Put that butter knife down. Seriously, don't make another sandwich until you've read this.
Adam Richman, eh? Doesn't he look different?
"Where has he been?" we hear you ask. Well, we asked him exactly that.
"I've been promoting my new show, Fandemonium. I've been shooting two new shoes in the States. I've been working with a winery in Argentina on a pairing menu. I sponsor 14 teams of a baseball little league. I'm chairman of the board of the Armed Forces Foundation, which helps wounded veterans. I'm a national spokesman for the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. I've just become involved with Genius of Autism. Oh and I'm finishing my cookbook, Straight-Up Tasty."
A busy guy, then?
"Busy is always better than the alternative," he tells us. Which certainly explains all the weight he's lost.
Somehow, we managed to grab the guy for his secrets to a perfect sandwich. Don't make another sandwich until you've read this.
Rule 1: Remember ratio and proportion
There's this idea about burgers where the bread and the meat should always be equal in proportion but I don't think that is always the case. It is possible to over-egg the custard and put too many things in but a sandwich is essentially your imagination bounded by two pieces of bread.
Rule 2: Encompass all the tastes
Your tastes are sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami. A good sandwich should encompass all of them. If you have something spicy, then you'll want to have something rich to cut that spice. If you're going to have something bitter, have something creamy or sweet. If you're having something salty, you'll want to counterpoint with sour.
Try to use unconventional ingredients too. For sour, people will think about throwing in a pickle but there are so many other types of sour. There are sour salts and jams, there's lemon and citrus. It doesn't have to be a slice of lemon. You can toss a light slaw with cabbage, parsley, dill and a little salt and pepper and use mandarin orange and lemon and grapefruit as the acid. That way, it's also bright and crunchy, which leads me to my next rule…
Rule 3: Mix up the textures
Don't just play with the different flavours. If you have soft bread, you might want crunch in the middle. If you have crunchy bread, you might want soft throughout. That's a super, big one to remember.
Rule 4: Play with temperature
This is something I learned during Man v. Food. You can stack all your elements (your meats, cheeses, a cool relish or chutney) on a baking tray and bake them by themselves. Then the bread can be toasted and you can put an ice-cold salad on it. With dipping sauces, you can also have something bracing cold, searing hot or at room temperature.
Rule 5: Go left of centre
There are so many amazing cultures that have settled here in the UK. Whether you go to Brick Lane or Slough, you have curries available, mango pickle, coriander and cumin. Don't just go to the deli and have mustard and mayo.
I guarantee, if you're the guy using walnuts in your pesto, or Pecorino Romano in your tomato sauce, or taking Chinese roast pork and adding Colman's Mustard, you will find something that no one else has. Put it on a scone or put it on a muffin. Do interesting things with it.
I've eaten in some pretty fine UK restaurants in my time but, for me, the ones that are most memorable often cost very little.: A kebab, or a Chinese restaurant in Gerard Street or a guy with one leg who sells barbecue at Kings Cross. Embrace these cultures.
REMEMBER: Proportion, taste, texture, temperature and left of centre ingredients make for a much better experience. It can be a three-ingredient sandwich and you'll still get all that stuff.
Catch Adam Richman's new show Fandemonium at 9pm weekdays on Food Network (freeview 41/Sky262).