On Friday, February 3 from 4-5 p.m. the public is invited to Whole Foods Market (3761 State St., 837-6959) to watch a bit of live Top Chef-ry right here in Santa Barbara at the SB Sandwich Showdown. Held in honor of Tom Colicchio, who happens to own a chain of ’wichcraft sandwich shops, and who will be at UCSB Campbell Hall on February 22, the Showdown will see who is the best thing since sliced bread with some sliced bread.

The contestants will be Clay Lovejoy, a co-owner of Three Pickles (126 E. Canon Perdido St., 965-1015, 420 S. Fairview Ave., 964-4585, threepickles.com), Paul Shields, owner of Savoy Cafe & Deli (24 West Figueroa St., 962-6611, the savoycafe.com), and brave amateur contestant LJ Washington, who already jumped one hurdle by being chosen as the amateur entrant over a slew of fine sandwich makers, based on some delish recipes. (LJ’s victorious semi-finalist entry was for a New Orleans Meatloaf Po Boy.) Emceeing the event will be yours truly, the Independent Food Editor, and one of the judges will be regular food writer Joanie Hudson.

The winner of the final contest — whether pro or amateur —will receive a Whole Foods Market shopping spree (value $250), a pair of tickets to see Colicchio at UCSB, the chance to meet him backstage after his talk, and a copy of ’wichcraft (Colicchio’s acclaimed book on the art of sandwich-making). Plus a lot of bragging rights.

Which ‘wich will reign supreme? Come and see it all happen – live!


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