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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Padma and the Turkey Boursin Baguette Incident

This sandwich looks good, right? I mean, downright delicious? Tell that to Padma Lakshmi. This post is about redemption, folks. Defending my culinary honor!

While I was at BlogHer last weekend, I had the opportunity to compete in a sandwich competition held by Hillshire Farms and Padma Lakshmi, host of Top Chef. We had 2 minutes to make a sandwich that was then judged by 3 children judges and Padma. I received the invitation to participate a few days before the event, when I was completely buried in SocialLuxe preparations. So, let’s just say I didn’t think super hard about my recipes…AND I didn’t want to win since the final round was during my nephew’s 1st birthday party (although, that doesn’t mean I wasn’t trying…I WAS). Yes, this is all going somewhere…stick with me…

Pre-competition, blissfully unaware of my upcoming downfall

The esteemed panel of judges

So, I decided to do one of my most favorite sandwiches for Round 1. I thought it would be simple enough. Yeah, not so much. My sandwich required cutting a baguette, which may not have been a problem in and of itself, except that they gave me utility gloves that made it nearly impossible to get a handle on the bread. And the lettuce was shredded. And I couldn’t toast the bread. And I thought we were going to have 4 minutes, but we only had 2. Yes, I’m making excuses….okay, the stage has been set. Here’s how the competition went down.

“On your mark, get set, go!”

Jane, contestant #4, furiously trying to make a 4-inch piece of baguette into 4 lovely little sandwiches. Wearing utility gloves 10 times too large for her fingers. Don’t forget the utility gloves. Damn those utility gloves!

I look surprisingly calm in this photo. I assure you, I was not.

“Times up!”

Padma starts with contestant #1 and looks at each sandwich, asking what it is. After nicely checking out the first 3 sandwiches, Padma approaches Jane’s station, looks at the plate and says…

“And we can just throw this one in the trash.”

Oh, no she didn’t!

Oh, yes she did!

Everyone laughs. Including Jane. It was pretty funny….after all, the plate looked like a pile of tiny pieces of torn up baguette tossed with some shredded lettuce and decimated turkey. Then Padma says…

“So, what was it supposed to be?”

Jane then describes the recipe, assuring Padma {and the world} that normally it is quite delicious. Simultaneously, any faith anyone had in her cooking abilities is thrown out the window and run over by a NYC taxi cab.

Judging commences. Padma gets the results, announces that I am not in last place (albeit, not in first either) and says…

“Does that make you feel better?”

It did. Third place is definitely better than last. You can’t tell from the show. Padma is funny. And pretty darn sarcastic. Who knew?

So, yeah, that’s how my first quickfire food competition went down. In a ball of flames. Like I said, I kind of wanted to lose in Round 1 or 2 anyway. And if you’re going to lose, you may as well do it while Padma makes fun of you the whole time.

This recipe’s for you, Padma. I swear it’s good.

Padma and the Turkey Boursin Baguette Incident
Recipe type: Main Dish, Sandwich
  • Baguette
  • Sliced pepper turkey
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Boursin cheese, softened at room temperature for about 30 minutes
  1. Toast baguette. Spread Boursin on both sides then top the bottom bread with turkey and a leaf of romain lettuce.
  2. That’s it. Easy peasy and delicious. Unless you have only two minutes to make the sandwich and Padma Lakshmi is watching (and laughing at) you.

Thanks to the lovely Marie LeBaron for taking pictures during the competition for me! And to my Eat.Blog.Run ‘family’ for cheering me on!


  1. I think you should have WON, Jane! It was pretty funny to watch and Padma is a very funny person. I thought the whole thing was hilarious. So glad I was in attendance to witness it myself. I would eat your sandwich any day. And it goes to show YOU ROCK, since even though your plate was decimated, you still didn’t get last place!

  2. 2

    You had me at Boursin…

  3. 3

    Yummy! Sorry I didn’t get to see that. It was great to see you at the Social Luxe party, you looked great and it was such a blast. I will try this sandwhich in your honor, think my kids may even like, it, provided I skip the lettuce and possibly the cheese 🙂 My son also told me he can’t have tomatoes on sandwhiches, just plain, as they slip out and fall to the floor 🙂

  4. Oh, it was the giant gloves, I’m sure! Those gloves looked big enough for a college football player to wear — who could cut baguette with those? And a plastic knife, I think, right? Oh my.

    Although I will say when I saw the little silver tin I knew it was boursin — of course my *very* favorite cheese.

    You were a great sport. It was fun to watch the shortest two minutes ever.

  5. 5

    Definitely the gloves! I was there for the beginning of the competition but left before all of the excitement. The recipe with boursin should have put you over the top! Delicious!

    Great to meet you last Friday at the party. Looking forward to seeing you again.


  6. Looks delicious to me!!!

  7. 7

    Great wrap up! I don’t think Padma even got to try your sandwich did she? I’m sure if she’d have gotten to the taste, it would have beaten out all the rest!

  8. 8

    Thanks for this recipe — the boursin pairs well with the Turkey. I’d like to add that I found this sandwich to be significantly improved with sliced tomatoes and onions. Under 2min? No way — but on a hot summer day you can grill the bread on your BBQ and cut/slice meat and veggies in say 10 minutes.

  9. 9
    Jane Maynard

    what perfectly delicious sounding suggestions – THANKS, David! 🙂

  10. I could not get into the sand which competition because well, I’m just not a fan of the first three Star Wars films. I don’t even think I saw Padame eat anything in those movies let alone a sandwich so how is she able to judge you? She didn’t wear massive gloves either which means you all should have gotten an extra minute for that.

  11. 11

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