From Dubai to Windsor: Bread Meats Bread serves up sandwiches inspired by five-star dining
CBC Windsor's Jonathan Pinto digs into Chef David Prantera's gourmet selections
From the constantly changing, minimal menu to cooking techniques honed in high-end Dubai hotels, Bread Meats Bread isn't your typical sandwich shop.
The Chatham Street restaurant is the brainchild of Chef David Prantera, who takes international inspiration to craft gourmet sandwiches in the heart of Windsor.
A graduate of St. Clair College, Prantera started his formal culinary career at Casino Windsor (now Caesars Windsor), where he worked for 12 years. After a stint at Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls, Prantera decided to do something drastic.
"I always came in contact with chefs that worked in Hong Kong, or who were from the U.K. and travelled all over, and they're always saying to be a good chef, to be well-rounded, you gotta work overseas," Prantera explained.
In 2009, he packed up his young family and moved to the Middle East.
For the next six years, Prantera worked at high end hotels in Bahrain and Dubai, eventually becoming an executive chef of a boutique villa property.
"Everything was high profile," he said. "We were doing functions for Cartier, Polo Ralph Lauren, a couple other brands, Rolex."
However, being a 14 hour flight away from loved ones in Windsor eventually wore on Prantera and his family and in 2015, they decided to move back home.
While they settled in, Prantera returned to work at Caesars Windsor. But part of the plan of returning to the city was always that he would open his own place.
In December 2016, Prantera finally realized his dream, opening Bread Meats Bread, which was inspired by the chef's love of sandwiches.
"For some reason, I always put everything in a sandwich when I eat myself," he said. "Anything I have I put between two pieces of bread."
The concept is simple — there's a signature pork sandwich known as The Italian Job and three sandwiches that change every two months.
Small plates and salads are also on offer, as are increasingly radical interpretations of Prantera's house-made potato and ricotta gnocchi.
"My wife said, 'you make great gnocchi, you should put it on the menu.' This is before we even opened," Prantera explained, adding he was resistant due to the time and labour involved.
"I ended up doing it, and that's what we're kind of known for, so I have to give her the credit."
What started as a simple gnocchi and cheese, a take on the classic macaroni and cheese, has evolved into dishes such as gnocchi poutine — and even gnocchi ramen.
Bread Meats Bread is located at 33 Chatham St. E. in Windsor.
Jonathan Pinto is CBC Windsor's food reporter. Hear his latest tasty story every other Monday at 4:45 p.m. on CBC Radio's Afternoon Drive with Chris dela Torre, and on CBC Television's CBC News Windsor with Arms Bumanlag.