Photograph by Brian Vu for Bloomberg Businessweek

Make a Tastier Sandwich: Five Chefs' Advice

  1. A Less Sad Lunch Break
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    A Less Sad Lunch Break

    Five acclaimed chefs upgrade the boring brown-bag sandwich. Read on for tips on which bread to use, what condiment to spread, and more.

    Photograph by Brian Vu for Bloomberg Businessweek
  2. Crusty Multigrain Sourdough
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    Crusty Multigrain Sourdough

    Instead of white bread, try crusty multigrain sourdough. The higher temperature and wood smoke of a hearth impart deeper flavor, so Jason Wilson, chef of the buzzy Miller’s Guild in Seattle, says to buy from a local artisanal bakery. (Or just get Pepperidge Farm’s at the grocery store.) The loaf’s crust should feel dense, the better to absorb condiments and not get squished in your bag.

    Photograph by Brian Vu for Bloomberg Businessweek
  3. Spicy Mango Sauce
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    Spicy Mango Sauce

    Instead of mayo, try spicy mango sauce. The sweet heat of mango sauce staves off condiment monotony. Asha Gomez, chef of Atlanta-based Cardamom Hill, zips together 2 ripe mangoes, 4 Thai chilies, 4 garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon sugar, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a blender. It lasts a week, covered in the fridge.

    Photograph by Brian Vu for Bloomberg Businessweek
  4. Mustard Greens
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    Mustard Greens

    Instead of romaine lettuce, try mustard greens. Lettuce looks healthy, but romaine contains little more than water. Chef Benjamin Sukle of Birch in Providence suggests mustard greens instead. They have a spicy, hearty bite and the added benefits of vitamins A, C, and E. Leave the stems for crunch and pile them high.

    Photograph by Brian Vu for Bloomberg Businessweek
  5. Smoked Gouda
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    Smoked Gouda

    Instead of American cheese singles, try smoked Gouda. “Paired with the salty-sweetness of chicken meat, the smoky richness this cheese adds is tremendous,” says Fitzgerald Dodd, a former private chef for the Miami Heat who now runs Sunday Supper, a series of underground dinners in Dallas.

    Photograph by Brian Vu for Bloomberg Businessweek
  6. Home-Roasted Chicken
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    Home-Roasted Chicken

    Instead of pre-sliced turkey, try home-roasted chicken. Clay Conley, the James Beard-nominated restaurateur behind Buccan in Palm Beach, Fla., recommends roasting and slicing the breast and leg meat yourself. Marinate a bird overnight with chopped garlic, parsley, tarragon, and Dijon mustard, then bake at 450F for an hour to create an herbal, surprisingly simple deli meat.

    Photograph by Brian Vu for Bloomberg Businessweek