Grilled Cheese Throwdown III at Formaggio Kitchen
What's better than eating grilled cheese? Getting to judge a grilled cheese competition! :D Chris "California Cheesin'" Vamos challenged Adam "Cheesehammer" Centamore, the reigning champion, to a grilled cheese throwdown, and everyone who came to the event wound up being a winner.
The first round was all about pairing with an excellent white wine, 2012 Domaine Pichot Vouvray from Vouvray, France. Chris started out with a childhood classic sandwich: Wonder Bread and Kraft singles with exquisite Rodolphe le Meunier salted butter. As good as this was, though, Adam won for me with Préféré de nos Montagnes with homemade apricots braised in wine and rose water. I was in the minority, though, and Chris won the round.
The second round was all about sheep's milk cheese and pairing with 2013 Messanges Rosé from Val de Loire, France. Adam started out strong with a variation on one of his favorite sandwiches. This one had Brebis Abbaye de Belloc with black cherry butter and slivered almonds on challah bread. Chris came back with a strong response: Brebis Haut Bearn with onion confit on peppered brioche, but Adam's won again for me, as well as for the rest of the class.
Round three was all about meat and pairing with an awesome red wine, 2013 Thumhöf St. Magdalener from Alto Adige, Italy. Adam started off with Fontina Val d'Aosta with 18-month Proscuitto di Parma, arugula, and fig purée, which was absolutely amazing. Chris answered with his take on a Philly cheesesteak: Australian Wagyu beef, Cheese Whiz, peppers, and onions. I've never had a cheesesteak with such good steak, but Adam still won the round for me and overall.
Round four was the apple dessert round, and was paired with the somewhat local Eden Vermont Iced Cider. Chris went first with whipped cream cheese with honey and apples on challah bread. This was amazing and so good, but so was Adam's dessert: Clothbound Cheddar and Veenwiedekaas Reserve (5-year aged Gouda) with Fuji apples and salted caramel on peppered challah bread. In the end, Adam won this round, as well as the competition, but as I said above, anyone who gets to participate in this event and eat these awesome sandwiches is a winner. :D