11th Annual Grilled Cheese Invitational is taking place on 4/20 this year, but it's a little shocking the cheesy, raucous food fest doesn't always take place on 4/20. Mostly because you eat a lot of grilled cheese, whether you're one of the judges screaming out for melty goodness from the line of competitors, or if you hit up one of the food trucks lined up outside. This year the best thing since sliced (buttered and grilled) bread makes its return to the Los Angeles Center Studios where more than 300 amateur and professional cooks will compete with their cheesy concoctions to take home cool trophies. And tickets go on sale this week.
As an Executive Judge three years in a row, we can honestly say we've never eaten more melted cheese in our life, but it's always a blast. It's amazing to see what people come up with for the Love American Style (white bread, butter, orange cheese), Missionary Position (any type of bread, butter and cheese), Kama Sutra (savory sandwich with any type of bread butter, cheese and any additional signature ingredients) and the Honey Pot (a sweeter version) heats. But the Spaz is probably our favorite category: a "sammich" of such weirdness that it can only be called a Spaz. One caoted with red hot Cheetos on the outside is probably most memorable. The professionally made sandwiches are definitely top contenders; past winners include The Foundry's Eric Greenspan, Dave Danhi from the Grilled Cheese Truck, and Erik Kelly from the Cheese Store of Beverly Hills.
If you want to compete, go here. If you want to be one of the screaming judges begging for grilled cheese sandwiches to rate the presentation, taste and "Wessonality", go here. If you just want to go and see the chaos, tickets are $12 per person and go on sale this Friday, March 8.