The three finalists in our 1st Annual Tillamook Cheese Factory Grilled Cheese Contest competed last Saturday, April 23rd at the Cheese Factory to determine who among them makes the best darned Tillamook grilled cheese sandwich. From a field of 48 entries, narrowed to 10 semi-finalists, three grilled cheese lovin’ finalists did their best to impress six judges. And impress they did with three very different, unique, and cheesy recipes.
Karen Bernards of McMinnville, OR brought her Garlic Ranch Chicken Melt, with lots of Tillamook Garlic White CheddarCheese, while Courtney Lund of Salem, OR grilled a cool, zesty Cilantro Lime-Spice Grilled Cheese with our Pepper Jack and Swiss. But, at the end of the day, the sweet and savory Ooey Gooey Maple Fruity Grilled Cheesewalked away with the $500 Grand Prize, along with 24 pounds of Tillamook Cheese and a gift basket chock-full of Tillamook Goodies. Carol Abrogoua from Tillamook, the sandwich’s creator, packed plenty of the World’s Best Medium Cheddar and America’s Best Monterey Jack between thick sliced sweet Hawaiian rolls, then added maple bacon and crisp Granny Smith apple slices for a delicious winning combination!
Visitors at the Cheese Factory sampled all three of the contestants’ sandwiches and voted for the People’s Choice Award. While the voting was closer than close, Carol’s sandwich also took the People’s Choice prize home – another goodie basket and $100 in cash. As you can see from Carol’s smile, she was one excited and happy winner!
Thanks for celebrating National Grilled Cheese Month with us this April! We look forward to next year!