RUSSELL French is hoping for a bite of fame - as he prepares to butter up the judges of the British Sandwich Designer of the year award.
The Sheffield chef will travel to Manchester today to take on 17 of the UK’s top sandwich designers - after nine of his designs made it to the national competition’s semi-final.
“I’ve been perfecting my most unusual and delicious designs for weeks,” said 30-year-old Russell, who has been cooking since he was a teenager.
“People think sandwiches are dull but they’re so versatile.”
It is the second time Ecclesfield lad Russell has been in the running for the title, after getting eliminated at last year’s semi-final. But his record number of entries has boosted his confidence.
“I think it’s unusual to have so many make it through,” said Russell, who works at Barnsley company Fresh-Pak, providing sandwich-fillings for supermarkets.
“I’ve worked hard this year to think up unusual designs and ingredients, so I have my fingers crossed at least one will make it to the final.
It’s been a busy year for the judges who have had to wade through thousands of entries to get to this point.
“Our aim is to recognise the major contribution of those creating new recipes,” said a spokesman.
“Each competitor will make their sandwich creation in front of the judges, who will be marking on innovation, commercial viability, presentation and taste.”
The final will be held in London later in the year.
* Nothing beats making your own bread and it’s easy to do when you know how – plus it smells great.
* Don’t be afraid to try unusual ingredients. My favourite sandwich is my Thai tuna tartare with asian pear coleslaw - delicious.
* Dream up something you’d love to do - then do it! I’m a big fan of hotdogs and wanted to spice up a gluten-free roll in the competition, so I piped Indian meat mix into a sausage and created my Slum-Dog Sausage Sandwich.