Oscar Montesinos, Chef de Cuisine

The Chicago Firehouse Restaurant

1401 S Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60605


The Chicago Firehouse Restaurant is celebrating Mardi Gras on Tuesday, March 1 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. with an evening of Louisiana-style eats and beats. Guests may indulge in a special Fat Tuesday menu that brings to life all the flavor and fun of New Orleans while enjoying live music from High-Hat Second Line, a New Orleans brass and jazz band with a Chicago twist. The Cajun-inspired menu will feature classic favorites including Crawfish Mac & CheeseCajun Fried Chicken JambalayaShrimp Po’BoyCreole Seafood Gumbo, and more.


Crawfish Mac & Cheese

Serves 2-4


1 lb Cavatappi Pasta

2 cups Whole Milk

2 cups Heavy Cream

8 oz (1 cup) Shredded Sharp Yellow Cheddar

2.5 oz (5T) Shredded Gruyere Cheese

2 oz (1/4 cup) Grated Parmesan Cheese

2 oz (1/4 cup) Crumbled Blue Cheese (such as Gorgonzola or Roquefort)

2 Tablespoons Cheddar Cheese Powder

1.5 oz (3T) All Purpose Flour

1.5 oz (3T) Unsalted Butter

2 lbs Louisiana Crawfish Tails


-Bring a large pot filled with water to a boil over high heat. Salt it generously. Add the cavatappi pasta and cook for 7-8 minutes until pasta is tender but not overcooked.

-Heat a Dutch Oven or heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Melt the butter. Sprinkle the flour over the butter and stir until it turns a deep blonde color and has a nutty aroma, about 3 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk and cream. Cook, stirring frequently. When it starts to thicken continue cooking on a simmer for 2-3 minutes. 

-At this point the cavatappi should be ready. Drain it in a colander but do not rinse.

-Turn the heat on the sauce down to low and stir in all the cheeses until they are all melted. Add the (pre-cooked) crawfish tails and then fold in the cavatappi. 

-Remove from heat and serve!