Today I set off to my second ever cooking competition. The theme this afternoon will be "Grilled Cheese", a classic sandwich with many possibilities, some delicious, some just silly. I hope that my entry will land on the delicious side. I've entered into the "Honey Pot" category, which is for sweet or dessert themed Grilled Cheeses. My recipe, a spin on my popular Winter Fruit Caprese experiment has been a big hit with family and friend tasters so far. I'll publish a full recipe later this week, but for now, I'll treat you to a sneak peak of the yumminess.
A combination of brie, kiwi, strawberry, and basil infused marscapone inside two slices of butter grilled pound cake, drizzled with a balsamic reduction. At todays competition, I'll be serving it with a scoop of basil marscapone ice cream, also drizzled with reduction. That is, if the gods permit my ice cream to survive in the cooler. (Please please please please please)
But, I won't be the only one grilling for the win this afternoon. There will be a whole slew of competitors in the following Grilled Cheese categories:
The Missionary Position: Standard bread, standard butter, and standard cheese.
The Kama Sutra: Exotic or standard bread, butter, and cheese plus additional ingredients.
The Honey Pot: Exotic or standard bread, butter, and cheese, but a sandwich that is sweet in general, or would best be served as dessert.
Lambada: The Texas-Exclusive category – Quesadillas!
From what I can gather there is a Grilled Cheese King & Queen who will be sampling and voting on one of every sandwich, but the bulk of the votes are given by the crowd. Each competitor grills up five sandwiches, which they split into four pieces, giving them a total of twenty samples. Two samples head to the judges table, and eighteen go to the crowd. Each sample is graded on things like taste, presentation, creativity, etc. and winner's are picked based on their total scores.
A $5 cover will get you into the event as a spectator, and according to their website you can expect to eat at least 2 samples from competitors. There are also free sandwiches available from Chedd's and Antonelli's Cheese Shop, and a cash bar. So, not a bad spread for five bucks. Grilling starts just after 2pm, so Austinites, get a move on and get yourself down to Austin's #39 Moose Lodge for some grilled cheese goodness! (2103 E. M. Franklin Austin, TX)
Check out the event's Yelp page for more cheesey details.
For a taste of what's to come, check out this video from last year's event.