River’s Edge Café and Patio Bar located at Hilton Palacio Del Rio on the San Antonio River Walk serves up the meanest (and cheesiest) Mac & Cheese. Classic ingredients like macaroni, cheddar, and jack cheese are elevated by bacon, Béchamel sauce, and fresh herbs. “Our modern twist on this traditional dish already has guests coming back for more!” say the genius chefs at River’s Edge.

Mac & Cheese Au Gratin (Makes 1 large or 2 small servings)


8 oz. Cooked Macaroni
1 T Butter
3 oz. Diced Grilled Chicken
1 oz. Chicken Stock
4 oz. Béchamel Sauce
4 oz. Shredded Cheddar and Jack Cheeses
1 oz. Jalapeño Bacon
Salt and Pepper
Fresh Herbs and Parmesan Cheese for Garnish



1. Melt butter in a sauté pan.

2. Add diced chicken and chicken stock and cook through.

3. Add Béchamel, shredded cheese, jalapeño bacon

4. Add cooked macaroni, season with salt and pepper and heat through.

5. Pour in cast iron skillet and top with Parmesan cheese and fresh herbs.

Share photos of your finished dish on social media using the #HiltonGoOut. Enjoy!

About Chef James Bocanegra

Executive Chef James Bocanegra is a San Antonio native with over 30 years of culinary experience. His focus is to maintain the highest culinary arts standards and support next generation culinary artists.

Chef Bocanegra has deep roots at Hilton Palacio del Rio. Growing up, his mother worked at Hilton Palacio del Rio, and James frequently visited the hotel as a child. While in high school, he worked as a bus boy at the 1980s hotel restaurant, El Comedor, located where The River’s Edge stands today. This sparked his interest in the culinary arts.