This next instalment in a recurring series in which professional foodies opine on what they think makes a good sandwich great.
Katie Lysakowski is a former Torontonian whose first kitchen gig was making sandwiches at The Healthy Butcher. She is now a proud west-coaster living in Vancouver where she’s a cook and a freelance writer. She’s also spent time cooking at Perigee, West Restaurant and Market by Jean Georges.
As you can see by her photo, she’s not afraid to get her hands dirty, and we’re excited to give Van-city some love with Katie’s pick. Follow her on Twitter @katielysakowski.
What makes a great sandwich?
A great sandwich needn’t be complicated; actually, it’s a near perfect example of quality over quantity. However, it MUST begin (and end) with a top-notch loaf. Without a stellar vessel it doesn’t really matter what you’re filling your sandwich with. Keep in mind though: The bread should match the filling. A slow cooked pulled pork pairs well with a simple bun that will keep its saucy goodness relatively contained. A late summer veggie sandwich begs for two thick slices of a basic country loaf brushed with olive oil and grilled over high heat. I like to fill an oven-warmed day-old croissant with a creamy egg salad, match triple cream brie with a super fresh baguette, and wouldn’t think to eat Montreal smoked meat with anything other than sliced rye.
Apply the same thought and dedication to the goodness you’ll fill your choice of bread with. Think about seasonality to ensure the best tasting sandwich. I don’t ever want a tomato on my sandwich if it’s not late summer. I mean really, why bother? Think grilled salmon with wild leek pesto in the spring, Dungeness crab with a simple aioli and lots of fresh herbs in the summer, and braised meats folded into their reduced cooking liquid in colder winter months. Pick the best ingredients you can get your hands on, prepare them simply, season it properly and dig in!
My pick is the porchetta sandwich at Meat & Bread right here in downtown Vancouver. It’s a prime example of simplicity done right! Gorgeously slow roasted pork, crunchy crispy crackling, and a fresh parsley salsa verde sandwiched between a custom made bun they created with local bread maker, Swiss Bakery. No unnecessary spreads or garnished, just the basics done oh so well.
[Ed note: This place sounds amazing!]