Starting today, the winner of the Sandwich Showdown contest won’t be the only one preparing her creation. The winning sandwich, the BLTT (bacon, lettuce, tomato with a twist) will be available at all 48 local Bread Co. bakery-cafes until Jan. 31, including the company's locations in and . A portion of each sale is going to St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
Lauren Day of Marthasville, Mo. was one of almost 800 entrants who submitted an original sandwich recipe back in August for the fourth annual event.
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Five finalists were chosen after online voting narrowed down the competitors. Their sandwich recipes were offered in an Oct. 26 tasting at the Contemporary Art Museum where 150 MyPanera customers voted for their favorite. Day won $2,500 and bagels for a year with her sandwich, which is served hot on tomato basil bread with apple wood smoked bacon, gouda cheese, chipotle mayo, fresh spinach and tomato.
“I’ve always loved cooking! I even started to pursue a career in the culinary field, but my other calling to help people won the fight. I still cook all the time and I have been eating at the St. Louis Bread Co. since I was little,” Day said in a statement.
The following are the other four finalists and their “sandwich stories.”
A Ham Raisin Experience, Andi Everding – Crestwood, MO
"What better fall sandwich than ham on cinnamon raisin bread with the snap of a crisp Fuji apple and the surprise of gorgonzola cheese. I was hosting a wine tasting for a few friends and wanted room temperature finger foods. One of the items I baked was a croissant dough pressed into a mini muffin tin, topped with blue cheese, a bit of chopped ham, and a dab of fig preserves. Nothing is better than a bit of salt with a bit of sweet, a piece of fruit and blue cheese…well that’s always a bonus. That is what initially gave me the idea for the Ham Raisin Experience."
Three Cheese Me, Caitlin Ebel – Crestwood, MO
"I have several vegetarian friends who are always looking for new and tasty lunches. I made this for lunch one day and it was a hit for both vegetarians and carnivores. It was the perfect complement to the Panera Creamy Tomato soup."
Avocado Egg Salad Summer Sandwich, Kristin Powell – Clayton, MO
"Summer in St. Louis is misery in Missouri. Since my fiancé and I both work a lot outside, warm meals are unwelcome at the dinner table after a long day. My fiancé and I needed a cool, light meal that was also satisfying. The Avocado Egg-Salad Sandwich does just that. Since it's so easy to prepare in bulk and spread on bread, we've made it several times for ourselves and friends too (even the vegetarian ones)."
Vera’s Sizzling Southwestern Steak Sandwich, Steve Campbell – Bethalto, IL
"I love creating mouthwatering recipes! I have such fond memories of cooking with my mom in our kitchen as a kid...she taught us all the basics and our love for good tasting food. And I believe there is nothing better than a warm/hot sandwich to make your insides happy! In honor of my mom, Vera Campbell (who has had Alzheimer's for the past 10 years) and her love of anything spicy, I am offering this steak sandwich to add to the already amazing list of sandwiches at my favorite place to eat...St. Louis Bread Co./Panera!"