Mediterranean magnificence. The Branding Iron Pub’s Meditteranean Grilled Chicken was voted the Media’s Choice winner in the ninth annual Armstrong Professional Grilled Cheese Sandwich Competitiion. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

Mediterranean magnificence. The Branding Iron Pub’s Meditteranean Grilled Chicken was voted the Media’s Choice winner in the ninth annual Armstrong Professional Grilled Cheese Sandwich Competitiion. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

Best pro grilled cheese sandwich in Armstrong, according to media, is…

Record eight entries separated by mere points out of 100 in exciting competition also open to the public

Chef Cary at Armstrong’s Branding Iron Pub does not like having his picture taken.

Nor does he like appearing on video (see below, go to 12:45).

But Cary may want to get used to his newfound fame after his Mediterranean Grilled Chicken was named the Media’s Choice winner of the ninth annual Armstrong Professional Grilled Cheese Sandwich competition, held Friday, Feb. 25.

“It’s got a buttered French bread which we make nice and golden brown,” said Cary. “There’s some sun-dried tomato, feta cheese and a little bit of seasoning in there. Then I add some spinach, sprinkle it with a little basil and top it with the grilled chicken. Then we go into the provolone cheese. They’re both the blue stamp, the feta and the provolone. Everything on the sandwich is 100 per cent Canadian.”

The four judges included grilled cheese sandwich contest rookie Heather Black of the Okanagan Advertiser, seasoned veteran judges Cam Luckock of Your Country News and Roger Knox of the Morning Star, and Canadian cheese ambassador David Beaudoin.

Knox, 58, had never ordered a grilled cheese sandwich in a pub before and was quite taken with the Branding Iron’s offering.

“That was an absolutely magnificent sandwich,” said Knox. “Everything from the bread, toasted to perfection, to the grilled chicken and gooeyness of the cheese…”

The quartet of judges visited a record eight establishments who all came up with delectable versions of grilled cheese sandwiches. Each judge sampled a quarter portion and then filmed their responses outside the establishments for Mike of Rhythm Productions, who put together the video result (above).

Country Bakery’s Ultimate Canadian – featuring pepper-jack and smoked mozzarella cheese, in-house made maple bacon jam and jalapeno Granny Smith apples between two amazing pieces of bannock – placed second.

Finishing third was the Wild Oak Café’s Bird’s Grilled Cheese, which feature in-house made red pepper jelly, onion mayo, aged cheddar, mozzarella and medium Gouda from Triple Island Farms in Cherryville, all on pieces of fresh multigrain bread.

“We are so thankful that we had eight amazing restaurants joining us in the competition this year,” said event organizer Carol Hill-Lonergan of the Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce. “What is really unique is that Country Bakery is the only past participant. All of the other restaurants have either new owners or they are a first-time participant.

“It was a very tough decision for the judges. The score was out of 100 and the numbers were very close.”

The public has a chance to take part and name one of the eight sandwiches the People’s Favourite.

Simply go to one of the participating restaurants, order the grilled cheese sandwich they’ve prepared and vote. The People’s Choice winner will be announced on March 19. You can vote until March 16.

The other five restaurants taking part include:

• Country Manor Kitchen – “The BC Hammy” (BC stands for Bacon Chutney);

• House of Armstrong – “The House Smoked Beef & Aged Cheddar;”

• The Overlander – “The Grilled Chamber Cheese;”

• The Village Cheese Company – “Jalapeno Popper;”

• Handmade by Georgia and Co. – “Monte Cristo Grilled Cheese.”

READ MORE: Judges grilled in Armstrong pro sandwich competition

READ MORE: Comedy nights return to Vernon club



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

ContestsFood & Dining

 

Country Bakery’s Ultimate Canadian finished second out of a record eight entries in the Media Judging portion of the ninth annual Armstrong Professional Grilled Cheese Sandwich competition. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

Country Bakery’s Ultimate Canadian finished second out of a record eight entries in the Media Judging portion of the ninth annual Armstrong Professional Grilled Cheese Sandwich competition. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

The Wild Oak Café’s Bird’s Grilled Cheese finished third out of a record eight entries in the Media Judging portion of the ninth annual Armstrong Professional Grilled Cheese

The Wild Oak Café’s Bird’s Grilled Cheese finished third out of a record eight entries in the Media Judging portion of the ninth annual Armstrong Professional Grilled Cheese