The three finalists in our 3rd annual Tillamook Cheese Factory Grilled Cheese Contest cook-off competed last Saturday, April 27 at the Cheese Factory to determine who makes the best darned Tillamook Grilled Cheese sandwich on the planet. From a field of 90 entries, narrowed to seven semi-finalists, these three grilled cheese lovin’ finalists did their best to impress six judges to take the Grand Prize Winner title. And impress they did with three very different, unique, and cheesy recipes.
Colleen Bill of Post Falls, Idaho brought her Grilled Stromboli, with lots of Tillamook Shredded Italian Blend Cheese and Vintage White Smoked Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese and was our 2nd runner up. Donna Beck of Bonney Lake, WA competed with her Cheddar and Ham with Spiced Apple Bacon Compote and Maple Butter, a slightly sweet and spicy delight with our Sharp Cheddar. Donna went home with 24 pounds of cheese and a goodie basket as our 1st runner up. But at the end of the day, the creator of the unique and savory Spicy Turkey Cranberry Grilled Cheese walked away with the $500 Grand Prize, along with a gift basket chock-full of Tillamook goodies and bragging rights for the best Tillamook Grilled Cheese. Karla Pollich of Portland, OR, packed her sandwich with thick slices of Vintage White Extra Sharp Cheddar and Tillamook Swiss, then grilled it up on sourdough bread with herbed Turkey, bacon and a cranberry jalapeno jelly. Karla’s sandwich will be featured at the Creamery Café at the Cheese Factory this week so come on out and give it a try!
Our visitors also got into the act by sampling all three of the contestant’s sandwiches and voting with their applause for the Audience Favorite. This year the voting was closer than ever, with our judges declaring a three-way tie! All three contestants took home coupons for Tillamook Cheese or Ice Cream.
Join us next year for the 4th Annual Contest, and thanks for celebrating National Grilled Cheese month with us this April!