O-Town MacDown | Give Kids The World



A delicious “food fight” cooking competition featuring professional chefs and restaurants as well as home cooks and non-profit organizations who will duke it out to the very end to be named Orlando’s Mac-n-Cheese Champion.


Prizes will be awarded in various categories, and the event will include live entertainment, celebrity chef cooking demonstrations, live performances, a kids’ fun zone including face painting, bounce houses and macaroni art station, theme park character meet-and-greets and vendor booths.


Presenting sponsor SeaWorld along with Give Kids The World invite the general public to come sample the cheesiest mac-n-cheese that area culinary combatants have to offer at this cooking challenge.


Attendance and participation benefits Give Kids The World Village, a 70-acre, nonprofit resort in Central Florida that provides weeklong, cost-free vacations to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.





Come see who gets grilled and who creates the sweet taste of victory at the O-Town MacDown cooking challenge:


Saturday, August 23, 2014
Orange County Convention Center, Hall D2 West Concourse
9800 International Drive, Orlando FL 32819


Witness firsthand what promises to be a legendary face off of cheesy proportions!




Entrance fees benefit Give Kids The World, a non-profit resort for children battling life-threatening illnesses:


Get Your Advanced Tickets Now!

There is a limited amount of tickets for this event. We suggest you purchase your tickets early before we sell out. 


  • $10 for Adults - includes all the mac-n-cheese you can eat!
  • $5 for Kids Ages 3-12 (Ages 2 and under are free) - includes all the mac-n-cheese you can eat and the Kids Zone is free!
  • $35 for VIP tickets - includes unlimited mac-n-cheese, premium seating in the VIP area, free O-Town MacDown t-shirt and a free beverage


Tickets at the Door

  • $15 for Adults and $10 for Kids


*There is a discounted community parking fee of $9.00 if you choose to park at the Convention Center.


Online ticket purchase deadline is Friday, August 22 at 5pm. After this deadline, tickets will only be available for purchase at the door.





Absolutely! This competition is open to everyone from professional chefs to home cooks. Whip up your tastiest mac-n-cheese and you could win some great prizes and of course bragging rights for having the best mac-n-cheese in Orlando.  Click on the “Competitors Registration” button for more information and to sign up.


To save our competitors money, a food pantry with complimentary butter, milk and cheese will be available at the event.





Give Kids The World Village is a 70-acre, non-profit resort in Central Florida that provides weeklong, cost-free vacations to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. Since 1986, Give Kids The World has served more than 130,000 families. O-Town MacDown is the newest fundraiser for Give Kids The World Village, where more than 7,000 families visit each year. Our goal is to raise $46,000 through chef contest entry fees, guest entrance, vendor booth fees and event sponsorships to help fund wish-fulfilling vacations for children battling life-threatening illnesses.


To learn more about our mission and our nonprofit resort visit:  www.givekidstheworld.org.




The first 40 competitors to sign up before July 10, 2014 will be entered to win a pair of AAdvantage® Mileage Award Certificates from American Airlines! So dust off your pots and pans, get out your best mac-n-cheese recipe and register today!


Contest Rules: To enter the contest, competitors must register before July 10, 2014 at 12 noon on the O-Town MacDown website and pay the fee associated with the category they are registering under. There must be a minimum of 40 registered participants by July 10, 2014 in order for the drawing to take place. Winner will receive (2) 25,000 AAdvantage® Mileage Award Certificates from American Airlines. AAdvantage® Mileage Award Certificates expire June 1, 2015.





If you have any questions or need help regarding the O-Town Macdown event, please contact:


Lisa Bertin-Queena
Director of Special Events, Give Kids The World
407 396 1114 ext. 4225





Live Entertainment

You’ll find a variety of fun, family friendly entertainment at this year’s O-Town MacDown including:


The SeaWorld Groove Chefs
When SeaWorld Orlando’s Groove Chefs arrive on the scene, a crazy cacophony of clattering pots and pans becomes a percussive concert of street-mosphere fun. Cooking up interactive excitement wherever they go, this high-energy trio kicks up the heat by transforming kitchen gear and BBQ grills into make shift musical instruments. The Groove Chefs serve up smokin’ hot rhythms and plenty of laughs to satisfy everyone’s appetite for unexpected entertainment.


Magician/Comedian Tony Brent from the WonderWorks Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show
For the past 20 years Brent has been steadily growing a raging fan base with his original blend of comedy, sleight-of-hand, impressions, guitar and ukulele music and hilarious audience participation. The Travel Channel has named Tony’s show “One of America’s Ten Best Magic Shows” along with the likes of David Copperfield, Penn and Teller and Criss Angel.


Islay Rodriguez
Islay Rodriguez is an acoustic guitarist local to Central and South Florida. His repertoire covers a variety of musical genres such as Smooth Jazz in the style of Russ Freeman and Marc Antoine, Nuevo Flamenco in the style of Strunz & Farah and Ottmar Liebert, and Brazilian music in the style of A.C Jobim and Luiz Bonfa.

The Orlando Improv All-Stars

The Orlando Improv All-Stars is an ensemble of improv actors entertaining audiences of all ages through live improvised comedy. Using audience suggestions, they spontaneously create characters, scenes, fairy tales and songs that are unique to that show and never seen again.

The Magic and Mayhem Comedy Magic Show

Magic and Mayhem combines amazing magic, hilarious comedy and engaging interaction appropriate for all audiences. As recently featured on Fox 35 Good Day Orlando and on the cover of the Orlando Business Journal, the Magic and Mayhem team perform over 350 live shows each year at a variety of venues, including festivals, special events, banquets and a resident dinner show at the Sheraton Vistana Resort in Lake Buena Vista. Specializing in customized programs for both public and private events, Magic and Mayhem has consistently thrilled tour groups, organizations and corporate clients throughout Florida for over 20 years. For more information, visit www.magicandmayhemshow.com.




Chef Emily Ellyn
With her infectious personality and unique style, it’s no wonder Emily Ellyn captured the hearts of viewers on Food Network. Today, she continues to use her platform as a way to share her love for taking traditional dishes and remixing them — Retro Rad Style! Emily is also the new Give Kids The World Ice Cream For Breakfast spokesperson and will be cooking up a sweet treat you and your family will enjoy learning to make.


Chef Jillian Hopke

Jillian Hopke is the owner of the Orlando, FL based Jillycakes. She was also the winner of Season 6, Episode 12 of Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars".


Chef Maira

Chef Maira Isabel is known for her dynamic and upbeat cooking demos and classes and has being featured in numerous television shows in the United Stated, Puerto Rico and throughout Latin America. These shows include: The Travel Channel's "Bizarre Foods", Cooking Channel’s “Hook, Line and Dinner” and Comcast Network’s "TV Dinners Show”. She is the former chef of "Sabores de Familia" (Fox Utilísima Network - Latin America's "do-it-yourself" network), which was broadcasted in the United States and in over 25 countries throughout Latin America. In May 2014, Chef Maira Isabel moved to Orlando, Florida, and accepted the position of Executive Chef at Disney World Golf Courses. A huge responsibility but one that Maira is very excited and happy of as she brings her cuisine to worldwide audiences like never before. Maira published her first cookbook, “Gourmet Para Todos Los Días” (Gourmet for Every Day) that quickly went on to be the #1 cookbook in Puerto Rico and stayed there for more than 10 weeks. Her second book; an exploration of aphrodisiac foods -including recipes- in Latin America is in the works and will be ready at the end of 2014.


Chef Jody McLeod

Sitting on the kitchen counter covered in towels and helping his dad hand-crush tomatoes while constantly asking ‘why are you doing that?’ is one of the first memories of fourth-generation chef, Jody McLeod.


Jody began his professional career with a classical Canadian apprenticeship working in a variety of restaurants and hotels where he was able to gain experiences in many cuisines. Canada’s diverse culinary tapestry encouraged his interest in travel so when an opportunity arose to work in Beijing, China as the Executive Chef of the SciTech Hotel he eagerly accepted. When the contract ended two years later he went to work on Holland America Line where he received his European Chef’s accreditation and helped to launch the shipboard partnerships with Le Cirque of New York City and the Dutch De Lirije. On two World Voyages and five Grand Voyages he had the opportunity to learn the cuisine of many different countries and define his own culinary style as ‘world cuisine fused with the Pacific Northwest.’ Looking for new challenges, Jody returned to Vancouver where he was quickly offered the Corporate Chef position for a multi-national casino corporation. When Vancouver won the bid for the 2010 Winter Olympics, Jody was asked to accept the position of Executive Chef and oversee all culinary operations of the Olympics and work closely with the International Olympic Committee and the Vancouver Winter Olympic Committee. The games too quickly came to an end and Jody returned to Holland America Line where he worked two more years before meeting his wife and finding his ‘roots’ in Orlando where he currently works as a Culinary Operations Manager at SeaWorld Orlando.


Chef John Radcliff

John Radcliff certainly knows his way around smoke, meat and fire and has had a passion for food and flavor from a young age. John has been working in one kitchen or another somewhere in the country from Napa Valley to New England since the age of fourteen. A graduate of New England Culinary Institute, and now with over 30 years of foodservice experience, the fire of culinary passion is still burning bright.


His career began as opening Executive Chef for the Wildhorse Saloon, a 475-seat restaurant and country music hotspot owned by Gaylord Entertainment/Levy Restaurants located at Walt Disney World's Pleasure Island. He then became Director of Culinary Development/Executive Chef for Darden Restaurants concept restaurant, Smokey Bones Barbecue and Grill.


John has since served as a Corporate Executive Chef for Tavistock Restaurants, Avado Restaurants, and has been a Regional Chef for Levy Restaurants and has consulted for national restaurant brands and food manufacturers.


Currently, John is the Culinary Director for 4R Restaurant Group based in Winter Park, Florida, who owns and operates 7 4R Smokehouses, 4R Catering and The Coop.





Super Fun Kids Zone

Your kids will enjoy bouncing in three bounce houses, face painting, character meet and greets, a kids stage with entertainment, a macaroni art station and much more! All this is included with your price of admission.

Character Meet & Greets

Meet and Greets with characters like Shamu and Dolly from Seaworld!

Mad Scientist Interactive Show

Mad Scientist Show with Professor Al Chemy. Kids will have a blast with this interactive show, blowing things up and making gooey slime!

Elevate LIVE!

Elevate Live is a group of very talented Central Florida kids ages 5-20 who perform a high energy, 30 minute live Top 40/pop-style singing and dancing show. The group performs at many local community events such as Holiday in the Park at Lake Eola, Central Florida Fair, and Halloween at Cranes Roost.

The Bumbles and The Honey Bees Too®

The Bumbles and The Honey Bees Too® is an all-singing, all-dancing, highly entertaining and educational show for 3-8 year olds - with great music, catchy songs and delightful choreography. The Bumbles capture just how young children learn. The show can be relied on to satisfy the children’s endless curiosity about the wonders of the world around them in fresh and entertaining ways. Full of action and kid’s participation the Bumbles make pre-school learning fun for the whole family.

The Literacy Alliance: Scrambled Fairy Tales

Scrambled Fairy Tales turns traditional fairy tale stories upside down with hilarious results. Utilizing short skits, puppets, rhymes, and audience participation, the stories of Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty and the Princess and the Pea are presented with new twists and turns. This program is provided by the Literacy Alliance, a not for profit organization that seeks to inspire children, teens and adults to be curious, read and learn. Through fun and engaging educational programs they connect members of our community with stories, information and resources to improve their circumstances.

Orlando's Mr. Richard

Orlando's Mr Richard performs original songs for the swingset crowd, accompanying himself on guitar. With sing-along tunes about firetrucks, skunks, the garbageman and girl pilots, Mr Richard plays music for hip kids.





Emily Ellyn
Food Network Star

Heather McPherson
Orlando Sentinel Food Editor and Restaurant Critic

Joe Kelley
WDBO News Director and Host

Chef Hector Colon
SeaWorld Executive Chef

Louis Perrotte
American Academy of Chefs Hall of Fame

Michael Bersell
ACF Culinary Team USA

Joe Alfano, C.E.C.
Islands of Adventure Chef, Universal Orlando
Central Florida Chapter President, American Culinary Federation

Heidi Lane
Chef de Cuisine, Red Lobster

Gary Jones
Culinary Dietary Specialist, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts