November 9 2012

Made By Ben

As announced in October we are as happy as pigs in clover to welcome the adorable Made By Ben sandwich bar and café into the fold. So we’ve snaffled a few minutes of clever clogs founder Ben Sibbald’s time to learn more about him and how to recreate the delectable Ben experience at home.

When did you launch Made By Ben and why?
Made By Ben opened on the 4 August 2010. I love cooking, Walcot Street and am incapable of working for someone else. I have issues with taking direction.

Can you sum up your signature style?
Rustic artisan.

Who are your foodie idols?
My dad and Keith Floyd.

What three ingredients can you not live without?
Balsamic glaze, smoked garlic, Parmesan.

What’s your favourite sandwich of all time?
Croque monsieur, Richard Bertinet sourdough, Parmesan béchamel, extra mature cheddar, smoked ham from the Valley Smokehouse, horseradish and whole grain mustard. Toasted until the cheese melts.

What’s more important: the filling or the bread?
They have to complement each other. It would be pointless spending time and money on the filling if the bread is not right and vice versa.

Butter or mayo: discuss.
I only use butter in bacon sandwiches and toast. Mayo if it is asked for. I have absolutely no issue with butter or mayonnaise on sandwiches. I just don’t feel compelled to put it in mine. No one has ever complained. I think the concept of putting butter on bread in sandwiches is something that ‘ just is’ as it’s what your parents did for you. My father was a product designer and my mum a graphics designer and we were brought up to look a things differently and to work out how and why they were like they were. I don’t think it is an ingredient I need to add.

The best sandwich accompaniment is…
A glass of beer and some crisps.

Do you do everything?
I do everything except for the cakes and the bread, which is from Bertinet and Thoughtful Bread Co. My friend Simon makes the killer brownies. But my mum makes most of my cakes.

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