Tim Walker will stop the world to melt with you. The Pope of Cheeseville is working hard to make sure the 2011 Grilled Cheese Invitational (@grilldcheez) is bigger and cheesier than ever. Tickets go on sale today for the annual grill-off, which last year drew 230 competitors and 7,000 spectators. This year, Walker expects to draw 10,000 people.
Happening April 23rd, the 2nd 8th Annual Grilled Cheese Invitational will feature more competitors, more spectators, more professional chefs and, most importantly, sashes for executive judges. Also on tap: a costume contest and a cheese-calling competition.
The biggest change, however, comes in the competition itself, with the addition of a fourth category, Love, American Style, dedicated to the classic grilled cheese sandwich, made with nothing but white bread, orange cheese and butter. The Missionary category will now allow sandwiches made with any type of bread, butter and cheese (but no other ingredients. Anything goes in the Kama Sutra category, and Honey Pot remains devoted to dessert sandwiches.
Taking place in the same location as last year, L.A. Center Studios in downtown LA, the expanded event will include two separate areas of over 20 vendors and free samples from official sponsor Tillamook. Also, look for free Boulder Canyon Potato Chips, Izze Sparking Beverages and Kruegermann Pickles.
Tickets cost $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Judging costs an additional $5 and requires advance, online registration, which guarantees a spot in the judging arena.
Though Walker hadn't nailed down all of his pro competitors, he said he's been fielding calls from several prominent chefs interested in competing. Finally, perennial winners Eric Greenspan, who still hasn't opened his much ballyhooed grilled cheese restaurant, and San Francisco's American Grilled Cheese Kitchen might have some real competition on their hands.