For those talking about reinstating traditional American values, take a look at Thomas Jefferson. He was an anti-Federalist, believed in economic isolationism, and in 1802, he did what no founding father had done before. He served macaroni and cheese at a White House dinner.

This quintessential American dish has undergone numerous variations and bastardizations since then (weenie chunks? orange cheese powder?), but the love of the dish remains.

Charleston celebrates it on Nov. 12 with the Lowcountry’s first ever macaroni and cheese cook-off. Dubbed the Mac-Off, the competition features more than a dozen local restaurants battling for the title of Charleston’s Best Macaroni and Cheese. From 7 to 10 p.m. at the Visitor Center’s bus shed, guests have a chance to sample and vote for their favorites ($1 per sample) while local bands Fowler’s Mustache and the Diesel Bros. provide music for the mac.

A portion of the proceeds will go to Charleston Peace One Day. Sorry, no write-in votes for mom.