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Walter Manzke, Eric Greenspan, Ricardo Zarate and more face off on the Hot Knives stage at Saturday's Grilled Cheese Invitational

April 19, 2011 |  2:52 pm

Grilled-cheese Need another reason to hit up Saturday's Grilled Cheese Invitational?

Evan George and Alex Brown, the creative cooks, cheesemeisters and beloved indie-rock food writers behind the Hot Knives blog are hosting a chef stage. In typical Hot Knives fun-loving bombast, it's called "Hot Knives GCI Thunderdome."

The stage will feature several hours of cooking, including demonstrations by grilled cheese guru Mark Peel as well as the bizarre cocktail wizardry of Food 2's Alie Ward and Georgia Hardstark, who will shake up their beloved "bloody bacon and cheese" cocktail.

And in what is sure to be an epically cheesy battle royal royale, George and Brown have recruited Walter Manzke (Bastide, Church & State, Le Saint Amour), Eric Greenspan (the Foundry), Ricardo Zarate (Mo-Chica), Eric Samaniego (Comme Ca), Micah Fields (the Standard) and Nyesha Arrington (Cache) to compete in face-off challenges against one another to see who can melt the cheesiest masterpiece.

The Hot Knives boys, who hold five GCI trophies, will face off against Heidi Gibson, who started a grilled cheese restaurant in San Francisco after winning her sixth trophy.

Twenty brave and hungry audience members will be picked to judge each of these four face-off heats. Only one cook will be crowned GCI Thunderdome master.

Bring your bib.

-- Jessica Gelt 

Photo: Peach with brie on prosciutto crust, on the menu of the Grilled Cheese Truck. Credit: the Grilled Cheese Truck

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