Bracken’s Kitchen Teams Up With STACKED to Help Feed the Hungry


Photo by Nancy Villere

Face it, the odds against STACKED were stacked. After placing in every San Diego Mac n’ Cheese Fest since the event’s inception four years ago, STACKED CO-CEO, Paul Motenko, knew that the competition for the 2018 festival would be stiff. After all, there is a lot of good mac n’ cheese out there, and they keep getting better.

So, what’s a restaurant owner who wants to bring home the gold to do? For Motenko, the answer was clear: Go to someone who is well known for their superior mac n’ cheese-making ability. That person, according to Motenko, is noted Southern California chef and humanitarian, Bill Bracken.

Bracken, who had worked as an executive chef for many years at several up-scale Southern California venues, had created during that time, a much-talked-about and sought-after truffle mac n’ cheese. He left the restaurant business in 2013, and founded a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) near and dear to his heart, Bracken’s Kitchen, dedicated to the feeding the hungry by utilizing the enormous food waste within the restaurant and event industries.

Although fully immersed in this venture, Bracken, who sometimes functions as a restaurant consultant, jumped at the chance to collaborate with STACKED on what he hoped would be a winning mac n’ cheese dish. One that would be as memorable as his former pasta creation, so he chose ingredients he knew would not only be unique but crowd-pleasing, too.

Naming it the Southwest Chorizo Mac, the dish is layered with deep, rich flavors, including savory chorizo, creamy goat cheese, STACKED house cheese sauce (made with fontina and parmesan), caramelized onions, herb-roasted tomatoes and meaty, woody mushrooms. This inspired combination of flavorful and elevated ingredients resulted in a yummy, gourmet mac n’ cheese dish.

Motenko, laughing, explains that this recipe almost didn’t make it to the festival, as he’s never been a fan of a couple of the ingredients — most notably goat cheese. It was only after some coaxing from both Bracken and Motenko’s daughter, Stacy, did he decide to go with the dish. It’s a good thing because the Southwest Chorizo Mac not only went to the fest but took home the coveted People’s Choice award!

Now, STACKED is excited to share this winning dish with its customers and will be offering Chef Bracken’s Southwest Chorizo Mac at all their Southern California locations until Dec. 15.

If you haven’t eaten at a STACKED, it is a unique culinary experience. Known for providing customizable tableside tablet technology, which allows patrons to architect their appetizers, burgers, pizzas, salads, sandwiches, shakes, desserts and (you guessed it) mac n’ cheese. STACKED also provides an array of fresh ingredients along with yummy house-made sauces to help build your personalized dish.

In conjunction with the release of the Southwest Chorizo Mac, STACKED will donate $1 of the proceeds sold from this dish to Bracken’s Kitchen. According to Chef Bracken, this amount enables his organization to serve three meals to area hungry, and includes a freshly prepared entrée with a salad and vegetables.

Don’t miss this opportunity to visit STACKED near you for a chance to not only savor an award-winning mac n’ cheese, created by a nationally-renown chef, but support a worthy cause at the same time!

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