‘Wich Hunt Winners

21 chefs competed in this First Annual sandwich competition in Sonoma County

Fried egg, bacon and blue grilled cheese from the Farmer’s Wife in Sebastopol. (Heather Irwin/Sonoma Magazine)

Fried egg, bacon and blue grilled cheese from the Farmer's Wife in Sebastopol. (Heather Irwin/Sonoma Magazine)
Fried egg, bacon and blue grilled Cheese from the Farmer's Wife, voted Best in Show

The First Annual ‘Wich Hunt at Battle of the Brews pitted an amazing 21 restaurants head-to-head for the title of Best Sandwich in Sonoma County. Held during the Craft Cup at the ever-popular Battle of the Brews on March 31, 2012 this was no lunch meat on Wonderbread competition. Chefs brought their A-game, ranging from housemade pastrami and chocolate pairings to mixing up the competition with exotic burgers topped with chicharrones, a stealthy mix of cheeses and even a surprise beer ice cream entry!

Not without a few snafus (including power outages, cooking on griddles and having eager munchers waiting for samples while preparing competition ‘wiches), the chefs persevered. Judging the sandwiches on merits including creativity, presentation and of course, flavor, the all-star panel of Chef John Ash, restaurant consultant and foodist Clark Wolf, the Bohemian’s Gabe Meline, sandwich restaurateur Ike Shehadeh and food personality Laurie Figone ate and graded for more than an hour.

Said Wolf, “Twenty one out of twenty one of these sandwiches were incredible.” BiteClub concurred, snagging bites between bringing entries to the stage and managing chefs. Not a stinker in the bunch.

But not everyone could win (which is why I couldn’t bear to judge myself). So here you have The Official Winners…

Best in Show, The Farmer’s Wife: Farm Fried Egg, Bacon & Blue, Lyonnaise Grilled Cheese Sandwich on Full Circle Organic Sourdough (Sorry, kids. There’s no restaurant yet, but watch for her in the Barlow or contact her for catering).

Best Hot, Superburger: Myer Ranch Montana Red Angus Patty, Horseradish Cheddar and Sonoma Jack,Garlic Crimini Mushroom Beef Au Jus for Dipping, Pureed Artichoke and Roasted Garlic Mayo, garlic butter toasted egg wash hamburger bun.

Best Cold, Street Eatz: The ice cream beer ‘wich with Lagunitas beer ice cream and buttered toast bread

Best Ethnic, Boathouse Sushi: Pork banh mi

– Best use of veggies, Pearson and Co: Pulled pork sandwich with grilled vegetables and coleslaw

– Cheesiest Sandwich, Hopmonk: Grilled cheese and tomato soup

Best pairing, Awful Falafel: Lamb Schwarma and hummus

People’s Choice Award, Petite Syrah: Pork belly slider. Runner-up, Dogs from Chicago: Chili dog.

Check out the gallery below to see some of the other entrants and their sandwiches – -from Lagunitas pastrami to chicken-skin sandwiches

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