Grilled cheese takes center stage during live judging event
MADISON- A nationwide grilled cheese competition inspired original recipes with everything from Cap'n Crunch® to peanut brittle, and nachos to grilled shrimp. All these unique ingredients combined with award-winning Wisconsin cheeses delivered sandwiches that went far beyond the traditional grilled cheese.
Wisconsin Cheese is proud to announce the grand prize winner— The Green Lobster, which features a blend of Wisconsin butterkäse and fontina cheese, rich lobster and vibrant chimichurri sauce.
"After the first bite, I knew The Green Lobster was our clear winner," said Laura Werlin, James Beard award-winning author of six books on cheese. "The butterkäse and fontina cheeses were by far the dominant flavors, but all of the other ingredients in the sandwich held their own – they were the supporting cast for the cheese which had the starring role."
The $15,000 grand prize was awarded to the creator of The Green Lobster, Lorie Roach of Buckatunna, MS. Last year Roach won the Gold Award for her sandwich Mississippi Comeback that featured Wisconsin fontina and cheddar.
The judging panel of culinary experts included national magazine editors, cookbook authors and food bloggers. They reviewed the top entries in an all-day judging event. Grilled cheese aficionados from nearly all 50 states submitted over 1,600 original recipes for the competition's seventh year. The Food Network's Cheese Twins, Charlie and Michael Kalish, announced the winners live on the Wisconsin Cheese Facebook page.
"We wanted to inspire people to put a new twist on an old favorite—the grilled cheese sandwich," said Suzanne Fanning, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin Vice President, Marketing Communications. "This year's entries delivered some true masterpieces. Unique ingredients combined with Wisconsin's artisan cheeses provided delicious creations that would be perfect in the world's finest restaurants or on the family dinner table."
The 2018 Grilled Cheese Academy judging panel included Geraldine Campbell, Executive Editor at Every Day with Rachael Ray; Jennifer Darling, Editor-in-Chief at All Recipes; Stephanie & Chris Schaldenbrand, Bloggers at Chasing Snacks and winners of the 2015 competition; Beth Tomkiw, Chief Content Officer at Taste of Home; Laura Werlin, Author and American Cheese Expert; MacKenzie Smith, Blogger at Grilled Cheese Social and Erika Kubick, Blogger at Cheese Sex Death and Digital Editor at Culture Cheese Magazine.
Presented by Wisconsin Cheese, the Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Recipe Showdown is an annual competition in search of the best original recipe for a grilled cheese sandwich. For more information about Wisconsin cheese, visit WisconsinCheese.com.