One of the world’s favorite comfort foods is macaroni and cheese. The blue Kraft mac and cheese box is as much of a staple of childhood as the yellow busses many of us took to school. We packed it in our lunch boxes, and begged for it for dinner. Many of us still enjoy mac ‘n’ cheese today, and – though some have taken that love further than others – it can be argued that Kelly Chapman has taken that love a step further than anyone else.
Chapman opened MacOLicious – a macaroni and cheese focused restaurant – in Valley Village, California earlier this month. The entire menu is dedicated to mac and cheese recipes. On their website, they advertise selling “southern comfort-style mac and cheese” in California, where southern comfort food is a bit of a rarity. They also cater, bringing home-style mac and cheese to wedding rehearsal dinners, baby showers, birthday parties, and more.
Starting as a food truck last January, Chapman says MacOLicious began with a specific, interesting promise. That promise: “If I ever left corporate America,” she states in an NPR interview. “I would focus on mac and cheese.”
With the opening of her restaurant, Chapman has clearly fulfilled her promise, though she hasn’t fully left corporate America. Currently, she is still Managing Director of Lightworld Enterprises, a corporation dedicated to increasing diversity in major companies across the country. She is also a singer who has released multiple albums over the past few years.
Chapman continues to sing at farmers’ markets across southern California while promoting her restaurants. But her true passion is mac and cheese. According to her website, this stems from coming from a family of terrific cooks. She perfected her basic mac and cheese recipe with the help of her mom, and making that recipe and the others based on it reminds her of the women she’s lost over the past few years: including both of her grandmothers, her aunt, and her stepmother.
But how do the MacOLicious mac and cheese dishes taste? The MacOLicious menu features a recipe very similar to culture’s favorite mac-and-cheese recipe with its Maine Mac, but that could mean very little. According to their Yelp page, though, the food is delicious. Says one reviewer: “The food is simply heavenly here. Period. If you don’t like a particular style of mac, try one of the others.”
So, next time you’re in the Los Angeles area, consider satisfying your mac and cheese craving at MacOLicious. You won’t be disappointed.Photo Credit: Featured image courtesy of Sofia Wardy