Toasts and sandwiches quickly became a popular food trend as we continued to navigate the pandemic. Maybe it was because everyone decided to try baking their own bread or—and this is more likely—they were craving the comfort and nostalgia that sandwiches evoke. But don’t be fooled, today’s toasts and sandwiches are a far cry from the traditional ham & cheese, or peanut butter & jelly.
“Everyone has their own different variations on it, so it’s not your typical peanut butter & jelly anymore,” said Chef Joseph Pina, the Campus Executive Chef for Bridgewater State University, which is affiliated with Sodexo. “You can put so many fresh ingredients on top, but it’s really all about the bread and having the best bread possible.”
Pina will demonstrate why these popular handhelds are able to fulfill appetites of all ranges and all meal periods during his Catersource Conference & Tradeshow education session, “Toasts, Sandwiches & Sliders: The Perfect Serve.” Along with colleague Christine Hubbard (also Sodexo), Pina will discuss the growing popularity of grab-and-go, and how sandwiches and toasts can easily migrate into catered passed apps, sandwich “flights” and small plates.
“We’re really looking at shareable pieces at this point in time because it allows you to try everything on the menu,” Pina said. “People have become foodies, so they can now understand cuisine and culture.”
A combination of experience & flavors
Pina has always been a fan of varied flavor combinations, so it’s no surprise that toasts and sandwiches are right up his alley given they offer unlimited possibilities.
“I love to see what I can pair to really complement one another,” he said, “whether it’s textures or maybe it’s something sweet with some heat.”
Pina has been the Campus Executive Chef at Bridgewater State University for two years, while working for Sodexo nearly 20 years in all. Prior to his arrival at Bridgewater State, Pina served as an Executive Culinary & Marketing Chef in Sodexo Corporate Services and Marriott Hotels.
See Chef Pina at Catersource!
Learn from Chef Joseph Pina at Catersource during his culinary demonstration, “Toasts, Sandwiches & Sliders: The Perfect Serve.” Pina and co-presenter Christine Hubbard will demonstrate how to incorporate trend-forward toasts, sandwiches, and sliders into your menu offerings. From breakfast beginnings to late night nosh, you will leave with ideas to delight your guests. Go to conference.catersource.com to get your pass today.
Chef Pina works diligently on outfitting his menus with the latest culinary trends, training his team with current service techniques, and prioritizing quality and freshness in his cuisine. Never satisfied with the status quo, he works with the goal of inspiring his guests to embark on a new and authentic cuisine adventure. He believes that we must teach both our culinary leaders and our customers the art of cuisine and how to “carry the torch” to promote true authenticity of and respect toward diverse global culinary cultures.
“I love the ability to make guests really think about what they’re eating,” he said.
In order to whet your appetite for Pina’s upcoming Catersource session, here is a little taste of what to expect when he starts talking toasts and sandwiches. Bon Appetit!
Avocado Multi-Grain Toast
4 ea. avocado – peeled and seeded
3 T cilantro, chopped
1 ea. lime – juiced
¾ tsp kosher salt
4 slices multi-grain bread
½ tsp cracked black pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp sea salt
2 T avocado oil
Garnish: rainbow micro greens
- Peel and mash the avocado; in a small bowl, combine avocado with cilantro, lime and kosher salt to taste.
- Toast multi-grain bread until golden brown.
- Spread avocado mixture on each slice of toasted bread, end to end.
- Sprinkle on the cracked black pepper, red pepper flakes, and sea salt.
- Drizzle avocado oil for flavor.
- Garnish with rainbow micro greens.
Brioche Toast with Walnut Cream Cheese
3 oz walnuts
8 oz. cream cheese
4 slices brioche bread
8 ea. fig – fresh
Drizzle of maple syrup
1 sprig thyme – fresh, leaves removed
- Chop walnuts with a knife or by putting into a bag and beat with a mallet.
- Add walnuts and cream to a bowl and mix.
- Take figs and slice them; about 3 to 4 slices per fig. Put to the side.
- Toast the brioche bread. Once toasted, spread cream cheese filling on top of the toast.
- Top with sliced figs and layer in the fresh thyme.
- Drizzle the toast with pure maple syrup.
Vegan Texas Toast with Sun Butter
4 slices Texas toast
¾ cup sunflower seed butter
2 ea. banana, sliced
4 oz vegan chocolate chips
Drizzle of agave nectar
- Take the Texas Toast loaf and cut a ¾" slice. Place in toaster to desired color.
- Once done, spread sunflower seed butter on top; ensure full coverage to the ends of the slice.
- Arrange the sliced bananas on top; layering them on top of one another.
- Sprinkle the vegan chocolate chips on top of the bananas.
- Drizzle with agave nectar generously as it gives the bananas a nice shine.