Grilled Cheese Invitational Champions The Power Of Cheese
“We are the ones who stand before the mighty power of cheese,” the moderator said.
Amid the smells of cooked cheese and bread stood Timothy Walker, the founder of the Grilled Cheese Invitational, held in downtown Los Angeles this past weekend. The invitational was the 2nd 8th annual (not a mistake — last year was the 1st 8th annual) and is the largest and gooiest of its kind. Bringing together grilled cheese chefs and lovers alike, grilled cheese stands were set up on the perimeter of the lot for everyone to enjoy. No need to ask "who moved my cheese," as there were enough variations on the classic sandwich to tickle anyone’s fancy, from fried cheese balls to grilled cheese with nutella and marshmallows.
Adjacent to the hoards of people waiting in line to purchase variant grilled cheeses, like the Cheesy Mac and Rib, stood the competition. Yes, you read that correctly. This event was not just a conglomerate of food stands serving grilled cheese, but also featured a competition solely for grilled cheese. More than 200 competitors whipped up homemade recipes while registered judges sampled every sammich in each of the four categories. The sandwiches were judged on taste, presentation and "wessonality" (the latter of which judged style).
Beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturday, grilled cheese fanatics ate, and ate, and ate. From the Beer Garden to the free Tillamook Cheese samples, hundreds of people lined up to partake in the magic. Although some of the sandwiches fell short of what was expected, partially on account of their outlandish ingredients, there were many that tickled taste buds and left munchers wanting more. In particular, the Elvis, a mascarpone cheese sandwich with bruleed bananas and smoked applewood bacon, seemed to be one of the most popular of the day, with some cheese lovers going back for seconds.
With cheesy poetry, sandwiches and even a costume contest, the 2nd 8th annual Grilled Cheese Invitational was truly a unique and enjoyable event that all dairy, bread and food lovers should partake in its next time around.
So for the stuffed and satiated grilled cheese lovers who ventured downtown this past weekend, we say thank you to founder Timothy Walker — for cheese a jolly good fellow.
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