Hundreds attend Grilled Cheese Challenge

Jennifer Caseley, events manager with Versatile Management Group, left, stands with first-place winner of the Great Island Grilled Cheese Challenge Jane Crawford of Redwater Rustic Grill. Crawford’s grilled cheese The Gobbler consisted of confit turkey, cranberry bread, summer savory aioli and smoked Gouda. Maureen Coulter photo.
Jennifer Caseley, events manager with Versatile Management Group, left, stands with first-place winner of the Great Island Grilled Cheese Challenge Jane Crawford of Redwater Rustic Grill. Crawford’s grilled cheese The Gobbler consisted of confit turkey, cranberry bread, summer savory aioli and smoked Gouda. Maureen Coulter photo.
By Maureen Coulter
Sept. 15, 2014

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 featured 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 is the event manager with the Versatile Management Group. The event went really well and gave people a chance to meet celebrity chef Anna Olson from the Food Network in an intimate setting, she said.

“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 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 although she had to wait in line to get in, it was worth it, 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 sandwiches during the two hours. “We had about six or seven left.”

She looks forward to participating next year, she said.

“It was busier than I thought it would be. It was really good.”

Attendees voted chef Stephen Wilson from Mavors the people’s choice chef. The judges awarded Jane Crawford from Redwater Rustic Grille first place, Allan WiIliams and Michael Bryanton from Canada’s Smartest Kitchen were second, and James Oja from The Big Orange Lunchbox was third in the Grilled Cheese Challenge.

Casely said the feedback from the events are always awesome.

“I think people really liked the chance to talk with all of the chefs and see what different creations they’ve come up with. They are all very unique and different grilled cheeses and talk with different cheese producers and learn more about cheese and how they can cook with it.”

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