Go into any hotel in the world and the menu will surely include the club sandwich. It is said that it was first served in an exclusive Saratoga Springs, New York, gambling club in the late 19th century. The Brussels Hotel Association challenged Brussels hotels to come up with their version of it.
Five hotels – be Manos Hotel, Hotel Amigo, Sheraton Brussels Hotel, Sofitel Brussels Europe and the Thon Hotel EU – were nominated this year for the best club sandwich in Brussels hotels, each represented by a line cook or commis chef aged maximum thirty years.
Given half an hour of preparation time, participants were asked to revisit the club sandwich by integrating at least one typical Brussels or Belgian product at a cost of up to eight euros. The competition gave new life to a classic of hotel cuisine, while highlighting the skills and creativity of the capital’s hotel kitchens.
The jury, made up of well-known chefs, journalists, food writers and media personalities – Gaëtan Colin, Roland Debuyst Pierre Fonteyne , Nicolas Gaspard , Leslie Rijmenams , Joëlle Rochette and Isabelle Verjans – had the difficult task of choosing a successor to the last winner, the Hotel Metropole in 2011. They took into account technique, practicality, taste and aesthetics.
The winner was the Sheraton Brussels Hotel with its ‘Club sandwich Passion Terroir’, prepared by Mohamed Zanu, under the guidance of Chef Christian Tirilly.
In second place was the Sofitel Brussels Europe with ‘The Brusseleir’, prepared by Sébastien Kestens under the guidance of Chef Marc Paquet
Thon Hotel EU came third with ‘The Twelve Sandwich’, prepared by Kevin De Wals, under the guidance of Chef Olivier Gaillez.
The event was organized by Brussels Hotels Association, in collaboration with Food for Thought & Drinks for Fun and the Association of Chefs of Brussels hotels.