Chef Damarr Brown — Co-Chef, Top This Mac N’ Cheese

Top This Mac N’ Cheese

Delivery via Toast and carry-out at 49 E. Cermak, Chicago (same space as Mustard Seed Kitchen with a pickup window for Top This)

Monday – Saturday, 11 am – 8 pm



Chef Erick Williams’ Southern Macaroni and Cheese

serves 6 to 8


1 pound elbow macaroni

1 cup whole milk

1 cup evaporated milk

2 pounds shredded extra-sharp cheddar (about 32 ounces)

4 ounces cream cheese

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper


  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the evaporated and whole milk (you want to bring the milk to a light simmer). Whisk in following spices: garlic, onion, paprika, salt, and pepper. Once incorporated, whisk 1½ pounds of the sharp cheddar and 4 ounces cream cheese.
  2. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil (it should have a little less salt than seawater). Add macaroni and cook according to package directions until a little under al dente, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a colander and drain.
  3. Mix all the macaroni with the cheese sauce. Add half the macaroni mixture to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish in an even layer. Sprinkle 4 ounce of cheddar evenly on top. Spread the remaining macaroni mixture on top in an even layer and add the remaining cheddar. Transfer to the middle rack of the oven and bake for 10 minutes allowing the top to melt.
  4. Remove from the oven. Serve warm.