"April is the cruelest month . . ." begins the first line of The Waste Land, the signature poem by T. S. Eliot -- personally, I find November more of a pain in the ass -- but by special decree April is now officially known as National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Month. Don't ask me who proclaimed such madness, though I have an idea ... and to help celebrate April’s culinary extravagance, Kraft Singles, for the second consecutive year, will be the sponsor of the National Grilled Cheese Invitational. Yes, this is a real event and competition featuring both professional and amateur chefs cooking their inspired takes on my favorite sandwich. I just hope someone is serving up some tomato soup. The event will take place on April 25th in Downtown Los Angeles; the exact location will be announced on April 20th.
By the way, the organizers for the 7th Annual National Grilled Cheese Invitational are now asking for and accepting talented grillers to register for and compete in this year’s event. The fee is $10. All competitors must register their sandwich for competition no later than Thursday, April 23, 2009 at 8:00 pm PDT. To register, go to:
There are three categories of competition:
The Missionary Position: Any kind of bread, any kind of butter and any kind of cheese (or combination of cheeses) but no additional ingredients.
The Kama Sutra: Any kind of bread, any kind of butter, and any kind of cheese (or blend of cheeses), plus additional ingredients.
The Honey Pot: Any kind of bread, any kind of butter, any kind of cheese (or blend of cheeses), and any additional ingredients, but a sandwich that is sweet in flavor, or would best be served as dessert.
As for the winners, there will be a 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th place trophy awarded in each category.
And if you have a zeal for the cheese and feel qualified (and who doesn’t?), everyone is welcome to register as a judge on-site. All judging is done using standardized ballots and a patented, computerized database that uses a ridiculously unnecessary amount of scientifically calibrated technology to tabulate the results and determine the cheesiest winners.
And if that isn’t enough, Kraft Singles will be cooking up thousands of free grilled cheese sandwiches all day. Not to mention you can expect a share of anything and everything cheese or cheesey from poetry, comedy, art, and music to cheese grilling exhibitions.
Admission to the event is only $5.
For those unfortunate lactose intolerant folks … "I will show you fear in a handful of dust."
To call the above drum solo "cheesy" would not be an insult, but rather an accurate description of the art installation piece entitled "Cheesy Cheese Kit Diptych" in which the drums being played are rounds of cheese. The musician working the cheese-as-percussion is Dutch improvisational jazz drummer Han Bennink. The kit he is playing was made by artist Walter Willems in an installation from three years ago at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in Toronto.
Willems built the Cheese Kit Diptych installation, which consists of two drum kits. One has full rounds of real cheese (Dutch cheese, of course) propped atop drum stands. The other kit is built out of plastic cheese replicas, the kind that are used in store display windows. Apparently the reason Willems, who is Dutch, chose cheese and also the clogs-as-percussion bit at the beginning, was to mock and reinforce the international stereotype of the Dutch by using classic Dutch export products as its main ingredient.
The video of the drum performance by Han Bennink above was recorded on June 17, 2005 and reportedly was a featured artwork in the Demons Stole My Soul: rock 'n roll drums in contemporary art exhibition. As part of the performance Bennink also played a conventional drum kit.