Attention local sandwich aficionados! Panera Bread’s national Sandwich Showdown contest is coming to a close on Saturday.
So if you think your creative culinary ideas were made to go between two slices of bread, this is your last opportunity to don your amateur chef’s hat and put in your entry for best sandwich in the United States.
The winner will not only get say his or her sandwich is the best - forget the rest - the person with the top creation will take home $10,000 in cash, $500 worth of Panera Bread gift cards, and free bagels for a year. Also, Panera will put the winning sandwich on the menu for a limited time at participating bakery-cafes across the country.
“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.”
Sandwich experts can submit their original recipes online at www.TLC.com/Panera (see Official Rules for details).
The site lists Panera Bread’s toppings and ingredients that contestants can combine with the eatery’s artisan and other specialty breads to make their creation through an interactive virtual sandwich builder.
Contestants are required to tell the story behind their submission and why their creation should be named the next great legendary sandwich.
“Great stories are what make the sandwiches stand out,” Kish said in a news release.
After the contest closes, Panera plans to narrow the field to 20 entries. Then, the restaurant chain plans to invite the public to vote online to pick the grand prizewinner. The top four runners-up each will receive $1,000 cash and one $150 Panera Bread gift card. The other 15 finalists will get one $150 Panera Bread gift card.
“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.”