Just under 30 eateries from around the Waikato have, for the past month, been heating up their grills and melting the hearts of locals with the ultimate comfort food – the cheese toastie. Over 950 votes were cast as the public enjoyed every thing from the classics, like Red Kitchen in Te Awamutu’s Croque Monsieur or Furnace’s Philly Steak sandwich to the likes of Cucina Café entry, a lasagne. Andrew Clarke at Camarosa went all out with a Croque Lobster – a lobster tail in golden toasted Volare brioche with melting Clevedon buffalo mozzarella and a Meyer garlic and chive Gouda mornay, poached egg, crayfish oil, crispy Vandy bacon crumbs and spicy kimchee. While Mr Pickles turned a toastie into the perfect bar snack selling over 1800 of their Cubano Slider.
With the votes counted the finalists were determined and then mystery judged before a grand winner was determined. And this year the judges were won over by Cinnamon Cafes “Grind it up Pierre”, saying it was a beautifully executed classic combination.
The French classic frit au steak ‘hache’ turned into toastie form proved to be a huge hit with hundreds of comments from voters like these;
“Loved the beef and onion combination! And it was cooked to perfection”
“Very tasty, amazing presentation, good portion size and at a great price”
“Soooooo tasty and cheesy.”
“Taste and flavour was amazing, well presented.”
“The deliciousness of it all, mmmmmmm mince and cheese ?”
“Delicious! Lovely combination.”
In its second year the Meyer Cheese Melt Challenge had twice as many entries and went for twice as long in 2020. This saw a whopping 269kg of local cheese consumed. Award winning local cheese makers, Meyer Cheese were sponsors of the challenge in its debut in 2019 and were quick to come back on board for 2020. Miel Meyer admits a grilled cheese toasties has been “my favourite food since forever.” “So, when the concept of ‘Melt’ was launched by WFI we jumped at the chance to support it. This is us! Good soul warming food.” And Miel took the job as sponsor seriously, trying over half of the entries.
Meyer Cheese Melt Challenge 2020 – Results
Cinnamon Café, Sandwich Rd, St Andrews with – Grind it up Pierre
Ground beef, onion, cheese and their own secret sauce, served with French fries and hollandaise.
People’s Choice Winners
Punnet Eatery, Newells Rd, Tamahere with – Black Beauty
Rich black pudding, dry cured bacon, Clevedon buffalo curd, NZ black truffle and Meyer goat gouda.