The Grilled Cheese Invitational Revisited

by on April 30, 2012

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The day has come – our celebration of National Grilled Cheese Month must draw to a close. We’ve had a great cheesy run this year with some great new sandwich recipes and interviews with a few of my favorite cheese experts. But before we bid farewell to grilled cheese for a while (at least a week), I have one last topic to cover…
Love those Cabot cows!
The Grilled Cheese Invitational! You may remember when I judged the event last year – over-cheesing aside, I was eager to return again this past weekend at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Even the weather was toasty – I downed six bottles of water throughout the afternoon! – but I had an incredible time nonetheless witnessing (and tasting!) the profuse amount of grilled cheese creativity among the amateur and professional competitors. The event is a little quirky, very cheesy and a ton of fun.

The event has grown so huge, it moved to the Rose Bowl this year.

The event has grown so huge, it moved to the Rose Bowl this year.

I asked this guy how much cheese was in this enormous tub. His response: "About $300 worth!"

I asked this guy how much cheese was in this enormous tub. His response: “About $300 worth!”

The cheesiest sandwich I saw that day (from the guy with the vat of cheese): grilled cheese, smothered in cheese, served with a cheese crisp on top and a side of cheese sauce for dipping

The cheesiest sandwich I saw that day (from the guy with the vat of cheese): grilled cheese, smothered in cheese, served with a cheese crisp on top and a side of cheese sauce for dipping.

So fun to hang out with my friend Laura Werlin (aka @cheezelady) again.

So fun to hang out with my friend and fellow judge Laura Werlin (aka @cheezelady) again.

These ladies in cheese hats paused for a photo opp as they were rehearsing their kick line routine.

These ladies in cheese hats paused for a photo opp as they were rehearsing their kick line routine.

Malibu Barbie grilled cheese - there was a rum-soaked pineapple and coconut gouda inside!

Malibu Barbie grilled cheese – there was a rum-soaked pineapple and coconut gouda inside!

Gotta love a sandwich that's served with a side of breath mints.

Gotta love a sandwich that’s served with a side of breath mints.

These guys won TWO judges' awards...and their entries were vegan!! Suffice it to say, we judges love our dairy - these were high compliments!

These guys won TWO judges’ awards…and their entries were vegan!! Suffice it to say, we judges love our dairy – these were high compliments!

These gentlemen from The Biergarten at The Standard Hotel in downtown LA created a big pretzel grilled cheese, which I believe they called The Germanator

These gentlemen from The Biergarten at The Standard Hotel in downtown LA created a big pretzel grilled cheese, which I believe they called The Germanator

And, of course, there were lots of cheese-topped trophies handed out at the end of the day.

And, of course, there were lots of cheese-topped trophies handed out at the end of the day.

And that’s it for Grilled Cheese Month! You can look forward to some tasty (but perhaps not-so-cheesy) grilling in May. :-)

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Shreela April 30, 2012 at 12:50 pm

I’m not able to tolerate Annatto – a natural food dye, often used in yellow cheeses, and many Hispanic dishes (Chorizo, Adobo sauce). So I’m VERY grateful that Cabot makes undyed cheese!

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2 Angela Chee May 1, 2012 at 11:47 pm

Super fun! Who knew so many creations with grilled cheese. All your recipes this month making me hungry and so gourmet. Love it.

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3 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking May 2, 2012 at 9:54 am

What a fun event, Kathy! Thanks for taking us along through your photos! Looks like everything was absolutely delish!

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4 Danica May 2, 2012 at 11:55 am

I REALLY wanted to go to this event, but couldn’t because of a work event, but WOW, loved the entire recap and the whole Grilled Cheese month! What an honor to be a judge :)

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5 Erin R. May 7, 2012 at 10:27 am

Holy Moses, grilled cheese smothered in cheese topped with a cheese crisp and dipped in cheese? I feel like I’m going crazy having just typed that! What a FUN post! Glad you got to go, and thanks for sharing with the rest of us.

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