The votes are in hoagie-lovers! The winner of Dietz & Watson’s Best Philly Hoagie Contest is Ron Templeman, the sandwich wizard behind the El Diablo Torta Sucia aka “Filthy Devil.” His culinary creation is made with lime and tomato juice-marinated Dietz & Watson Premium Angus Roast Beef, Dietz & Watson Swiss Gruyere, Dietz & Watson Sweet Red Pepper Mayo, homemade black bean spread, jalapeño lime hot sauce, Yards Love Stout braised onions. It’s topped with lettuce, pico de gallo, guacamole, black olives and cilantro, and then sandwiched between a toasted Conshohocken Bakery hoagie roll. Congrats, Ron!
Now, if you can hold off sprinting to the grocery store to snatch up the ingredients to make the “Filthy Devil” for yourself, we’ve asked Templeman to share the inspiration behind his winning entry and his best sandwich secrets (psst: it involves a waffle iron).
What was the inspiration behind your winning hoagie?
As a native Philadelphian, I’ve eaten more than a few (thousand) sandwiches in my day. Philadelphia is truly a sandwich culture. I’ve lived up and down the I-95 corridor in PA, NJ and now DE and have traveled extensively all over the country and the world. No one makes a hoagie like Philadelphia. When I read about the contest online, I was impressed with D&W’s passion behind the “Real Philly Deli” campaign and it prompted me to create a sandwich worthy of the Best Philly Hoagie title.
How long did it take to craft your winning entry? Lots of trial and error?
As many sandwiches as I’ve eaten, I’ve made at least triple that amount for friends and family. But, this time was a little different since it was being judged and then voted on by the public. I couldn’t decide whether I should make what I like and stay true to my heritage with an Italian hoagie, or whether I should get creative. So, I consulted a friend of mine from the area and asked him for some professional advice. Thank you Chef Dave Katz of Honeygrow! After throwing a few ideas around, I decided to go with beef, cheese, fresh produce, a local bakery and some heat! The recipe I submitted was the first take. Got lucky I guess.
Have any new sandwich creations in the works?
I’m always playing around in the kitchen. I’m a hack home-cook, so we’re not talking about anything fancy. Lucky for me, my wife and two sons are also passionate about sandwiches and love to try new things. I’m still trying to get my wife to call them hoagies and not subs. You can take the girl out of North Jersey, but…
What’s your sandwich secret? Do you have any tips for other budding culinary scientists?
There are no secrets. It’s a sandwich. What I will say is make sure you use the best ingredients possible. The quality that D&W delivers makes that decision easy. The roll is huge component; so don’t mail it in on the bread! I’m also a huge fan of using my waffle maker as a panini press. Try it sometime. You’ll see what I mean.