To go vegan is to give up cheese in all its many-splendored forms. Grilled cheese, cheese pizza, mac and cheese, all lost forever in pursuit of a plant-based diet.

...just kidding. In truth, Portland herbivores have their pick of vegan pizza and dairy-free grilled cheese. As for cheeseless macaroni, well, more than 30 local chefs and home cooks recently proved how easy, creamy, and delicious dairy-free mac can be. Last Sunday's Ultimate Mac & Cheese Showcase pitted local chefs from the Cheese Plate PDX and Paradox Cafe against reps from big-name brands like Heidi Ho, Vtopian and Field Roast and and amateur cooks eager to share their secret recipes. The resulting spread of slow cookers and Corningware sent the sold-out crowd into a communal food coma.

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