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2018 Wildcard Jono Boads Talks Grilled Cheese Invitational

Wednesday 2nd October 2019

Longing to be this year’s Wildcard entrant in the Prahran Market Grilled Cheese Invitational? Then read on grillz-fan because we’ve got the inside skinny for you from inaugural comp winner Jono Boads.

How much thought did you put into your entry into the comp (the ’25 words’ or less bit?)

I actually submitted my entry while I was sitting at the pub waiting for a friend to rock up, it didn’t take me long at all and I can’t even really remember what I wrote… probably something about cheese being the most important thing in the world to me.

How hard was it working out what to cook?

I had made similar toasties before, the main thing for me was to combine ingredients that I love and use the best quality produce I could find. My toastie combined Montgomery’s Cloth Bound Cheddar, Marcel Petite Comte, Braised Kangaroo, Tasmanian Leatherwood Honey, Bell Peppers and Chives.   It wasn’t hard picking the ingredients but figuring out best preparation and proportion took a few goes on the old toastie machine.

What was the best thing about the experience?

One of the best things about the experience was being able to make my toastie alongside 5 amazing chefs… I’m just a guy who gets up 12am and makes cheese toasties in the dark because I can’t contain myself. All the other competitors were acclaimed Melbourne Chefs with their own unique styles and they were all very polite and welcoming to me which helped ease my nerves on the day. 

You had a squad with you last year (with printed T-shirts we seem to recall.. !) – would you recommend this year’s competitor bringing their crew?

Absolutely! I’m very lucky to have an amazing group of friends that came along and supported on the day. I would encourage this year’s wild card to bring along as big a crew as possible, enjoy the Cheese Fest with them beforehand and then go to the pub for a few celebratory beers afterwards… That’s my kind of day.

What’s your recommended grilled cheese intake per week?  For optimum competition-readiness of course.

I think for everyone preparation is different – do what feels right for you.  For me, I have a very intimate and romantic relationship with grilled cheese sandwiches, so I’ll usually eat a few a week but I do remember the day before last year’s Invitational I had to make heaps! 10+ to try and nail my recipe. 

Favourite thing about Prahran Market?

The Prahran Market is full of amazing traders who are all super passionate about their produce and offerings. I love Gary’s Meats, Market Lane Coffee, Q Le Baker but my favourite place is Maker & Monger. Anthony Femia and his team there have unparalleled knowledge and appreciation for all things cheese and their ‘Fondue’ grilled cheese could well be one of the best on this earth.

Top 3 favourite cheese for grilling, toastie-style?

My favourite cheeses are alpage cheeses and they are great for toasting! Gruyere, Comte, and Fontina are three amazing ones that come to mind that also represent the big alpine cheese producers in Switzerland, France and Italy.  They are all cows milk cheeses with rich and complex flavours that make for the most decadent of grilled cheeses.

Any words of advice for this year’s entrants? 

Have fun! When I think grilled cheese I think fun, put lots of effort into your toastie but no need to be too serious about everything else, just enjoy it. Try and have as much prep as you can done before you get on stage so you can spend the 20 minutes putting everything together and have enough time to reach grill perfection. 

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