My first experience with The Infamous Mac n’ Yease was back in April of 2011, at the New York City Vegetarian Food Festival, where Chef Ayinde was serving paper-cups full to droves of festival goers at five bucks a pop. After my first bite, I immediately knew what all the fuss was about - this stuff was straight up ridiculous. A rich, cheesy, hearty traditional baked pasta with a certain extra sumthin’ sumthin’ I couldn’t quite figure out… my mom made a MEAN baked mac ‘n cheese growing up, and (sorry mom) this stuff put every other mac - vegan or otherwise - to shame. A swarm soon developed, and I was able to scarf down two cups before the Mac disappeared altogether, but the secret was out - this Chef Ayinde fellow had something major going on here, and we all wanted more. By the truckload.
Well, folks - the time has come. That’s right; Chef Ayinde Howell, culinary BAWSE and founder of ieatgrass.com, has spent the last year traveling all over North America as Soul/R&B artist India Arie’s personal chef and he’s ready to plant his feet on the ground in sunny California with an exciting new venture. Enter MAC TRUCK LA, a funky new food truck based in Los Angeles, serving an entirely vegan and gluten-free menu, including THREE VARIETIES of Yease: Original, Balsamic Truffle and Buffalo Mac, as well as (OMG) a “Brooklyn Waffle Brunch” featuring a healthy portion of Mac. Carbs and cheese and comfort, oh my!
Here’s what the Chef himself has to say about his acclaimed recipe:
“My great Grandmother Mary Fluker from St Stephens Alabama used to make baked Mac & Cheese for my father and his family on Sundays for dinner. After going vegan, my father missed the Mac so much he tried to reinvent it. He experimented, a lot. Eventually, it filtered through my mother and sisters, and then it became a staple. I got a hold of the recipe, tweaked it then sold it by the bucket in my first cafe, Hillside Quickies Vegan Sandwich Shop. I took it on the road with me when I moved to NYC, featured it in my pop-up restaurants, and now it’s my go-to dish.”
Sounds amazing, right? You’re totally excited! Here’s the thing, though: Chef Ayinde needs YOUR HELP to get this Mac on the road. Through the magic of Kickstarter, you can support this amazing endeavor AND get your hands (and tastebuds) on some pretty spectacular thank-you goodies to boot. From Twitter Kudos and t-shirts to cookbooks and free Yease… even a personal chef experience with the man himself… this is clearly a win-win. Reap those rewards, people!
Still not convinced? Fine - don’t listen to me; listen to Pop Superstar Janelle Monae. She knows what’s up.
xo Erin Red