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With summer coming to a close and schools back in session soon, it’s no surprise that August pays homage to a lunch-box favorite – Sandwiches! Though people have been combining meat and bread for centuries, the sandwich as we know it was popularized in 1762 by John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, a small town in southeast England.

According to food lore, the Earl had a substantial gambling problem and found himself at the card table for 24 hours straight one evening! Not wanting to leave the table, he asked the cooks to bring something he could eat with one hand, as not to interrupt his game. The London club he was playing at provided beef and cheese between two slices of loaf bread. Men at the club started to follow suit, stating, “I’ll have the same as Sandwich.” This convenience food soon became popular in London society circles and permanently took on the Earl’s name!

Today, sandwiches can be made savory, sweet, hearty, light, crispy & saucy & so on...but with the endless variety of sandwich combinations available, how do you decide?

We sat down with our Executive Chefs and one thing was unanimous – it all starts with a quality bread! “Whether it’s a hearty sliced bread that will stand up to condiments or a fresh baguette to provide crunch, the bread is definitely the key to building a great sandwich,” says Executive Chef Eric of the Inner Harbor. Check out our Chefs’ top tips and recommendations for their favorite flavorful sandwiches below!

 

Brigitte, Corporate Executive Chef

Miss Shirley’s Management Company

 

What’s your go-to favorite sandwich to make at home? 

“Rare roast beef on pumpernickel or rye, with lettuce, tomato, Dijon mustard, and fresh horseradish. And I can’t enjoy a sandwich without UTZ potato chips and a dill pickle on the side! I have great memories of whipping up a few of these sandwiches for my grandmother during our weekly lunch dates.”

 

What are your tips for making a flavorful sandwich? 

“A sweet or spicy sauce - and you need a crunchy element.”

 

What are your favorite components/condiments to include? 

“I love to add Dijon mustard and fresh horseradish – they really enhance the flavor of the beef.”

 

 

Zuri, Executive Chef

Miss Shirley’s Cafe, Roland Park

 

What’s your go-to favorite sandwich to make at home?

“You can’t go wrong with homemade tuna salad on a toasted English muffin with lettuce, tomato, onion & dill pickle!”

 

What are your tips for making a flavorful sandwich? 

“You need a great sauce! Even just a really good mustard can make a world of difference.”

 

What are your favorite components/condiments to include? 

“I love my sandwich to have different textures & flavors. It can’t just be soft, there needs to be a crunch factor! And I like the flavors to be complimentary - like sweet & spicy or salty and sour.”

 

 

Eric, Executive Chef

Miss Shirley’s Cafe, Inner Harbor

 

What’s your go-to favorite sandwich to make at home?

“Reuben’s - they hit all the different flavor elements you want! You’ve got the saltiness of the meat, the creaminess of the Russian dressing, the sweet & sour from the sauerkraut - then, the Swiss cheese holds it all together. All of that wedged between two grilled slices of rye bread makes for a great lunch! And, I like to have a dill pickle on the side.”

 

What are your tips to making a flavorful sandwich? 

“It’s all about balance! Hitting salty, sweet, spicy, crunchy, tender, creamy etc.  Balance in flavor and texture is key.”

 

What are your favorite components/condiments to include? 

“I’m always a sucker for some heat, so I keep chili garlic spread in my refrigerator at all times.”

 

 

Ubences, Executive Chef

Miss Shirley’s Cafe, Annapolis

 

What’s your go-to favorite sandwich to make at home?

“I love making breakfast sandwiches at home! My favorite is fried egg, pork sausage patty, onions, avocado & American cheese on grilled white bread.”

 

What are your tips to making a flavorful sandwich? 

“Grill it - I like my bread to be crispy! And, don’t forget the avocado; it adds a delicious creamy texture to any sandwich.”

 

What are your favorite components/condiments to include? 

“I like to add a dash of salt, pepper & cumin to my sandwiches; and if I want a little more spice, I’ll top it with some hot sauce!”

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