This Saturday, downtown Los Angeles hosts the “2nd 8th Annual” — aka 9th annual — Grilled Cheese Invitational. Thousands are expected to come sample grilled cheese sandwiches, and to watch a couple hundred pro and amateur chefs face off in several categories to determine who among them is a grilled-cheese-makin’ champeen.
The event’s now an L.A. tradition, but I was there at the beginning, back when it was basically a glorified loft party attended by a few dozen aspiring — and occasionally frightening — chefs; I remember one guy cooked his sandwiches with a flamethrower. And then there was the chef/freak-show performer whose secret ingredient was broken glass.
Things are more family-friendly now, with an emphasis on creating sandwiches that are actually edible. But the competition remains fierce. If you think you’ve got what it takes, today’s the last day to register as a competitor. And if you do, you may have the honor of getting your grilled cheese judged by none other than my very own self, as I’ll be among the panel of executive judges sampling the wares.
I’m not saying I accept bribes, but let me note that I was really sorry not to have snagged one of these on Record Store Day.