Oh My Cheeses is Up to the Challenge

Local business Oh My Chesses is gearing up for a challenge, the Furlani Grilled Cheese Challenge in Etobicoke, Ontario to be exact. The event is set to take place this Saturday, June 8 and owner, Lisa LeShane took some time to talk to The Racket.

“I heard about the Grilled Cheese Challenge through Instagram last year and thought it was super neat,” LeShane told us via email. There was no plan to compete in the challenge until Danielle, the manager at Port Rexton Brewery one of the places that Oh My Cheeses has set up shop suggested participating.  

According to LeShane, it wasn’t hard to apply for the Grilled Cheese Challenge as Oh My Cheeses met the majority of the requirements through operating the food truck in Port Rexton and at the St. John’s Farmers Market. One the application is filled out, each vendor set their prices, sells their food, other products and drinks from 11 AM to 8 PM.

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There are two prize categories in the Furlani Grilled Cheese Challenge, one is from a judge’s panel, and the other comes from the people that attend. Judges will award $1,000 to the first place winner, with second place receiving $300 and third place winning $200. In the People’s Choice category, there will be $100 prizes for the Best Tasting, Most Unique, and Best Gourmet sandwich. There are sixteen participants and the site also touts some “cool looking trophies” as well.

The challenge does provide some vendors as to what type of recipe they can put forward. LeShane said that a lot of thought into what type of grilled cheese that Oh My Cheeses is going to enter for consideration and public consultation. She admits to battling with indecision since Oh My Cheeses had offered 91 different grilled cheese sandwiches since setting up shop for the first time at the old St. John’s Farmer’s Market. At first, Oh My Cheeses offered four options, Cupids Blueberry Balsamic Jam, cracked pepper and Old cheddar, Gull Island Partridgeberry and brie, and a couple of sandwiches with cream cheese and jelly back in December 2014. “I decided to put a twist on one of our classic sandwiches,” she teased. “But you'll have to wait for the day of the challenge to find out which one.”

“As far as I know, we're the only team from Newfoundland and Atlantic Canada travelling up for the challenge, and I will say that our sandwich will have ingredients straight from our province!” she teased.

If you are a fan of Oh My Cheeses you can help support Lisa and her assistant, Kim when they get to Toronto. “Kim and I are in for a whirlwind, as we land in Toronto 7 AM the day before the competition and have to be ready to make many sandwiches the following day,” said LeShane. “If people would like to share our posts about the challenge and encourage their friends and relations to get out there and participate, we'd be thrilled.”

She also put a call out to readers that if anyone they know in the area and has some spare coolers, they could be put to use. “We would love to borrow them for one day,” said LeShane. “We'd even give you a delicious grilled cheese for the loan!”

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We were curious to know that LeShane has planned for Oh My Cheeses for the rest of the summer. “I feel like we are really hitting our groove at the Farmer's Market and Port Rexton,” she said. “Our wee little food truck is freshly renovated, and full of new gadgets, that will hopefully increase efficiency. We have an amazing team for this season too.”

This will be the third season for Oh My Cheeses in Port Rexton and they are coming up on their fifth birthday in December. LeShane is also hoping to crack the 100 mark for sandwiches over the summer and is planning a few surprise pop-ups along the way.

Finally, we asked what LeShane might say to the customers of Oh My Cheeses at the Farmer’s Market and in Port Rexton. “There are many times when I'm taken aback by the support Oh My Cheeses has had over the past five years,” she said. “We've continued to grow our product line and expand because the community has shown us overwhelming support. I love how much you guys enjoy bread, cheese and butter, and all the wacky (yet delicious) combinations we come up with!”

To keep up with Oh My Cheeses at the Furlani Grilled Cheese Challenge follow them on Instagram, @ohmycheeses, and @grilledcheesechallenge.