TILLAMOOK, Ore.-Tillamook Cheese looked all over the country for the best macaroni and cheese, but this year, the company found it right in its home state.
Elizabeth Guise of Hillsboro, Ore., took home $5,000 and the title of Grand Prize Winner in the 2006 Grand Finale Macaroni and Cheese Recipe Contest, created by Tillamook Cheese and hosted by McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurants. Guise's Tillamook Crab & Macaroni Bake recipe was awarded the grand prize after competing with seven other regional winners from across the country, and was selected out of more than 1,000 total recipe entries.
"This is a family recipe that has slowly evolved into what you see today," said Guise, "This is my family's vision - a combination of traditional macaroni & cheese with crab cakes."
First runner up was Arizona finalist Jenny Flake for her Tillamook® Four Cheese Chicken Florentine Tortellini dish, and second runner up was Northern California finalist Laura Najar for her Mega-Cheesy Mac-N-Cheese with Crab recipe. The grand finale cook-off was held June 23 at McCormick & Schmick's Harborside restaurant. Regional winners from eight cities were flown to Portland to compete. Finalists and guests received a personal tour of the Tillamook Cheese Factory and the Oregon coast the day prior to the cook-off.
This is the second annual Tillamook Macaroni and Cheese Recipe Contest. This year's competition grew to include eight cook-off locations and a new Grand Finale component.