Chefs compete to make 1,000 grilled-cheese sammies

Chefs Lili Sullivan, Jeff McCourt, Eric Brennan and Norm Airken.
Chefs Lili Sullivan, Jeff McCourt, Eric Brennan and Norm Aitken.

How can we possibly serve grilled-cheese sandwiches to the first 1,000 cheese lovers admitted to The Great Canadian Cheese Festival on Sunday—without it taking forever?

Invite four leading chefs to compete to see who can grill 250 cheese sandwiches the quickest, that’s how. And that’s how Sunday’s Grilled Cheese Chowdown came to be.

CHOWDOWN partner logos smallWith much thanks to Stonemill Bakehouse, Stirling Creamery and these Cheddar & Ale Trail cheese producers:

The four chefs are:

Here’s how the showdown leading the Chowdown will unfold, starting at 12 noon Sunday near The County Pavilion right in the middle of the Cheese Festival.

Picture four support crews doing the prep in the banquet hall and adjacent commercial kitchen, buttering the bread, laying on the cheese slices, getting ready to swing into action. Picture four stations with flat tops set up in the food court area of the Festival.  At the appointed hour, we fire up the propane, bring the flat tops up to heat, the teams bring out the sandwiches.

Four chefs step forward, each at one station. The start signal sounds. The chefs swing into action, seeing who can cook 250 grilled-cheese sandwiches the quickest.

Team members serve the grilled cheese to attendees who find condiments at a dedicated station nearby. Picnic tables are all around for sitting and eating.

The winning chef has $1,000 donated to the charity of his or her choice.

Chefs will be using Prince Edward County Rye produced by Stonemill Bakehouse, pre-sliced at the bakery, and unsalted butter from Stirling Creamery, plus Ontario cheddar, of course.

Admission to the Chowdown is included in the ticket for Sunday’s Artisan Cheese & Fine Food Fair. Vouchers will be issued to the first 1,000 ticket holders admitted which can be turned in for grilled-cheese starting at noon.


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