Friday, June 10, 2011

Feast Your Eyes on Grilled Cheese!

Dark and Stormy Grilled Cheese - Chef Michael Howell 
of The Tempest in Wolfville
It's Friday and the weather is fantastic. It's the perfect day to indulge in some food porn. And why not? It's almost the weekend and after a week of hard work, you deserve to treat yourself to many, many delicious things. But since most of us are still at work at this time (or not), lets just feast our eyes for now.

The term "food porn" is defined in Wikipedia as:

"A provocative term variously applied to a spectacular visual presentation of cooking or eating in advertisements, infomercials, cooking shows or other visual media, foods boasting a high fat and calorie content, exotic dishes that arouse a desire to eat or the glorification of food as a substitute for sex. Food porn' specifically refers to food photography and styling that presents food glamorously or provocatively, as in glamour photography..."

Can I just put it in simple terms? For me "food porn" = pictures of food that are extremely drool-worthy, so much so that they can immediately make your stomach growl...kinda like these pictures.

French Toast Grilled Cheese - Chef Melissa Craig of Bearfoot Bistro in Whistler

Ham Grilled Cheese - Chef Melissa Craig of Bearfoot Bistro in Whistler

How did I even come across all this? Well it started off with me meeting the lovely Beatrice from Trillium Corporate Communications a few months ago at Zucca Trattoria and then had the pleasure to see her again at the 2011 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix. While at the Grand Prix, Beatrice and I were chatting about cheese (obviously) and she told me about this grilled cheese competition that happened last year, an event that was organized by Dairy Farmers of Canada where top chefs from across Canada put their spin on this classic Canadian favourite.

I love grilled cheese. I used to make all the time at home...not like these fancy looking ones, far from it, but you know... melted cheese on bread?

Anyway, interested to see what this competition was all about, I emailed Beatrice the very next day and within the hour, she emailed me back with information about the competition, along with these pictures... this... this food porn....this... "Grilled Cheese Porn".

Chef Corbin's Best Ever - Chef Corbin Tomaszeski of Holt's Café Toronto

I started salivating, my stomach started growling, my eyes started glistening...

The Spicy Shrimp - Chef Corbin Tomaszeski of Holt's Café Toronto

The competition's goal was to take the grilled cheese sandwich to a whole new level and showcase the outstanding quality, variety, taste and versatility of Canadian cheese made from 100% Canadian milk. All the grilled cheese you see on this post were created especially for this competition. 

Are you salivating yet???

Cheddar Your Wagons Grilled Cheese - Chef Paul Rogalski from Rouge restaurant in Calgary

The judges in the grilled cheese competition consisted of Canada's top food writers: Rita Demontis, Lucy Waverman, and Corey Mintz.

Curry Me Brie Grilled Cheese - Chef Paul Rogalski from Rouge restaurant in Calgary

The winning grilled cheese, named Canada's "gratest" grilled cheese, was Chef Michael Howell's Panini Toscano (below) which had figs, prosciutto, arugula, and Canadian Gouda cheese from Fox Hill Nova Scotia.

Panini Toscano - Chef Michael Howell of The Tempest in Wolfville

I'm crossing my fingers that this grilled cheese competition will return once again.

Hope you enjoyed this "Grilled Cheese Porn" and Happy Friday!

If you want to try making the grilled cheeses on this post, simply click on their names for the recipe :)

All pictures are from