MLE Grilled Cheese Sandwich Tour Begins

The pursuit for America’s Grilled Cheese-Eating championship title begins today as the nation’s leading competitive eaters gather in San Diego, CA, for the first stop of the World Grilled Cheese-Eating Championship circuit.

The contest will be held at Tony Gwynn Stadium and followed by the Golden Baseball League game between the San Diego Surf Dawgs and the Japan Samurai Bears.

Eaters in San Diego will vie for $1,750 in prizes. An additional $20,000 is up for grabs for the eaters competing in’s 15-contest circuit, which will make stops in Detroit, Denver, and Chicago, among other cities.

The current Grilled Cheese world record holder is Sonya Thomas, the top ranked eater in America, who devoured 25 Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in 10 minutes on February 12, 2005 at the inaugural World Grilled Cheese-Eating Championship.

“With the nation-wide demand that we’ve received regarding our celebrated sandwich,” explained Richard Rowe, CEO of, “We figured that the San Diego event would be a great way to bring the Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese Sandwich to the people who enjoy Americana pop culture.”

The San Diego Surf Dawgs are led by future Hall-of-Famer Ricky Henderson, and the team is managed by four-time MLB all star Terry Kennedy. The Samurai Bears are the first all-Japanese team to play in an American league and are managed by former MLB great Warren Cormartie.

The International Federation of Competitive Eating will handle registration for all events. Participants over the age of 18 should call (212) 627-5766 or register at