Twist on Wisconsin Classic Takes Best of Show in 2014 Grilled Cheese Recipe Showdown

With nearly 1,300 entries in this year's Grilled Cheese Recipe Showdown, choosing a winner was no easy task. It was, however, a tasty one. The Grilled Cheese Academy judged recipe entries based on taste, creativity and submitted photography. In the end, a sandwich featuring a classic Wisconsin cheese was named Best of Show.

The limburger sandwich was a popular working man's lunch in the early 1900s – a slice of pungent limburger cheese between two pieces of rye bread with sliced red onion and mustard. "The Limburger Leap" by Alyssa Nelson of Minnetonka, Minnesota, catapults this combination into the 21st century with elevated flavors and classic Wisconsin ingredients. The strong notes of limburger are balanced by mild and creamy baby swiss, the onions are slowly caramelized in beer, and with the addition of bratwurst with whole grain mustard, what was once a simple snack becomes a hearty, unforgettable grilled cheese sandwich. As the Best of Show winner, Nelson received a cash prize of $10,000 and a Wisconsin Cheese gift basket.

First place was awarded to "The Monsieur" by Laurel Ziemienski of Kenosha, Wisconsin. Her grilled cheese creation made with Wisconsin gouda, brie, cheese curds, parmesan, duck fat fries and bacon earned her a $3,500 cash prize and a Wisconsin Cheese gift basket. Matthew Alcott of Whitefish, Montana, took second place for "The Bardot" featuring Wisconsin brie, brown-sugar roasted pork belly, candied walnuts, bosc pears and an onion and fig spread. He received a $2,500 cash prize and a Wisconsin Cheese gift basket.

Sponsored by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, the contest invited contestants from around the country to create the tastiest, most unique grilled Wisconsin Cheese sandwich. This year, three popular food bloggers served as guest judges: Paula Jones of bell'alimento, Heidi Larsen of FoodieCrush and MacKenzie Smith of Grilled Cheese Social.

Download a photo of Best of Show winner "The Limburger Leap". To view all the winning recipes, including the Judges Choice winners, visit For additional grilled cheese recipe photos or information, contact Heather Porter Engwall at or 608-203-7235. For more information about Wisconsin Cheese, visit