Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Championship - Saturday - Iowa County Fairgrounds. Be able to tell your friends you were at Wisconsin's first annual grilled cheese competition!
First Annual Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Championship
Organized by the Iowa County Economic Development Corporation, the championship is a showcase of Wisconsin cheeses, and multiple exhibitors will be on hand through the event. Attendees hungry from watching the contestants will be able to purchase grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. Iowa County Fairgrounds, Fair St., Mineral Point, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., free admission. See Facebook, and call 608-341-6797 for more info."
"April is National Grilled Cheese Month and, as with all things cheese, Wisconsin obsesses best.
Proof? The Iowa County Area Economic Development Corporation will host the first Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Championship this Saturday, April 21, (10 a.m.-2 p.m.) at the Iowa County Fairgrounds in Mineral Point. Competitors will vie, with spatulas at the ready, to prepare the most appetizing combination of bread, butter, and real Wisconsin cheese.
The ICAEDC created the event to promote regional agriculture and local products, says event coordinator Lorin Toepper. “We’re celebrating the grilled cheese. We’re celebrating Wisconsin’s dairy heritage, and we’re saying thank you to our farmers,” Toepper says. “We get what you do and appreciate what you do, and most importantly, we’re saying we understand without farmers out in these rural parts of Wisconsin our economy would be really bad off.”
There’s no better time to celebrate the simple charm of the grilled cheese sandwich, according to Lorin. “We see this trend repeating itself through history all the time. Whenever the economy tanks, people retreat back to the familiar comfort foods,” Lorin says.
Participants will compete as an amateur or professional in one of four categories depending on the complexity of their sandwich recipes. They will be awarded points for taste, appearance, and style.
Admission is free to watch the competition unwrap one slice at a time, visit the exhibits area, and listen to live music, all while experiencing a cheese overload. Of course, grilled cheese’s eternal partner in crime, tomato soup, will be available for purchase, along with beer and wine.
The grilled cheese sandwich is a part of the shared American experience, Lorin says. “For me that’s what Wisconsin’s all about. We’ve got cheese, we’ve got milk—some simple pleasures like that—and it’s good for you.”
Viewers of Channel 27′s Wake Up Wisconsin were treated to examples of delicious grilled cheese sandwiches prepared by Dr. Lorin Toepper, executive director of economic and workforce development at Madison College and chair of Iowa County Area Economic Development Corporation (ICAEDC).
Anchor Dani Maxwell, who will also be one of the judges at the competition, interviewed Dr. Toepper about the Championship and then enjoyed several freshly prepared sandwiches featuring local Wisconsin ingredients.
Toepper cooked a sandwich representing his take on each of the four categories: Classic, Classic Plus One, Classic Plus Extras, and Classic Dessert.
For the Classic, Lorin featured Otter Creek’s Organic White Cheddar and Ramp on Oakhouse Bakery’s White Bread, along with real Wisconsin Butter! For the Classic Plus One, Toepper paired 5-year old Hook’s Cheddar with crumbled bacon from Neuske’s Applewood Smoked Meats (this was a favorite of meteorologist Brian Olson1) on the Natural Bakery’s Wheat Bread. Taking a French twist on the Classic Plus Extras, Toepper featured some President Brie on Madison Sourdough Wheat Bread with sauteed mushrooms from HiddenValley and fresh tarragon. Finally, Dr. Toepper paired Uplands Cheese’s Pleasant Ridge with Quince and Apple’s Strawberry and Rosemary Preserves for his take on the Classic Dessert sandwich.
Thanks to WKOW-TV’s entire crew for supporting our event!
Amateur and professional grilled cheese makers will compete in pursuit of the perfect grilled cheese sandwich from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Iowa County Fairgrounds in Mineral Point, Wis.
Lorin will also be on Wisconsin Public Radio's Joy Cardine show this Friday 4/20 from 6 to 7 AM talking about this great event.
Join us at the First Annual Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Championship! This Saturday. Iowa County fair grounds, Mineral Point, Wisconsin.
Register for free tickets to the First Annual Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Championship.
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Iowa County Area Economic Development Corporation (ICAEDC).