10 Chefs Share Their Favourite Sandwich
10 Chefs Share Their Favourite Sandwich

10 Chefs Share Their Favourite Sandwich


Bread, butter, filling, condiments – it doesn’t take much to transform a sad lunch into a great sandwich. Ditch your meal deal for one of these chef-approved specials…

Tom Booton

The Grill by Tom Booton

“The ultimate sandwich is a classic ham and cheese, but the best version it can possibly be. Get a nice ham hock from your butcher and cook it for Sunday dinner so you’ll have stock for soup and loads for leftovers. Then, into the sandwich goes butter, Pommery mustard, the ham, lettuce, and lots of good mature cheddar. One of my favourite breads is an artisan focaccia from The Dusty Knuckle, but I’m also partial to a part-baked baguette from the supermarket which you crisp up in the oven at home. Crisps have no place on the side, you’ve got to get them into the sandwich. For me, it has to be prawn cocktail for that tomatoey twang. Then, I’ll have some gherkins and little pickled onions on the side, ideally washed down with an ice-cold beer.”

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James Strawbridge

“Forget your soggy tinned tuna and mayo sandwich. My tuna melt is made with decadent yellowfin tuna steaks, melted cheese, fresh dill and crunchy sourdough. Start by sprinkling 2 MSC tuna steaks with sesame seeds and sea salt. Heat a teaspoon of vegetable oil in a hot non-stick frying pan, and sear the steaks for 30-60 seconds on each side. Place to one side. Meanwhile, spread a thinly sliced avocado over two thick slices of sourdough, then sprinkle with chopped dill, sliced onion and the tuna. Cover with 50g of cheddar and 50g of mozzarella, then spread both sides of the sandwich with a layer of mayonnaise. Cook in a hot pan for 3-4 mins on each side for a golden tuna melt. Season to taste and serve with sweet chilli sauce.”

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Phil Howard

Notto Pasta Bars

“My go-to is smoked mackerel pâté with horseradish and pickled cucumber on lightly buttered rye, though I’ll also use Flourish Craft Bakery’s delicious ancient sourdough. To make it, I buy hot smoked mackerel, sometimes peppered, and mix it with cottage cheese, spring onions, horseradish and dill. It couldn’t get simpler than that. Then, the cucumber is pickled in equal weights of sugar, white wine vinegar and water. Don’t skimp on the cucumber – it really brings the sandwich to life. Pickles, chutneys and condiments will add extra zing to your sandwiches. I have a selection of homemade chutneys and pickles at home which work in almost any sandwich. I don’t have anything on the side as the sandwich should speak for itself – and require both hands to eat.”

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Scott Hallsworth


“It has to be a kimchi toastie. I fry it in a non-stick pan with a little too much olive oil and a few too many knobs of butter. Start by cutting two 2cm-thick slices of sourdough, then top one slice with a generous heap of chopped kimchi. Add lots of thinly sliced red onion, green chillies, and loads of grated strong cheddar. Now, mix Dijon mustard, lemon juice and mayo together, and slather that on the other slice. Sandwich it together then slap it into a moderately hot pan – the butter will just be starting to melt into the oil at this stage. Scatter a little more cheddar around the toastie so it forms a crunchy crust as your sandwich gently fries and becomes golden. 

“I’ve also recently been enjoying my mate Pavel Kanja’s mochi flatbread recipe. Andre Williams (our head chef at Freak Scene Balham) has been making it with a pumpkin purée and cooking it much like you’d cook a Yorkshire pudding. I’m also going through a chilli jam phase. You can buy jars of it at the supermarket, but I cook a big batch at home with palm sugar and kaffir lime. On the side of the sandwich, I’ll have plenty of jam, mayo and air-fryer French fries – with a few stuffed in the bread.”

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Mauro Mateus

Melrose & Morgan

“The perfect sandwich needs to have lots of flavour, and the bread needs to bring something extra, not just hold the filling. The Dusty Knuckle is my local bakery and everything they make is delicious. I go for a classic sourdough and a multi seed loaf. One of my favourite sandwiches is a bavette beef slider with truffle mayo. Half a brioche roll and toast it in a pan. Then, fry off your bavette to medium rare, season with salt, pepper and a little oil, and finish with truffle mayo – I make my own using the stick immersion hack (combining egg yolk, vinegar or lemon juice, mustard, and a pinch of salt) before adding a glug of truffle oil. On the side of any sandwich I’ll have some Melrose & Morgan pickled cucumber (also great in a smoked salmon bagel), onion jam, a packet of Torres Black Truffle crisps and a pint of Pillars Hop Lager – the perfect Saturday lunch.”

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James Knappett

Kitchen Table

“I keep things simple with a classic cheese and pickle sandwich. It's two slices of white bread (not toasted), buttered on both sides, topped with heaps of grated Cathedral City Mature Cheddar and Branston Pickle. The cheese should be grated as it gives the sandwich a much better texture – and makes it easier to eat. I cut the sandwich in half to create two little pockets, rather than diagonally, as this risks losing the filling when you pick it up. I go for a simple white loaf from the supermarket, but for something fancier you can’t beat a nice thick-cut sourdough from The Dusty Knuckle. Controversially, I always remove the crusts… On the side I’ll have a pickled egg or two which are delicious with Ready Salted Walker’s – the trick is to take a bite of the egg before dipping it in the crisps – and a cold Tiny Rebel Easy Livin' Session Pale Ale.”

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David Lagonell


“A sandwich made with leftovers is the best kind. You need bread, protein, spread, a flavour bomb, lettuce or greens to add texture, and maybe some good cheese if you are that way inclined. It’s always a good idea to stock up on good-quality salted butter, pickles of any description, chilli oil, a good mustard or two, capers, olives, preserved lemons, mayo (Kewpie is great), piccalilli, horseradish and brown sauce. I’d also recommend things like zhoug, sriracha sauce, salsa truffina, guindilla chillies and sauerkraut. The morning after the night before, I’ll throw in whatever I have in the fridge with leftover meats and cheese, and a handful of Torres crisps – they’re the best, and their caviar, jamon ibérico, truffle and cured cheese all do it for me. I’m also partial to crunchy corn on the side, or coated peanuts, crackling, spicy rice crackers or crunchy kale. Basically anything you would have with a beer. 

“I also love a spoon of chäg, a delicious apricot, chilly and ginger jam. Jumi Cheese at Borough Market does a great version that’s perfect in a toastie. These guys not only bring the best raclettes and other quirky cheeses to London, but the pickles, spreads, truffle honey and even the freshly baked bread are all great. Lastly, I’ll have a pint of Nico by Orbit Beers on the side. It’s crisp and slightly bitter with a long finish.”

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Riaz Phillips

“For something a bit different, I love a roasted vegetable pitta which has just the right amount of smokiness. Pop any veg of choice on a baking tray with a few cloves of garlic. Coat lightly with olive oil and roast or grill on 200°C for 25-30 mins, or until just blackened. Remove any seeds if necessary and discard, then add the veg to a bowl and mash it with a fork or utensil that can do the job. Season with salt, pepper and a bit of hot sauce – I put scotch bonnet hot sauce on everything. Then, toast a pitta bread (homemade is super easy) and cut an incision down one side, stuffing the pitta with the veg. I always go to Angel’s Bakery on Peckham Rye Lane to stock up on agege bread – a soft West African loaf.”

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Elliott Grover

45 Park Lane

“The ultimate sandwich is a classic BLT, but it’s important to have the correct ratio so it doesn’t fall apart. You need a good amount of butter, all the way to the edges to stop it going soggy. I like to make mine with two slices of thick sourdough from M&S (grilled or toasted), a large beef tomato, a few leaves of iceberg lettuce, four slices of smoked back bacon (grilled until crispy), good quality butter and a generous layer of mayo. On the side I’ll have a spoon of Oxford sauce – you don't see it much these days but it's delicious, made with port, shallots, orange zest and mustard – as well as some Ready Salted Walker’s.”

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Akira Back

Akira Back at Mandarin Oriental Mayfair

“My favourite sandwich is a kimchi jambon beurre. Heat the oven to 160°C to toast a baguette for about 10 mins, just until the outside crisps up. Remove from the oven, split the baguette horizontally in half, and spread butter on both sides. Heat up the pan and stir-fry 50g of kimchi with 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1 teaspoon of gochujang (Korean chilli paste) and a dash of water. Cook for 5 mins until the water has evaporated. Stir in a sliced spring onion and toasted sesame seeds, then set aside. Pile sliced prosciutto on the buttered baguette, and dress with the glazed kimchi to serve. I like to use a wholemeal baguette from Alma Mill & Bakery and tuck in with a Kirin Ichiban beer.”

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