AUBURN — Mac ‘n cheese has never looked this good.

The Cheesy Skillet logo Submitted photo

Dan Caron, renowned chef at The Green Ladle in Lewiston, is launching a new restaurant, The Cheesy Skillet, at the Auburn-Lewiston Airport at the end of the month. On the menu? A whole lot of cheese.

“Our menu will include gourmet mac and cheese with braised short ribs, caramelized onions, Baxter beer pork belly, sauteed Maine lobster mac and cheese,” Caron said. “We also (will) offer gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, which will include The Mac Attack — grilled mac and cheese sandwich — and the Capare, with much more to try.”

Caron will run the new restaurant with his wife, Mickie, and son Dustin. The ambiance of the place is pretty much guaranteed.

“The theme of our restaurant will incorporate delicious cheesy dishes and a fun atmosphere of airplanes,” restaurant planners wrote in a news release. “Guests can enjoy a meal and a fantastic panoramic airport view of incoming and outgoing aircraft.

“And will have a wonderful child’s menu,” he said, “and each child will receive a plane with their meal.”

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The menu will also offer healthy, gluten free options, Caron said.

Caron plans to continue supporting former students from The Green Ladle — the culinary arts program for six area high schools, including Lewiston — by purchasing their food or by hiring them directly as chefs and cooks. Megan Cullins, a former student of Caron’s, will be the chef for the first location.

First location, you say? That’s right, Caron and his family plan to create a chain of The Cheesy Skillet restaurants across Maine. Getting the first restaurant off the ground at the airport was a logical choice: Caron’s brother, Marcel Caron, was the chef at the airport location over 25 years ago and will be a consultant and part-time chef.

Caron has faith in the popularity of cheese — and of the American staple that is macaroni and cheese in particular.

“If you go west or south mac and cheese houses are a big hit,” he said. “We have some amazing ideas with both mac and cheese and grilled cheese. This restaurant will be a blast.”

The Cheesy Skillet will open at the end of the month, with operating hours of 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Longer hours are expected down the road as more staff are trained, according to the release.

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Caron also plans to offer cooking classes for adults and kids, along with ServSafe manager classes.

Airport Manager James H. Scheller said the restaurant will offer catering to all flights and the airport will have information about the eatery posted on the airport website at www.flytomaine.com.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for the community to visit their local airport and enjoy a delicious meal,” Scheller said.

Caron recently retired from the Green Ladle after 25 years, “which was a very tough decision,” he said. “I will miss the students, staff and administration. It been a great career.”


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