The Grilled Cheese Battle

Four chefs. Four bloggers.
One epic grilled cheese battle.

What makes a grilled cheese sandwich the best grilled cheese sandwich? When you’re talking restaurant quality, it translates to big flavours, contrasting textures, creative add-ins and, of course, melty, gooey cheese.

Setting the Stage

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This summer, Kraft Heinz Canada sponsored The Underground Chef Co.’s Grilled Cheese Battle in Toronto, Four teams, each boasting one chef and one food blogger, competed in front of a live audience and a panel of judges. The judges based their scores on taste, originality, use of secret ingredient, preparation steps and visual presentation. Kraft Heinz was proud to be part of the event held at Böehmer Restaurant—after all, we’re confident that our products help build the best grilled cheeses on menus today.

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Seeing chefs and bloggers take grilled cheese to the next level was exciting. It also demonstrates the menu opportunity within this familiar comfort-food sandwich. —Dane Higgins, Kraft Heinz Corporate Chef

BATTLE One

team 1

Alice Phan, Blogger + Sebastian Gallucci, Chef

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vs.

team 2

Danielle Finestone, Blogger + Raxx BHIM, Chef

Team 1 and TEAM 2 were tasked with creating six portions of a grilled cheese sandwich in 30 minutes, using beef spare ribs as the secret ingredient. TEAM 1, with Sebastian Gallucci and Alice Phan, emerged victorious. Their winning sandwich was a savoury-sweet masterpiece that starred spare ribs marinated in chimichurri, topped with a cheesy trio of Kraft Shredded Asiago, Kraft Extra Cheddar and Kraft Shredded Parmesan. The finish was a beautiful strawberry-tomato salsa, emboldened with red Thai chili.

The Kraft Cheddar melts perfectly—an important component of any grilled cheese. I was impressed with all of the Kraft cheeses—great variety and quality.  — Sebastian Gallucci

BATTLE TWO

team 3

Aleshia Pinto, Blogger + Devan Rajkumar, Chef

In round two, Team 3 and Team 4 battled it out, using bacon as the secret ingredient. Team 3, with Devan Rajkumar and Aleshia Pinto, won the round with their Crispy Cheddar & Bourbon-Bacon Grilled Cheese with Tomato Chutney. “This sandwich stood out with its layers of great flavour, as well as its ingenious use of an outside cheese crust,” says Dane Higgins, Kraft Heinz corporate chef.

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“We wanted to go bold with our cheese to stand up to the bourbon, so we used the Kraft Monterey Jack with Jalapeño Slice, then mellowed it all a bit with the Kraft Processed Swiss Slices,” says Rajkumar. The winning touch that made for a signature

vs.

team 4

Yvonne Tsui, Blogger + Russell Auckbaraullee, Chef

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grilled cheese? The cheddar crust. “We used the Kraft Shredded Mozzarella/Cheddar, sprinkled over the outside of the bread, so it really got into the pores,” says Rajkumar.

I’ve done it with mozzarella before, but the colour was amazing with the Kraft Shredded Mozzarella/Cheddar—and we got a nice, clean cheese flavour with a killer crusty texture.  — Devan Rajkumar

FINAL BATTLE

team 1

Alice Phan, Blogger + Sebastian Gallucci, Chef

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vs.

team 3

Aleshia Pinto, Blogger + Devan Rajkumar, Chef

After two competitive rounds, Team 1 and Team 3 advanced to the finals, where lobster was the secret ingredient. Team 3 created the winning Lobster & Asiago Grilled Cheese with Peach Chutney. This decadent sandwich sees ciabatta bread brushed with thyme-infused melted butter. The inside gets a swipe of Philadelphia Cream Cheese Spread that’s boosted with a bit of Kraft Rancher’s Choice Dressing, a Kraft Provolone Cheese Slice, gently poached lobster and a finish of Kraft Shredded Asiago Cheese. For a unique sandwich topper, this winning duo came up with a creative peach and parsley-stem chutney, brightened with Heinz Apple Cider Vinegar.

Seafood and cream cheese are a classic pairing, like in a crab and artichoke dip. They did a clever play on that combination here, and made sure there was a lot going on with big flavours and textures,  
says Chef Dane.

I was super impressed by the fantastic flavour profiles of the Kraft cheese products.  Devan Rajkumar

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Winning Chef

Devan Rajkumar

  • Chef, Caterer, Culinary Instructor
    & TV Personality

  • Go-to ingredient: guanciale (cured pork jowl)

  • Favourite Kraft Heinz product:
    Heinz Ketchup because of its versatility and burst of umami.

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Winning blogger

Aleshia Pinto

  • CREATOR OF Less with Bread

  • Go-to ingredient: flour

  • Favourite Kraft Heinz product:
    Kraft Singles! They melt perfectly and bring back that childhood memory of what a grilled cheese sandwich should taste like.

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Get Your Grilled Cheese On

We’ve got nine on-trend recipes for you, plus ideas on how to build your own signature sandwiches.

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