’wichcraft is a New York-based sandwich shop that goes beyond your typical ham and cheese. Co-founder Sisha Ortuzar was inspired by the way chefs eat, combining leftovers of whatever happened to be prepared that day and slapping it between two slices of bread. With a variety of sandwiches for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Chef Ortuzar remains dedicated to creating a menu that “pleases every palate.” Ortuzar lets his double shot macchiato stand alone to avoid a food pair that would make it too “noisy.” He does recommend coupling a breakfast sandwich with our French-pressed Haitian Blue Forest without milk. “That way,” he says, “coffee starts acting a little bit like wine as the acidity hits your stomach.”
Even as ’wichcraft opens their 17th location at Chelsea Piers, they continue to support the sustainable, organic farming methods. For this location, they have Chef Mike’s “really cool veggie burger,” to be more kid-friendly, but they are also trying to be as healthy as possible since it’s by the sports facility. The menus at different locations vary a little: “Like in Bryant Park, we have a great outdoor space so we set up an outdoor grill. They’re out there cooking in the summertime.” With a consistent menu throughout most locations, Chef Ortuzar says that he loves the challenges of working between the kitchen and the farm. At his Riverpark restaurant, he even gives customers an opportunity to dine on the farm, with a table situated in the center of the plot.
“It’s great, working between the kitchen and the farm, because it goes in circles. The farmer is growing based on what we want to offer, but we’re cooking based on what the farmer is growing. We’re getting a lot smarter about what we’re growing and really refining it.”
Although their temporary farm will be forced to relocate this year, Ortuzar says he’s really excited to find it a permanent home. They are fortunate to have enough street space to have their entire plot on land, rather than a rooftop farm. He really wants to make people feel close to their food.
Ortuzar comes from Chile, where he claims the cuisine itself isn’t that interesting, but they create a lot of good products. In the summer, he used to eat a lot of salads, which is where he got the inspiration for his “goat cheese” sandwich, a flavorful combination of celery, avocado, walnuts and goat cheese. “They go really well together because the avocado is rich and soft, but the celery is crunchy and refreshing. The trick is to let it sit for about 10 minutes with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.”
For a company that began with a foundation as simple as the sandwich, ’wichcraft flourishes by supporting artisan producers and small farms. Everything is prepared in their kitchen, and they handpick each ingredient to ensure the highest quality and flavor, like fruits from Red Jacket Orchard or their free-range chicken. At ’wichcraft, you’ll be sure to find the unusual, unique combination to win you over.