Breakfast Sandwich Battle Winner!
The gloves came off Monday night.
The team was invited to participate in a Breakfast Sandwich Battle on Monday, February 29 at the Drake Hotel. The jam-packed event was part of The 86’D, a weekly industry event at the Drake hosted by the awesome Ivy Knight from Swallow Daily. Led by our kitchen captain and Chef Jake Taylor, we competed against Chefs Matt Cowan of Portland Variety, Alex Tso of Dundas Park Kitchen, Aidan Galligan of Uncle Smoke, and Tara Lee of Barhop, who all came to battle it out for the title of best breakfast sandwich!
This was an extra special event because it was sponsored by Boulart bakery and judged by Liora Ipsum of Blog TO, Natalia Manzocco of NOW Toronto and Tony Cammalleri from Pusateri’s. Boulart provided the bread for us to use AND graciously covered our food costs. Our hats off to them for supporting local!
Naturally, we were super stoked when we were selected to compete in our first ever 86’D battle – and one of epic breakfast proportions.
The lead up: Choose Your Weapon
A few weeks leading up to the event, Boulart shipped us samples of their product to select which bread to use for the battle. After careful tasting we went with something out of the ordinary: their whole grain ciabatta. You’re likely thinking, “Ciabatta for a breakfast sandwich? You crazy bro?”
We went with this bread because of the crisp crust and surprisingly soft texture. Typically with whole grain bread this can be too heavy and overwhelming, especially with softer ingredients like egg and bacon. But this bread was special and would work perfectly with our creation, because it had the structure we needed without overpowering the sandwich.
Our Submission: The Carpenter’s Delight
After major testing of various combinations, we created the “Carpenter’s Delight”: It’s a sweet and savory breakfast that can fit in our hand.
Our goal is to first hit you with the smoke (from our house smoked bacon), cinnamon and salt, then followed by the sweetness from the apple and home made jam. The bakeapple and partridgeberries were direct from Newfoundland, where Jake calls home. Finally, we added in 2-year Balderson cheddar to balance the flavour and add a bit of sharpness to the profile.
With the bread, we did a “demi-French Toast”, so basically cooking a half French Toast on just in the inside of the bread. This let you still hold the sandwich in your hand while also softening the bread with the egg and adding tons of flavour.
The great structure of Boulart’s bread and crust allowed us to prep and wrap them in advance without getting to mushy or falling apart after heating them up in the oven.
We were super happy with the result, especially since this method meant we wouldn’t need to frantically prep while on the line at the Drake. Everything was ready to rock by 6pm, ready for the oven!
Breakfast Battle Time
Despite the downward weather and impending snow on Monday, the turnout was awesome. Not even frigid temps could turn away a few hundred people from coming out and tasting our sandwiches. Lots of friends of TuckShop came out to support us, including some of our regulars from FreshBooks.
In the end we won the People’s Choice Award! Thanks to everyone who voted for us. It means a lot to us, since we’re only here because of YOU. Our hats off to Barhop for winning the Judge’s Award for their tuna and hard boiled egg sandwich. We were also super impressed by Uncle Smoke’s smoky steak and eggs sandwich, Dundas Park Kitchen’s tasty veggie delight and Portland Variety’s finger lickin’ jamón ibérico.
Sunday March 6: Encore
As a special treat we’re going to do an encore of the Carpenter’s Delight this Sunday for our Breakfast Sandwich special. So if you weren’t able to make it (or want to have it one last time) please come on Sunday and grab one. This is a limited time offer since we only have a limited amount of Boulart’s ciabatta remaining. So come by and give’r a try!
With love and sandwiches,
Jake, Glen, Robb and the TuckShop Kitchen Crew