Monday, April 21, 2008

The 1st 6th Annual Grilled Cheese Invitational

On Saturday, I was one of the lucky few to attend the 1st 6th Annual Grilled Cheese Invitational in Griffith Park. The whole event was just this side of utterly ridiculous…which is naturally why I loved every second of it.

Cheese. It brings the smiles.

140 different teams of grillers competed in four different categories that ranged from basic (only white bread, yellow cheese and butter allowed) to the slightly absurd (dessert grilled cheese sandwiches). A dozen folding tables surrounded the cooking area, where excited competitors doled out their creations to an eager, raucous crowd of judges. Everyone who ate was asked to submit a ballot that ranked the sandwich on taste, presentation and creativity.

I honestly had no idea there were that many ways to make a grilled cheese sandwich. There are very few foods that I love more than cheese, so Saturday was akin to a little slice of heaven. I had tiny finger grilled cheese sandwiches with Tillamook, muenster cheese on jalapeƱo cheese bread, and an unparalleled concoction that consisted of one slice white cheese, one slice yellow and a spread able cheese (I believe it was ricotta) on top.

An event like this brings out the, er, enthusiastic and the LA crazies. There was a guy wearing the bottom half of a bear costume, another in bright green furry boots, giant cheese necklaces, a woman in a wedding dress with cheese angel wings…you get my point. The free eats were only slightly more awesome than the people-watching I got done. I was hoping to find out who won before posting this, but sadly the results aren’t up yet. All in all, it was an incredibly random experience that I have to give a hearty two thumbs up.

I did not see this woman. I did see many of her kindred spirits, however.

I’m taking requests now to join me there next year. You know you want to come…

1 comment:

danielletbd said...

I cannot believe you attended that. I laughed for fifteen straight minutes when I got the invitation and then promptly tossed it off as a joke. I mean, I love cheese more than the next guy, but a grilling competition? It takes 2 seconds to make grilled cheese, and the best kind isn't even made on a grill!!!

I'm glad they did it up "Top Chef" style, though, and tried desserts and all sorts of different things. In fact, I hope to see that as a quickfire on next seasons "TC!"
And it might be worth it to go next year just to take some kooky photos. You're right: the characters who turn out are well worth attending.