The breakfast sandwich has been a staple in the category of morning meals for ages. From a classic B.E.C. (bacon, egg and cheese) to a trendy plate of avocado toast, there’s a sandwich for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you head to your local bodega or visit a Michelin-starred restaurant in New York City, satisfying a morning craving is necessary. We spoke with six different award-winning angels in the kitchen to find out where their favorite breakfast sandwich comes from and where you can try it, too.
Chef Michael White
This multi-Michelin starred chef and partner of world-renowned hospitality company Altamarea Group, which is composed of the New York restaurants Marea, Ai Fiori, Vaucluse, Osteria Morini, Nicoletta, Costata and The Butterfly. Chef Michael White goes beyond delivering high-quality food, he is completely dedicated to the client experience, which is why his restaurants consistently receive top recognition and acclaim by the James Beard Foundation, Zagat, The New York Times, and Michelin Guide.
Favorite Sandwich: “Three Little Piggies” at Osteria Morini (his own creation)
Breakfast Memory: “We recently started offering a breakfast sandwich at Osteria Morini in New York called the ‘Three Little Piggies.’ It’s made of mortadella, pancetta, house smoked prosciutto cotto, fried egg, provolone cheese, romesco sauce on a fresh house baked roll. The combinations of the salty meats with the sharp provolone cheese and slight bit of heat from the romesco really compliment the fried egg well. The inspiration behind this came from my love for New York and my love for Italy. New York is known for the bacon, egg and cheese so why not put an Italian twist on it? I would sometimes make similar versions at home after a late night in the restaurant so when we were brainstorming ideas for a breakfast sandwich at Osteria Morini, I knew this would be perfect.”
Chef Chris Santos
Known as the “shared plates king” and SHARE cookbook author who is breathing new life into the communal dining trend, Chef Chris Santos has over 20 years of experience as an executive chef in New York City’s hottest restaurants, including The Stanton Social, Beauty & Essex and VANDAL. Chef Chris Santos is a resident judge on the Food Network’s most popular hit series, CHOPPED.
Favorite Sandwich: VANDAL’s Prince of Italy Little Sammy by Chef Derrick Prince
Breakfast Memory: “This sandwich took the cake in a little competition I held at all of my New York venues. I had all our Chefs and Sous Chefs create their own unique breakfast sandwiches and did a blind test. With 25 chef’s competing, it took several rounds and let me tell you, it was a stiff–and delicious–competition. In the end, Chef Derrick’s creation just had everything you want in a breakfast sandwich and it was the clear winner. Parmesan crusted egg and crispy prosciutto? Enough said. The best part, you can have this at all three of my Lower East Side venues for brunch!”
Chef Timon Balloo
Chef Timon Balloo serves as the executive chef and partner of SUGARCANE raw bar grill with locations in Miami, Las Vegas and new to Brooklyn. SUGARCANE raw bar grill has garnered widespread recognition, including the “Best New Restaurant” semi-finalist by the James Beard Foundation; AAA 4-Diamond rating for three consecutive years; “Best Restaurant” by Johnson & Wales; “Restaurant of the Year” by Eater; “Best New Restaurant” by Miami New Times and two three-star reviews by the Miami Herald.
Favorite Sandwich: Spam and Wonder Bread sandwich!
Breakfast Memory: “I love a fried egg, Spam and Wonder Bread sandwich! It has that perfect mix of salt and umami, with a bit of sweetness from the bread, so you’re always getting a lot of flavor. I’ve been eating those since I was a kid–the bacon-like saltiness combined with the sausage patty texture of the Spam always takes me back.”
Chef Justin Ottervanger
This chef got his start working under one of Miami’s most legendary chefs, James Beard award winner Michael Schwartz. After some time, he moved on and began his tenure as a sous chef at New York City’s Michelin-starred and James Beard awarded restaurant, PUBLIC. Chef Justin now serves as the Executive Chef at Street Taco and The Ragtrader (coming soon).
Favorite Sandwich: Torta de Huevo at Street Taco (his own creation)
Breakfast Memory: “The Torta de Huevo from Street Taco is by far my favorite egg sandwich – I made sure of it when creating this for the menu! It is based off of a slightly upscale Mexican bodega egg sandwich. We use different cooking methods but still keeping that same light, fresh, and nostalgic flavor profile reminiscent of dishes my mother made during my childhood. I start by cooking flash fried onions in a pan and adding the scrambled egg mix. I then begin spinning the eggs around the very hot pan, which creates wonderful folds and layers of cooked, runny eggs. When it finally comes together, it is a beautiful soft scrambled egg with onions and Monterey jack cheese folded in. The bun is toasted with butter until crispy and topped with avocado, romaine lettuce, charred jalapeno aioli and sliced tomato. The hearty sandwich is a great combination that is very fresh and satisfying.”
Chef Dan Fleming
Executive Chef of Primal Cut has established himself within the industry through many years in the kitchen at iconic Manhattan and New Jersey restaurants such as Masina Trattoria at The Sheraton Hotel Weehawken, Zylo at the W Hotel Hoboken, Sugar & Plumm in NYC and Battello in Jersey City. Chef Daniel appeared on CHOPPED where he advanced through the second round of season 28. He consistently highlights clean, vibrant and seasonal ingredients and is celebrated for his creative and visually appealing plating, as well as molecular cooking techniques.
Favorite Sandwich: The Danwich (his own creation)
Breakfast Memory: “On a cold New Year’s Day many years ago I came up with the breakfast sandwich of all breakfast sandwiches. So stunning, that I felt obligated to call it after myself. And it was then that the Danwich was born. The Danwich was created out of a New Year’s Eve hangover unlike any other. I had just got to work and was absolutely starving and dehydrated. So I decided to do what any overweight, half-drunk chef would do – create the fattest, greasiest feast possible. We start with two buttermilk pancakes, about six inches in diameter. This will act as your bread element. Next, three eggs over medium, two pieces of American cheese, two pieces of bacon and two pieces of sausage. Finish with ketchup on the inside and syrup on the outside. NOTE: This sandwich is NOT A HANDHELD. You must attack smartly, with fork and knife”
Chef David Laris
Australian-born chef and restaurateur who has made a name for himself in Hong Kong, Shanghai and London will be opening EDEN restaurant and consulting on the food for the highly anticipated new Playboy Club NYC — both opening in the same building of CACHET Boutique NYC hotel this fall.
Favorite Sandwich: The AVO Toast (his own creation)
Breakfast Memory: “To me, breakfast is about fresh starts and simple pleasures. I love this open sandwich because it’s as simple as the name sounds, yet there is so much going on that completely represents everything that I am about. When I lived in Greece as a child my grandparents always had free range chickens that fed the family, and fresh grown avocados in the house, a tradition we followed even when moving back to Australia. Avocados are a staple go-to food, and served with eggs are the perfect balance of healthy fats and proteins. I even travel with them today. The bread is Pullman loaf, made with slowly fermented ancient grains from small regional mills in the North East. It’s a bit nutty and is chocked full of grains. The eggs are from a family-owned farm in Fanwood, New Jersey where the birds are fed a 100% organic non-GMO diet that is all vegetarian. The Hass avocados are from a small family farm in Riverside CA. It doesn’t get better than that.”