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Big cheese awards $500 for best cheese sandwich
Brian Burns and Terence Harvey competed in Tuesdays Police Chiefs Foundation Be.Cuisine Top Chef Competition vying to make the best cheese sandwiches. - photo by Photo courtesy of Sallie Obligacion

It was an hour-long competition to make the best cheese sandwich in Manteca.

Manteca Police Chief Nick Obligacion offered a $500 Chief’s Foundation scholarship to the winner in Tuesday morning’s race with the clock by student chefs at the Manteca Unified School District’s Culinary Academy to make the best cheese sandwich 

Senior Skyllar Bilbo won top honors with her sourdough bread sandwich coated with Parmesan cheese.  It was stuffed with pancetta, Granny Smith Apples, with French Rachellete Farm Cheese, sharp cheddar and a Turkish cherry reduction made with Cherry Coke.

The five participants were given an hour time limit to make their version of a “Cheese Sandwich” with an added secret ingredient that was given to them just 15 minutes into the cook-off.  The secret ingredient was a combination of apples and pears.

This year’s judges were Police Chief Obligacion, retired Police Chief Dave Bricker and culinary chef Jennifer.  

The Culinary Academy is open to students attending Manteca high schools and limited to juniors and seniors.  Several of this year’s graduating classes are entering culinary academies on the East Coast.

The academy’s kitchen and classroom area are located near the Manteca Unified School District headquarters at Airport Way and Louise Avenue.