Grilled Cheese to Please

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TORONTO — The Ex, the annual carnival that descends on Toronto to mark the end of summer, usually leaves residents with stomach aches from too many little cinnamon dusted doughnuts — or this year’s deep-fried butter — but thanks to some top chefs, attendees will now have some gourmet comfort food to take with them into the fall.

At the Dairy Farmers of Canada’s Grate Canadian Grilled Cheese Cook-Off, chefs from across Canada put their spin on the Canadian favourite, and chef Michael Howell of The Tempest restaurant in Wolfville, N.S., came out on top with his Panini Toscano. The winning dish combined figs, prosciutto, arugula and Canadian Gouda cheese from Fox Hill in Nova Scotia.

The other Grate Canadian Grilled Cheese recipes created for the competition included: “Cheddar Your Wagons” and “Curry Me Brie” created by chef Paul Rogalski from Rouge restaurant in Calgary; as well as “French Toast Grilled Cheese” and “Barbequed Ham Grilled Cheese” from chef Melissa Craig of Bearfoot Bistro in Whistler.

“Canadians are sure to be inspired by these incredible grilled cheese creations,” said the competition’s winner. “This wonderful cook-off, and my fellow chefs, have all shown us that making a winning grilled cheese sandwich is simple — all you need is bread, your favourite Canadian cheese and some imagination.”

The competition was judged by food writers Rita DeMontis, Lucy Waverman and Corey Mintz.

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