Top Chef’ judge Tom Colicchio makes a meaty claim about sandwiches and avocado toast
For the record, a hot dog is considered a sandwich.
That’s what celebrity chef Tom Colicchio, who’s owned sandwich shop chain ‘Wichcraft for decades, believes.
“I would say yes,” he revealed to Moneyish during a lightning round of “Food for Thought” questions while promoting Arnold Bread.
“It’s meat between two pieces of bread or one piece of bread that’s split, so technically I think it’s a sandwich. Give me the logical reason for why it’s not a sandwich?” he countered.
Colicchio’s response to the age old food debate goes against the grain of other top chefs, like Anthony Bourdain, who argued that “if you asked a hot dog vendor for a hot dog sandwich they would probably report you to the FBI. As they should.” And even the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council refuses to consider the humble tube steak a sandwich. “Limiting the hot dog’s significance by saying it’s ‘just a sandwich’ is like calling the Dalai Lama ‘just a guy,’” the council stated.
When it comes to bread, Colicchio has some practical rationale on how to save some — like not splurging on avocado toast. He says the most anyone should spend on the outrageously priced brunch staple is $12 max. He sells it for a frugal $5 at ‘Wichcraft.
The 55-year-old “Top Chef” judge on Bravo has opened up fancy New York City restaurants like Gramercy Tavern, Riverpark and most recently Temple Court, formerly called Fowler and Wells, but he says his first job as a teen working a pool concession stand in his Elizabeth, New Jersey hometown was by far his favorite.
“I was 14 or 15, and at the swim club that my family belonged to in the summer there was a lunch concession there. I was hired by the guy to help out and scoop ice cream and work the cash register and within a week I was cooking all the food. Best job I ever had,” he recalls.
“I worked in a pair of cutoffs, sometimes a T-shirt, no shoes and he was paying me $275 a week under the table and I was 15. It was great.”
He learned that he was better behind the line than front of house at a young age too.
“I was a busser at a restaurant in New Jersey, and I knew I wasn’t cut out for the front of the house when I dropped an entire tray on someone. I apologized. I tried to clean it, and this woman just laid into me. I said, ‘You know what? This isn’t going to work out,’” he remembers.
But the father of three says the experience was necessary, especially for people who want to invest in a restaurant business of their own.
“If you’re going to get into it, work in it before you invest,” he advises.
“Check your ego at the door. If you think you’re the only one that can do it, you’re going to be the only one left,” he says.
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