Skip to content

Judges grilled at Armstrong pro sandwich event

Record eight - 8! - grilled cheese entries snorked down in four hours by media judges; public can take part up to March 16
Rebekah Brown from The Village Cheese Company introduces the shop’s Jalopeno Popper sandwich to the media judges in the ninth annual Armstrong Professional Grilled Cheese Sandwich competition Friday, Feb. 25. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

Great news for grilled cheese sandwich lovers.

There is a record number of entries to try for Armstrong’s ninth annual professional grilled cheese sandwich competition, part of the annual Cheese – It’s a Natural celebration, which will be held March 18 and 19.

A total of eight local restaurants and pubs entered the pro competition, with media judging held Friday, Feb. 25. The public can go to each of the participating eateries, order and try the grilled cheese concoction and then vote on it.

The media winner will be announced in the coming week. The public’s choice favourite will be announced on March 19.

“This annual public event is a farm-to table showcase of local cheese and pairings, with tastings seminars, competitions, displays and more,” said Carol Hill-Lonergan from the Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce.

Celebrity judges Heather Black of the Okanagan Advertiser (making her grilled cheese judging debut), Cam Luckock of Your Country News, Roger Knox of the Morning Star and Cheese Ambassador David Beaudoin (a huge part of the Cheese – It’s a Natural weekend) had a ton of cheesy fun but a few difficulties getting through quarter sections of the eight entries.

“This was the toughest one yet,” said Knox, a veteran of seven previous judging events. “Not just because of the record entries, but they were all fantastic. I had a three-hour cheese-induced nap when I got home.”

“This was a blast. Thanks for having me,” said Black.

The eight entries include, in the order attended by the judges:

The Overlander – “The Grilled Chamber Cheese;”

Country Bakery – “Ultimate Canadian;”

The Village Cheese Company – “Jalapeno Popper;”

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

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

The Branding Iron Pub – “Mediterranean Grilled Chicken;”

Wild Oak Cafe – “Bird’s Grilled Cheese;”

House of Armstrong – “The House Smoked Beef and Aged Cheddar.”

In one of the best bribe attempts yet, the House of Armstrong also included a grilled cheese cupcake, which is available for sale at the restaurant.

And the defending media champion Country Bakery added a sword of cubed pepperjack cheese and an extra slice of bacon to its sandwich.

Hill-Lonergan said Cheese – It’s a Natural has expanded to include more than just cheese.

“This year, there is something for everyone to connect to our local food,” she said.

More details on the event can be found on the chamber website.

READ MORE: Bakery gets judges’ attention in Armstrong pro grilled cheese sandwich event

READ MORE: Armstrong’s best grilled cheese sandwich is…

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Entries in the ninth annual Armstrong Professional Grilled Cheese Sandwich competition include (Top row from left): Grilled Chamber Cheese (Overlander Restaurant); Ultimate Canadian (Country Bakery); Jalopeno Popper (Village Cheese Company); Middle row from left: BC (Bacon Chutney) Hammy (Country Manor Kitchen); Monte Cristo Grilled Cheese (Handmade By Georgia); Meditteranean Grilled Chicken (Branding Iron Pub); Bottom row from left: Bird’s Grilled Cheese (Wild Oak Cafe); The House Smoked Beef and Aged Cheddar (House of Armstrong); Bonus at House Of Armstrong - Grilled Cheese Cupcake. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
Read more