By Maureen Coulter
The parking lot at Cows Creamery in Charlottetown was jammed with cheese enthusiasts Sept.14 as 462 people attended the third annual Great Island Grilled Cheese Challenge.
The sold-out event had 15 different grilled cheese sandwiches to sample, along with local wine and beer, samples from local cheese producers and activities for children, including bouncing castles and crafts provided by The Fun Place.
Jennifer Caseley, event manager with the Versatile Management Group, said the event went really well and gave people a chance to meet celebrity chef Anna Olson, from the Food Network in an intimate setting.
“It was an awesome family-friendly Fall Flavours event.”
Carol Lemay from Ottawa enjoys visiting her daughter on P.E.I. this time of year because she enjoys the Fall Flavours Festival.
This was Lemay’s second time at the Great Island Grilled Cheese Challenge and the event on Sunday was fabulous, she said.
“The people that are waiting on you are so friendly and kind.”
Lemay tried several of the grilled cheese sandwiches and thought they were all delicious.
“It’s just amazing the concoctions they come up with.”
And though she had to wait in line to get into the event, it was worth the wait, she said.
Her favourite grilled cheeses were from Jane Crawford and Lynne Peters.
“I was torn between the two.”
Lynne Peters of Moo Moo Grilled Cheese in Cavendish made a tomato basil grilled cheese sandwich with Cows Creamery extra-old cheddar cheese and fresh Island tomatoes and basil.
This was Peters first time being a part of the event, but she has attended it in previous years.
“It just went great. I had a great time. It was fun,” said Peters, who made 130-grilled cheese during the two hours. “We had about six or seven left.”
It was busier than she thought it would be but looks forward to participating next year, she said.
Attendees voted chef Stephen Wilson from Mavors the People’s Choice Chef and the judges voted Jane Crawford from Redwater Rustic Grille with first place, Allan WiIliams and Michael Bryanton from Canada’s Smartest Kitchen with second, and James Oja from The Big Orange Lunchbox third for the Grilled Cheese Challenge.