Satisfying cravings for beauty, bounty, and color are always on Camille Becerra's cooking agenda. Becerra, who is known for her delicious, wholesome, beautiful recipes, has been a Top Chef and a downtown kitchen darling (showcasing her colorful locavore style at Nolita's stylish De Maria, Navy in SoHo, and a number of other restaurants) and is now driving the culinary programming for As You Are, The Lobby Bar, private events, and in-room dining at Ace Hotel Brooklyn. Her modern takes on American hospitality classics utilize superfoods and include vegetable-forward and vegan-friendly dishes that nourish and satisfy. They always look very pretty on a plate, too.
At As You Are, Becerra introduces a combination of new dishes and classic mainstays that serve a host of different people in transit. "When designing the menu for Ace, I think about how the hotel hosts a lot of travelers and locals in a neighborhood that is diverse and knowledgeable of food — and used to delicious food! The hotel menu should provide something that's both nurturing and familiar, as well as exciting and different."
While eating lunch at the hotel one day (the lobby serves as a regular meeting place for Fathom), Becerra mentioned that a popular item on the menu, The Hippie Sandwich, was inspired by a snack she assembles whenever she skips town. "When I travel outside of the city, I won’t eat out everyday. I am a person who wants to have a good meal, I don’t want to settle. I want every meal that I eat to be delicious."
After checking into her hotel, Becerra will find a nice grocery store and get all the ingredients to make her hotel sandwich: a combo of creamy hummus, tangy pickled cabbage, crunchy sprouts, and sliced cheddar piled on hearty whole wheat bread. "This is the most fulfilling, filling, tasty sandwich that you can take to the beach or take out on of your bag in the park after walking around town. It's always nice to have elements that are familiar, sit well, feel fresh, and can fit in a mini fridge."
From her humble hotel sandwich sprang The Hippie Sandwich, which also includes jicama, avocado, and spicy aioli. Feel free to adapt it any way you like, being sure to balance elements that are creamy, tangy, crunchy, and hearty.
CAMILLE BECERRA'S ORIGINAL HOTEL SANDWICH
Seedy loaf of bread, sliced
Container of hummus
Packets of mustard from the to-go area
Jar of sauerkraut or fermented cabbage
1. Spread hummus on one slice of sandwich bread.
2. Layer all ingredients on top of hummus, starting with avocado and ending with sprouts.
3. Spread mustard on another slice of bread and top off the sandwich.