Garden Fresh Invites Restaurant Guests to Have Fun

Aaron Au’s Hack a Mac includes cornbread, Deep Kettle Chili, mac and cheese topped with cheese, bacon bits and scallions. Au says “I didn’t know how it would turn out, but in the end, it was actually quite delicious.”

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 30, 2015  – ”How do you hack your mac?” is the question Aaron Au was asked by co-workers recently as they enjoyed lunch at a Souplantation in Los Angeles.  What is ‘Hack your mac?’ he wondered before spotting a sign in the restaurant that encouraged diners to create a fun take on the mac and cheese standard.

“I’ve been eating at Souplantation for nearly a decade, so I’m very familiar with the fresh ingredients they have,” the 47-year-old Au said.  “I decided I would hack my mac with a fusion of foods that would be fun together.  Ingredients that made me think of a summer barbecue came to mind.  I didn’t know how it would turn out, but in the end, it was actually quite delicious.”

Not only was it “quite delicious,” Au’s fusion recipe won the national “Hack a Mac” contest run by Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp., owner of Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes restaurants across the U.S.

“At Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes, we always encourage our guests to have fun creating their customized fresh food combinations countless ways,” says Garden Fresh CEO John Morberg. “Our ‘Hack a Mac’ contest is the latest effort to showcase just how much fun you can have taking fresh, wholesome ingredients and mixing it up.”

Au began his mixed up “hack” by taking two pieces of cornbread and carving out a circle to form a bread bowl.  He placed it in a bowl of Deep Kettle Chili and then loaded up the cornbread with mac and cheese, adding extra cheese, bacon bits and scallions from the potato bar.

“I dabble with cooking and am an avid viewer of food channel programs.  I guess I’m a ‘foodie’,” Au says.  “All the choices you have to combine foods at Souplantation keep the creative juices flowing.  It makes dining interesting and fun.”

In October, Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes will keep eating interesting with four new mac and cheese offerings, including Mac N’Dulgence, Mike’s Nacho Mac, Mac Goes Greek and Squash Your Mac.

Au, a risk management professional at Sony Pictures in Culver City, CA, eats two to three times a month at the Howard Hughes Souplantation in Los Angeles with some of his co-workers.  He has been a member of the company’s loyalty program, Club Veg, for some time and appreciates the value.

“When we have a fun event at work, we often go to Souplantation because of the variety and value we get.  I can put away food, lots of food, so it is wonderful that at Souplantation, it is a healthy option,” Au says.

About Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp.

Each day begins fresh at 125 company-owned Garden Fresh restaurants in 15 states.  More than 300 million guests since 1978 have helped us to be number one in fresh produce and salads, made-from-scratch soups, hot pastas, freshly baked breads and muffins, fresh fruit, desserts, and more.  Guests have the freedom to create their own wholesome meal in a one-of-a-kind dining experience in a friendly atmosphere and all at an everyday value.  The company is headquartered in San Diego, CA, and has two brand names:  Souplantation in Southern California, and Sweet Tomatoes elsewhere.

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