A dedicated Hudson Valley mac and cheese fan has become somewhat of a celebrity for the devotion he's shown to his favorite food.

Juan Gil didn't seek the title of mac and cheese superfan, but it's a title he is quite proud of.

Gil, like most of the country, loves macaroni and cheese. But for this Dutchess County man that love has turned into somewhat of an obsession. It all started when Gil found out that Mix N Mac would be opening a location in Dutchess County. The gourmet macaroni and cheese shop launched its first store in Middletown. Being a macaroni megafan, Gil had made a pilgrimage to the Orange County location on several occasions, only strengthening his love for the creamy pasta dish.

In the fall of 2018, it was announced that Mix N Mac would be opening a second location in Dutchess County. Gil said he was overrun with excitement when he found out it would be in Wappingers Falls. But after he saw the store's "coming soon" sign go up just steps away from his place of employment, Gil says he "totally lost it."

Working at the T-Mobil store on Route 9, Gil checked on the restaurant's progress every day, patiently waiting for Mix N Mac's grand opening. He even held off visiting the Middletown location, hoping to make that first bite even more special.

Weeks turned to months, months turned to years, and then the pandemic hit. But finally, the day Gil had been waiting for was finally in sight. Mix N Mac announced that they were hiring and would be opening soon. While breaking in their kitchen, the restaurant owners visited nearby businesses, bringing along samples of their decadent mac and cheese. But, as fate would have it, the day they brought free food to the T-Mobil store was Gil's day off.

Heartbroken, Gil made it his mission to be the very first person in line when Mix N Mac officially opened its doors. On January 7, Gil was at the store early and ordered a Buffalo Chicken Mac, becoming the restaurant's first official customer. But that was just the beginning of the story.

The next day, Gil returned. And the next, and the next. Every day, the mac and cheese fanatic would show up to the delight of the Mix N Mac employees. Each time Gil would pick up his food, the restaurant would post a video of him on their Facebook page. Quickly, Gil became somewhat of a celebrity, receiving cheers and applause as he entered the store for his daily order. One customer who learned of Gil's dedication on the Mix N Mac Facebook page even offered to purchase his lunch, which Gil graciously accepted.

 

 

 

After the first two weeks of Mix N Mac being open Gil has only missed one day; his day off from work. When he learned that the Mix N Mac employees missed seeing him Gil vowed to not make that mistake again, spending his next day off driving in to pick up some lunch.

Gil hasn't ordered the same thing twice. His goal is to try every single menu item, which might take him awhile. We counted over three dozen mac and cheese combinations on the extensive Mix N Mac menu, not to mention their various mac balls and salads. So far, Gil says his favorite is Mexi Mac, with pepperjack cheese, ground beef, chorizo and pico de gallo.

When asked if he was concerned about gaining weight by eating so much macaroni and cheese, Gil says he has cut back on his other meals because of the daily carb-load and eats healthy throughout the rest of the day. He's also found himself hitting the gym more often.

Mix N Mac management says they're thrilled that Gil is such a fan of their food. This week, they presented him with a company t-shirt as a token of their appreciation.

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