Calling all cheesy cooks both amateur and professional! Think you mix your own mac ‘n’ cheese dish far better than most? Well, set your oven timer — by 6 p.m. today, September 7th, click here to apply to participate in the first-ever Great Baltimore Mac-Off, part of Hampdenfest, Saturday, September 10. Recipes rules say your two main ingredients must be pasta and cheese, but beyond that, you can go wild with alternative additions and cooking methods. Food must be prepared Saturday morning in a licensed kitchen, which will be provided if you don’t have access to one.

Judges are Mary Smith, decorator at Charm City Cakes, Henry Hong, food writer for City Paper and Baltimore Magazine, and chef at Republic Noodle, and Tom Campbell, chef at Patchwork Catering. Mac-Off’s official host is John Houser III, food critic for The Baltimore Sun.

Competitive juices bubbling yet? “Best Home Cook,” “Best Professional,” and “People’s Choice” titles all to be awarded. Tickets for public tasting will be available at the fest.

Prizes include gift baskets stuffed with goodies from Hampden merchants and, for winners, bragging mention in City Paper.

Best perk: Proceeds from the comfort-food contest will benefit the Hampden Food Pantry, a local food bank that provides free groceries to hundreds of families in North Baltimore.

To volunteer, email or call: To apply, hurry up and click this link today! (The entry fee of $25 must be received by Friday.)