If anyone asks you to be their cheese runner at the Grilled Cheese Invitational this weekend, sit down, take a bite of Tillamook extra sharp and consider your fate. Also consider the vocabulary. You will be making "sammiches" in any of three categories: The Missionary Position, The Kama Sutra, and The Honey Pot. There will be bread. There will be cheese. There will be butter. There will be judges, competitors (including 50 grilled cheese "professionals"), and a chief instigator. For some, the idea of turning a snack as comforting and pedestrian as two slices of bread united by melted cheese into a competitive sport is a violation. For others, it's a challenge. Aside from a cheese grilling assistant for all that prep, competitors are allowed only a 7" skillet, a spatula, grilling hats, grilling apron, cutting board, knife, hand sanitizer, disposable gloves, and paper towels. Oh, and enough bread, butter, and cheese to make 20 judging samples. There will also be a whole lotta groupies and cheeseniks, uninterested in the trophy but eager to try as many variations on grilled cheese sammiches as they can fit in their tum tums. It's not an honor, it's a responsibility.
Sat., April 24, 12-6 p.m., 2010