Tuesday 27 February marked the first edition of Grilled! a competition dedicated entirely to Grilled Cheese.

Since Sunday, Paris has been buzzing to the rhythm of the 18th Salon du Fromage et des Produits Laitiers, held alongside the Salon International de l'Agriculture. This not-to-be-missed trade event brings together more than 8,000 professionals from all over the world, including - cheesemongers, maturers, distributors and chefs, etc.

Tuesday 27 February marked the first edition of Grilled! a competition dedicated entirely to Grilled Cheese. Co-created with François Robin, the event brought together five candidates from different countries. The concept was simple: duels in which the participants had to use cheeses imposed by the jury, accompanied by a wide choice of ingredients (vegetables, spices, sauces, not forgetting bread). A score was awarded for each battle, and two candidates were chosen for the small final, as well as the two finalists for the grand final
Belgique, France et Royaume-Uni sur le podium !

Champion: Léo begin, cheesemonger and maturer chez La Fruitière, Belgium

"It was really cool to take part in this first Grilled Cheese competition in France! The atmosphere was really great, and it was wonderful to try something different from our core business. I loved creating my recipes live, and the inspiration came from the event itself. It was a really great experience, and I'm glad I had the chance to take part,". explains Léo

2nd place: Thibault Duval, operating manager, Fromagerie du Noyer, Auvergne-rhône-alpes, France

"Six months ago, we'd never worked with Grilled Cheese. Being on the second step of the podium is a real source of pride for me. It was a really tough challenge, but I'm really happy with this place. It makes me want to continue exploring new possibilities in the world of Grilled Cheese", says Thibault Duval.

3rd place: Nick Bayne, cheesemonger, The fine cheese co, United Kingdom

"It was so much fun to take part in this competition! It was a fantastic experience from start to finish, and I'm delighted to see Grilled Cheese taking off in France. For me, who was born with Grilled Cheese, it's incredible to see its evolution and adaptation in different countries. Taking part in this event was a real pleasure", says Nick Bayne.

The Jury 

  • Charlène Bouy, Fromagerie Charlicot, Paris 11 Following a career change, Charlène opened her own cheese shop 8 years ago in the 11th arrondissement of Paris. Her specialty ? Cocktail platters !

  • Bastien Petit, Paris In 2014, Bastien launched his blog "B'cook" with the aim of sharing the French art of living with as many people as possible. He is also the author of the book "Fromages fondus".

  • Charlotte Petitjean, Fromagerie Saint-Jean, Lyon Charlotte opened her fromagerie - cheese bar in Lyon 4 years ago, after 10 years in finance and a career change.

Leo's recipe


Ingredients for 1 Grilled Cheese:

  • One Bun
  • One endive
  • Japanese panko breadcrumbs
  • One fig
  • A handful of hazelnuts
  • A slice of Fourme d’Ambert
  • An egg
  • Red berry pepper
  • Thyme
  • Balsamic vinegar


  1. Start by cutting the bun in half and lightly browning it.
  2. Cut half the endive into pieces, season with the balsamic vinegar and set aside.
  3. Bread a generous slice of Fourme d'Ambert with panko breadcrumbs, chopped hazelnuts and thyme.
  4. Chop the other half of the endive and fry in salted butter with the chopped dried fig.
  5. Poach an egg.

Assembly: On the bottom of the bun, place a layer of raw and cooked chicory, add the Fourme d'Ambert steak, the poached egg sprinkled with red pepper, then close with the bun.

Thanks to the sponsors: Ferme de la Tremblaye, Fromagerie Gillot, Jousseaume, Fort des Rousses Juraflore, Fromagerie des Cabasses, Laiterie Perenzin, Fromages de Suisse, La boutique de La Mémée, France Frais, Terres d'Auvergne and Jasper Hill Cellars.



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