my sister is visiting from mexico city. I've spoken of her before. she's rad. so smart. so silly. in addition to being an editor for a think tank with the world trade organization out of geneva switzerland, she is a foodie with a food blog and a culinary radio show on public radio out of switzerland entitled 'caitlin's kitchen'. what better way to show a foodie a good time but by taking them to a grilled cheese contest!? I had read about the grilled cheese invitational in several papers and heard their announcements on NPR. however, with all of the press they did, there was no mention of a location. turns out, this group of grilled cheesers are quite the Illuminati. they choose to keep the location a secret so as only the diehard grilled cheese fans will find it. caitlin and I were steadfast on eating that cheese so we took to the streets and after several stops on the web, we took a drive over to the cheese store of silverlake. we walked in calmly showing no signs of the hope we held inside. 'do u know the location of the grilled cheese initiative?', I asked an employee. with a chesire cat smile, she replied with a very clear she knew where it was, 'nope'. thwarted! the shop owner overheard our request and came over with the address xeroed on the back of a piece of paper. he carefully slipped it to us and disappeared back amongst the roquefort and camembert. eureka! we got it. we rushed to the car with little time to spare and made our way to griffith park where the contest was being held. as we walked from our car to the clearing we saw hundreds of people dressed in orange and outrageous costumes. there was a mad max-style thunderdome set up in the round with the chefs in the cooking up their cheesy creations in the middle and then around that were the hundreds of visitors who act as judges. when a new sandwich comes off the pan, the person or part of the group yelling and chanting 'CHEESE' the loudest will be awarded with a sample to judge. upon getting a sandwich , there is a ballot attached to the paper plate in which you judge the grilled cheese on presentation, cheesiness, uniqueness of ingredients and of course, how it tasted. we screamed for cheese as loud as we could and ended up with a lovely pecorino with truffles, an undercooked american, a gloppy and oily cheddar and a pizza-like mozz with oregano. after several pieces and several hours of shouting we were wiped out. on the way to the car, we dreamt up which ingredients we would use to take the grand prize. but we can't tell you that here. you'll have to find it for yourself next year.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Posted by Jess Zaino Worldwide, Inc. at 7:25 AM