We’re looking to make The Big Cheesy a permanent fixture in Manhattan Februaries, and this weekend was step one. In the past two days we’ve had roughly 45 grilled cheese sandwiches, been in about six food comas, and seen more than 1200 happy faces. big_cheesy-95 (1)We experienced seven of the most creative cheese chefs in New York City, tasted pulled pork and sharp cheddar, a trio of Swiss cheese and mac n cheese grilled cheese. There was also that gigantic carved Big Daddy’s wheel. Check out what the guests thought about the contestants’ recipes and what they were. Turns out that at this grilled cheese championship, the full-time grilled cheese shops won out. The Big Cheesy champ! Melt Shop’s sandwich trio: Sharp cheddar and pulled pork with homemade BBQ sauce on sourdough bread; blue and cheddar cheese with bacon and cranberry pepper jam on sourdough; goat cheese and fontina with roasted wild mushrooms and parsley pesto.

Big Cheesy runner up Little Muenster rounded grilled cheese: Gruyere, tallegio and fontina cheeses with membrillo, a pear and apple paste, and prosciutto on organic peasant bread. Big Bronze Lucy’s Whey’s Chelsea Market classic: Prairie Breeze cheddar with fig jam, sea salt and olive oil on Amy’s Bread. Fourth Place – Big Daddy’s gigantic recipe: Macaroni with a parmesan crust and six different types of cheese, bacon, tomato, truffle oil on Orwasher’s Bread. Fifth – Casellula’s elegance: Scharfer Max, gruyer and Emmenthaler Swiss cheeses with pickled pepper relish. Most Underrated – Murray’s Atomic Bomb: Taleggio with braised short ribs, caramelized onions, spicy relish, jalapeno peppers, arugula and mazi piri piri hot sauce. Most Avant Garde – Tartinery’s Croque Madame: Gruyere and ham with a fried egg on poliane bread. Fancy Cat Productions shot a great story about The Big Cheesy including interviews with all the contestants. Watch it right here.