Think You Make the Best Grilled Cheese? Here's How Your Sandwich Can Win Money

Think You Make the Best Grilled Cheese? Here's How Your Sandwich Can Win Money

You thought your signature grilled cheese sandwich was just a tasty snack? Turns out it can win you cash.

By Lizbeth Scordo

When it comes to grilled cheese, most of us keep it simple. A good cheddar, some fresh sliced bread, a little butter in the pan and voila, the perfect All-American sandwich. But, if your grilled cheese game goes way beyond the usual and you often find yourself experimenting with creative combinations—using unlikely ingredients to turn your melty lunch uber-gourmet—well, you may be able to make some cash off your talent.

In honor of April being National Grilled Cheese Month (really just an excuse to eat more cheese and bread), a website called The Grilled Cheese Academy is kicking off its 5th Annual Grilled Cheese Recipe Contest. Note: This Academy isn't actually academic at all; it's just a fun grilled-cheese-recipe-and-food-porn-portal run by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. The organization will be giving out more than $28,000 in cash prizes, including $15,000 to the grilled-cheese maker who impresses them the most. Starting April 1, you can submit your creation via their website, and entries must include the sandwich name, a quick description, preparation instructions, ingredients, and a good photo of the finished product.

But it's clear you're going to have to think outside the recipe box. Past champs and runners-up have come up with some killer concoctions. Last year, an amazing-looking Hawaiian-style sandwich took the bronze. The Mahalo (below) included chipotle jack, aged cheddar, a pineapple-bourbon chutney and a Chinese-five-spice-and-brown-sugar-rubbed pork belly on what just might be our favorite bread product of all time: the pretzel roll.

In 2014, The Madisonian was named as a judge's choice. And no wonder: It was basically a mac-and-cheese sandwich layered with bratwurst and sauerkraut and served on jalapeno-cheese bread—because, you know, more cheese:

2013's big winner was The Kennebunkport, which ingeniously combined Mascarpone and Provolone with lobster and tomatoes, proving you actually can mix fish and cheese, at least on a sandwich:

And the first grilled cheese to ever take gold at the contest's kickoff in 2012 was the sweet-and-savory Bewitching, where Gouda and Provolone were paired with blackberries, spinach and arugula on basic white bread:

May the ooziest invention win. 

Select images above are courtesy of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.
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