Artisanal's Grilled Cheese Sandwich contest
April is Grilled Cheese month, and Artisanal Bistro on Park Avenue, the mecca of all things cheese, is holding a Grilled Cheese Contest on Wednesday, April 18.
The judges are Terrence Brennan, Chef-Proprietor of Artisanal and Picholine restaurants, Mario Batali, Rocco Dispirito, James Mulcahy of Zagat, Helen Rosner of Saveur, Anne Saxelby of Saxelby Cheesemongers, and Alyssa Shelasky of Grub Street.
I'm one of the six finalists and was wondering if any other Chowhounds are as well.
Read more about the contest here:
To read more about the contest and finalists "Like" Artisanal Bistro on Facebook.
Smile, say cheese!
Thanks Leah. I understand that Mario Batali is no longer judging. ;-( Not sure about Rocco DiSpirito. NBC News I think is going to televise it. Not 100% sure. So it might be on TV.
In any event, it's all good to me! I just have to go, sip champagne and have fun! I never expected to make the finals, it's pure shock.
The winning sandwich is going to be featured on Artisanal's menu and 10% of the proceeds from its sale goes to the charity of the winner's choice. There is a charity very dear to me called Neighborhood Studios of Fairfield County which provides arts education programs for underprivileged and special needs children.
Some Neighborhood Studios people are coming to the judging. If I win, great the charity gets $$$$!
But my motto is "Expect the unexpected, and always have a Plan B."
Actually, I expect to lose. But my Plan B anyway is I have asked friends for "losing pledges" for me to give to the charity should that happen. In return I will thank them with some homemade sweet and savory treats. Win/Win/Win. I've collected some money to hand over tomorrow to the charity. And most people have said give it to the charity anyway even if you win. Some people are really really nice. And like the hokey pokey, that's what its all about.
Okay, I'm back!! Sorry for the delay! I didn't get home until late after the contest and had to go to work early the next morning. I'm a journalist and the news never sleeps...and sometimes neither do I.
My Three-Cheese Crisp did not win. The delightful Lizz Spano won with her "Drunken" Raclette Grilled Cheese. The finalists were all very nice interesting people and I truly enjoyed meeting them. All the best and congratulations to Lizz! Her sandwich (on Peasant bread) included French Raclette, smashed red potato, whiskey caramelized onions, and six, that's correct, six, cornichons sliced in half.
My Three Cheese Crisp on sourdough bread contained homemade Parmesan Crisps stuffed between a layer of shredded Fontina cheese and a layer of shredded Gruyere, grilled in fresh rosemary infused butter. Afterwards, two judges told me they loved my sandwich and gave it perfect scores. One said "This is what a grilled cheese should be!" Bless them!
Other entries were:
Grilled Cheese with Crispy Pork Belly, Apple Chutney and Aged Cheddar (Lynn Albright)
Grilled Cheddar with Indian Mango Pickle (Rachel Prince)
Diana Rowell's Grilled Cheese Sandwich (Pierre Robert cheese, Barely Buzzed Cheddar, Gruyere, Granny Smith apple) (Diana Rowell)
Mac & Cheese Grilled Cheese (Elbow macaroni, Gruyere, Cheddar, Parmiggiano Reggiano, tomato) (Richard Sandhaus)
Judges were: Chef Terrance Brennan, James Mulcahy - Editor at .zagat.com, Helen Rosner, Editor at Saveur, Anne Saxelby, Saxelby Cheesemongers in the Essex Street Market, Alyssa Shelasky, Grub Street, and Lauren Scala from NBC New York Live was added as a judge.
Mario Batali and Rocco Dispirito were no shows. Chef Terrance said Mario had forgotten it was his father-in-law's birthday and could not attend, and Rocco had a paying job to go to instead.
Lauren Scala was a good sport and a snippet of the contest was featured today on NBC New York Live. The ladies on the show also ate Lizz's winning sandwich. Cool!
I was thrilled to turn over a nice envelope of donations to members of Neighborhood Studios in attendance.
1. A friend samples one of my Three Cheese Crisps
2. The Grilled Cheddar with Indian Mango Pickle
3. Crispy Pork Belly, Apple Chutney and Aged Cheddar
4. Dianne Rowell's with Pierre Robert cheese, Barely Buzzed Cheddar (with rind of lavender and coffee), Gruyere and Granny Smith apple on Walnut bread.
6. More judges
7. And the winner is...
8. Parting gifts
9. Souvenir menu with my Grilled Cheese on it. Only the winner's is actually being sold...however for a price...just let me know ;-)
What a blast! I'm very proud and honored to have been part of Artisanal's Grilled Cheese Contest and loved every minute!
Your sandwich looked awfully good esp with the added rosemary. I used to do with a sandwich using feta cheese and the taste is just right. I'm sorry you lost but I'm sure others like myself have noted your recipe. I'd have to taste it but the potatoe in the winning sandwich didn't appeal to me much. Yours was cheese all the way!