-made bechamel cheese sauce is poured over and mixed into the pasta. Then toppings are added, according to your order.
The sauce is made with two different cheeses – British Carron Lodge Extra Extra Mature cheddar and mozzarella. The mozzarella gives it that cheesy pull!
At the event, I tried the Nostalgic (the classic) and also the Lobster Boy special. And OH BOY was it good! I mean, is there anything more indulgent than cheesy pasta with lobster? I think not.
Also at the event was Bignose & Beardy cider, all the way from Sussex. Phil (aka Bignose) brought along three different ciders for us to try – Turning Japanese, Hedgerow and Great Expectations. The ciders are still and unfiltered – as proper cider should be. All the apples come from local gardens and villages around Framfield in East Sussex and most of them are donated, which means less food waste.
I just loved their story and I’m really into anything that helps to save the food waste problem. If you love cider, they’ve opened a cider club so check out their website.
Genevieve and I had such a great time at the event. If you fancy a warming, gooey, gourmet mac and cheese then head to Debenhams on Oxford Street. Prices range from £5.50 to £10.