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Wow party guests with bite-sized grilled cheese sandwiches

If grilled cheese sandwiches still call processed shiny-yellow slices stuffed between two pieces of Wonder bread to mind, it's time to re-evaluate.

The comfort-food classic has come a long way in recent years, appearing on the menus of high-end restaurants and at parties worldwide. It is even the focus of its own competition, the Grilled Cheese Invitational, which brings together thousands of grilled-cheese aficionados each year. (Visit www.grilledcheeseinvitational.com for details.)

A while ago, I added bite-sized miniature versions to our catering menus and a food star was born. However, since many of our events can be far from casual, the updates sometimes need to be adjusted to reflect the setting (and ticket price).

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We do this by creating innovative flavour combinations, such as havarti, smoked chicken and avocado, aged cheddar, tomato and spicy Genoa salami and brie, green apple, crushed walnuts and watercress.

Of course, the traditional grilled cheese remains as popular as ever. But while your mom may still serve it with a cup of hot tomato soup, that doesn't mean that you (and your guests) can't enjoy a version of your creative devising.

And if you have a combo that you've tried and like, please share.

Sebastien Centner is the director of Eatertainment Special Events in Toronto ( www.eatertainment.com).

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