RICHARD ORD: Greatest thing since sliced bread ... not!

James Martin
James Martin

Am I the only TV viewer who has misgivings about chef James Martin’s sandwich making prowess?

While I admit I need to get out more, his latest culinary idea leaves me as cold as the lefthovers he uses.

In the battle for supermarket supremacy, Asda has wheeled him out to wage war again Sainsbury’s Jamie Oliver. In our house, Jamie Oliver reigns supreme.

When there’s no Euro 2016 games, Jamie Oliver reruns win the day. My wife argues that they gives her great ideas for dinners, so me and our two boys shouldn’t grumble. Last night we had oven chips, frozen chicken burgers and chickpeas. We’re grumbling.

Mr Martin features in the latest Asda advert, coming to the rescue of a young family who are apparently bored with traditional sandwiches.

Jamie needn’t lose any sleep. While Jamie (AKA The Naked Chef, ‘hold the sausage, thanks’) rustles up plenty of interesting recipes for his Sainsbury’s paymasters, Martin has gone basic. Industrial even.

His culinary TV rivals craft elaborate tuiles and flambeed sugar spun souffles that are a feast for the eyes and tastebuds. Martin has, erm, hollowed out a loaf of bread and bunged some leftover chicken in it. Basic? You bet.

I’m surprised he didn’t use a hacksaw and chisel to gut his loaf before squashing the filling in with a trowel.

As if to accentuate the laziness in thought and deed of this preposterous sandwich idea, he is seen delivering this gargantuan lump of sandwich (or is it a loafwich?) to the family by motorbike.

He chugs up, churning through the English countryside on a fume-belching motor. Lazy and harmful to the environment, thanks Asda!

While the cameraman does his best to shed the loafwich in an appealing light, I can’t help wondering how you are meant eat it.

The beauty of the sandwich is that the filling is held together by two slices of bread. Here, it isn’t held together at all. What we have is a crust sandwich, and we all know how much kids love crusts.

What he does with the inside of the loaf (the bread) remains a mystery. Perhaps he uses it in another recipe. I reckon he’ll hollow out a steak and kidney pie and replace the filling with the bread. Piebread. That’ll be his next Asda recipe.

And so it will go on. Next week he’ll hollow out a turnip and stuff it with the steak and kidney he scooped out of the pie. Then he’ll use the turnip filling inside a hollowed out melon (Melip anyone?), and so on and so on.

He could call his new recipe book Get Stuffed! Apt really, because it’s the phrase that sprang to my mind when I saw his Asda loafwich.

When asked by Asda if he could reinvent the sandwich, James Martin should have said ‘no.’ Thing is, he was probably asked ‘Can you reinvent the sandwich for a three-figure salary.’

The answer to that question is always a yes, whether you can or not. Hence the loafwich.