Heading downtown to help launch Peterborough’s Mac + Cheese Festival, Trent University president Dr. Leo Groarke and Provost Dr. Michael Khan knew one thing: their recipe better be a gouda one.
In a friendly competition alongside other community leaders from Kawartha Food Share and the Peterborough Petes, President Groarke and Dr. Khan offered up two twists on the classic dish – one vegan and one with bacon.
The Downtown Mac + Cheese Festival is meant to bolster local traffic to restaurants, an industry hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are committed to supporting our vibrant downtown, which is the heart of the city and home to our own Traill College,” explained President Groarke.
Join the Self-Guided Festival
The self-guided festival, which starts in October, features 18 restaurants offering their signature versions of mac ‘n’ cheese, including gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian.
Festival goers are encouraged to use the Mac Map to uncover a ‘treasure trove of cheesy goodness’ and then either host a dish-crawl, dine solo or order takeout throughout the month before voting for their favourite.
The winning restaurant, to be announced in November, gets bragging rights, a trophy and a sizeable donation to Kawartha Food Share in their name.
“For the most part, our 18 restaurant partners are just happy to help bring a little comfort back into the community and I don’t think it gets any more comforting than mac and cheese,” said Peterborough DBIA communications manager Hillary Flood.
Trent Boosts Downtown Initiatives
Trent’s participation in the festival launch comes on the heels of Discover Peterborough Bingo - an interactive scavenger hunt hosted by the University, DBIA and Peterborough & the Kawarthas Tourism that allows returning students to explore downtown businesses, join fun activities, and get the chance to win prizes.
The University has always been a great supporter of the downtown, said DBIA executive director Terry Guiel.
“Trent always appreciates the bigger picture by supporting buying local and promoting a healthy downtown,” Mr. Guiel says.