Fairmont Orchid’s Wild Mushroom Mac and Cheese

If you’re a fan of mac and cheese (because, who isn’t?), make this seasonal version from Brown’s Beach House in Hawaii. The flagship restaurant of the Fairmont Orchid on Hawaii’s Big Island serves a seasonal mac and cheese with many of its entrees. Its most recent version incorporates wild mushrooms and a decadent mornay sauce. Pick up your copy of Issue 14, on stands now, to get the full scoop on our Hawaii travel story. orchid
Wild Mushroom Mac and Cheese


  • 5 ounces Ditalini pasta
  • 2 ounces Maitake mushrooms, roasted
  • 2 ounces Shimeji meshrooms, roasted
  • 1 ounce Hamakua mushroom, quartered and roasted
  • 1 cup Mornay sauce*
  • Garnish:
  • 1/4 cup herb crust*
  • 1/4 ounce truffle peelings in olive oil
  • Mornay sauce:
  • 1 gallon whole milk
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 each bay leaf
  • 1 quart jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 quart mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 quart parmesan cheese, shredded
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Seasoned flour:
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons turmeric powder
  • 8 ounces all-purpose flour
  • Roux:
  • 8 ounces butter
  • 8 ounces seasoned flour
  • Herb crust:
  • 1 quart panko
  • 1 quart parsley, stems chopped well


    For herb crust:
  • Combine all ingredients and mix until well combined.
  • Place on a sheet pan and toast in 350 F oven until crispy.
  • Cool and reserve.
  • For Mornay sauce:
  • On low flame, add butter and seasoned flour to a medium pot to make the roux.
  • In another pot, add milk, thyme and bay leaf, simmering for 20 minutes.
  • Once milk has simmered with herbs, remove herbs and add milk to the roux.
  • Stir constantly until well combined and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and add cheeses slowly, whisking until combined.
  • Cool and reserve.
  • To assemble:
  • Place pasta in a hot water bath.
  • Bring Mornay sauce up to a simmer.
  • Combine the warmed pasta with the cheese sauce and mix well.
  • Place in a soup bowl and garnish with the herb crust.
  • Place in a salamander for approximately 30 seconds to toast the crust.



About Author

Raised in the land of casseroles and deep fried cheese curds, Sam Simma left rural Wisconsin for the mountains of Wyoming in summer 2012. Her appetite for adventure is the only thing that rivals her passion for food. She has always used writing to document and critique her travel and dining experiences. Her warmest memories among family and friends have been associated with the food that was at the center of the occasion. From staging cooking shows with siblings to perfecting turtle brownies with her dad, today Sam enjoys connecting people over food by hosting cookie decorating parties, wine pairing nights, and Midwest-inspired potlucks. A dessert fanatic, she has come to impress friends and family with key lime pies, Oreo bon bons, and Snickers ice cream cakes that are far simpler than they could ever imagine. Shhh! Don’t tell.

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