Who Moved My Cheese Into The 21st Century?

When I was young, grilled cheese sandwiches were simple — white bread, processed cheese and butter. And we loved them. We never considered altering or adorning them in any way because they were perfect as they were, and any attempt to improve upon them would have obviously been futile. Over the years, I've watched in amazement as many of my other childhood favorites have risen from simple standing to the hot, new food trend of the moment. Bacon, cupcakes, doughnuts and hot dogs are each examples of foods that were in the past never given a second thought, but today, updated and altered, they are appearing on menus everywhere and receiving universal adulation. So it's really no surprise that the trend du jour is none other than my old standby, the grilled cheese sandwich. Much like the hot dog, that has metamorphosed from leftover, mystery pig parts ground en masse by assembly line workers to sustainably raised, choice cuts of heritage pigs who were fed macrobiotic-organic diets, before being read their last rites and humanely laid to rest, the grilled cheese sandwich has moved into the 21st century as well. Sure there are a few rebels out there who still do it the way mom did, using processed cheese (although I'd being willing to bet theirs is made from organic milk), but the vast majority of today's grilled cheese maestros are taking their fair share of artistic license and allowing what once described a very specific combination of ingredients, to have a much looser interpretation.

Establishments proclaiming their dedication to the art of the grilled cheese sandwich are starting to appear everywhere. One of these has actually taken two trends (the mobile food truck and the grilled cheese sandwich) and combined them into one very popular entity, cleverly named, The Grilled Cheese Truck. There is also a newly opened restaurant in San Francisco, The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen, that dedicates most of its menu to the concept and features such renditions as aged white cheddar, artisan ham, house made apple mustard and rosemary butter and fontina, gruyere, roasted mushrooms, gold potatoes with melted leeks and thyme butter.

The Pop Shop in New Jersey features 33 different types of grilled cheese sandwiches on their menu, bloggers such as imagine a different world of grilled cheese devote all of their energy to the topic and, not surprisingly, an annual grilled cheese competition, The Grilled Cheese Invitational, is held every year in Los Angeles to a consistently enormous turnout. This year’s winner was none other than the aforementioned American Grilled Cheese Kitchen.

As a professional chef I find these fleeting food trends interesting and amusing to follow, but often more about hype than substance. I do, however, respect anybody who is passionate enough about something to dedicate so much effort to it and as long as they have an adoring public willing to pay for it, I say "why not" In the meantime, I am anxiously awaiting the resurgence of the Jello-mold.

Browse Culinary Arts Schools & Colleges

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
            • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
            • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
            • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            4 Program(s) Found
            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
            Show more [+]
            1 Program(s) Found

            Lackawanna College is the premier, private, accredited two-year college serving the people of northeastern Pennsylvania. With a focus on keeping higher education affordable and accessible to our immediate community, Lackawanna draws 80 percent of its student population right from our own region.

            With a main campus situated in downtown Scranton, Lackawanna’s expanding footprint also includes satellite centers in Hawley, Hazleton, New Milford, and Towanda.

            3 Program(s) Found
            • A part of the Select Education Group (SEG).
            • Offers several scholarship and financial aid opportunities for students who qualify.
            • California campuses accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), and accreditation for the Salem campus from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
            • 4 Campuses located in Clovis, Modesto, and Redding in California, and Salem, Oregon.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found

            Sullivan University is a private institution of higher learning dedicated to providing educational enrichment opportunities for the intellectual, social and professional development of its students. The institution offers career-focused curricula with increasing rigor from the certificate through diploma, associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree levels. Throughout those curricula, the university seeks to promote the development of critical thinking, effective verbal and written communication, computer literacy, and teamwork as well as an appreciation for life-long learning, cultural diversity and the expression of professionalism in all activities. At the graduate level, the university also seeks to promote a culture of research.