If you think the rest of the country is missing out on your famous Grilled Hamtastic Diablo sandwich then this is your moment.
Sandwich enthusiasts across the country now have the opportunity to put their sandwich-making skills to the test as Panera Bread’s Sandwich Showdown contest kicked off Tuesday. The event gives amateur chefs, bread connoisseurs, and fans of culinary creativity throughout the country the chance to have their homemade concoction named the best sandwich in the U.S.
In addition to national bragging rights, the winner will take home $10,000 cash, $500 worth of Panera Bread gift cards, free Panera bagels for a year and will have their sandwich on the menu for a limited time at participating Panera Bread bakery-cafes in the United States.
“Panera Bread has always taken pride in offering a variety of hand-crafted sandwich choices, all prepared on freshly-baked breads,” said Dan Kish, head chef at Panera Bread. “Our loyal customers know what makes a great-tasting sandwich, and have come to expect nothing but the best from our bakery-cafes. Now we’re asking them for their idea of a perfect sandwich, and to share that sandwich recipe with the rest of the country.”
Now through Oct. 6, sandwich enthusiasts can submit their original sandwich recipes online at www.TLC.com/Panera (see Official Rules for details). The site gives contestants a list of Panera Bread’s toppings and ingredients, which can be combined with its artisan and other specialty breads to create the ideal sandwich through an interactive virtual sandwich builder. Contestants will also be asked to tell the story behind their submission and why their entry should be named the next great legendary sandwich. “Great stories are what make the sandwiches stand out,” said Kish.
After all submissions are received, Panera Bread will narrow the field to the top 20 entries. The public will then be invited to vote online to determine the grand prize winner. The top four runners-up will each receive $1,000 cash and one $150 Panera Bread gift card. The 15 remaining finalists will each win one $150 Panera Bread gift cards.
“We’re excited to see what kind of imaginative sandwiches people have in store for us,” Kish said. “For years we have been dedicated to finding the right combination of ingredients and breads for our signature sandwiches, and we know there are aspiring chefs throughout the country who are ready to do the same. We can’t wait to find the next great sandwich for Panera Bread.”
About Panera Bread Company
Panera Bread Company owns and franchises 1,591 bakery-cafes as of June 26, 2012 under the Panera Bread®, Saint Louis Bread Co.®, and Paradise Bakery & Café® names. We feature high quality, reasonably priced food in a warm, inviting, and comfortable environment. With our identity rooted in handcrafted, fresh-baked, artisan bread, we are committed to providing great tasting, quality food that people can trust. Nearly all of our bakery-cafes have a menu highlighted by antibiotic free chicken, whole grain bread, and select organic and all-natural ingredients, with zero grams of artificial trans-fat per serving, which provide flavorful, wholesome offerings. Our menu includes a wide variety of year-round favorites complemented by new items introduced seasonally with the goal of creating new standards in everyday food choices. In neighborhoods across the United States and in Ontario, Canada, our customers enjoy our warm and welcoming environment featuring comfortable gathering areas, relaxing decor, and free internet access. Our bakery-cafes routinely donate bread and baked goods to community organizations in need. Additional information is available on our website, http://www.panerabread.com.