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Robert Irvine, Celebrity Chef, Battles It Out in SUBWAY Breakfast Competition

Celebrity chef Robert Irvine, left, challenges Jonathan Edmontson, 28, of Queens, NY, to build the most flavorful breakfast sandwich during the SUBWAY "Better Breakfast Battle." (Diane Bondareff/AP Images for SUBWAY)

New York — On Thursday, May 26th, in Times Square, seasoned and aspiring cooks squared-off to celebrate the one-year birthday of SUBWAY’s breakfast menu. And what better way to celebrate food than with a meal. The SUBWAY Better Breakfast Battle pitted celebrity chef Robert Irvine of “Dinner: Impossible,” “Worst Cooks in America” and “Restaurant:  Impossible” against fans and consumers to determine who could create the most customized and the most flavorful breakfast. Out of 14 contestants, Jared Fogle— you know the  guy who lost all the weight on a diet that consisted of SUBWAY sandwiches — emerged victorious. His breakfast sandwich just may have been that good, but he may also have had an edge since he is the poster child for the sub and sandwich shop that loops circles around their competitors, with none of them even coming in a close second. But in this case, there was a really close competitor, and Jared beat out 25-year veteran chef Robert Irvine by only one point in the last round. –roz edward

What was the competition like?

It was interesting because the rounds were themed. So, one was like Memorial Day weekend, one was using only green vegetables, one was based on the sights and the food of New York City, in another one we could only use vegetables and one [round] included a secret ingredient.

Why the competition?

We want people to know that Subway is the only quick-service restaurant that allows you to pick and choose whatever foods you want and how you want them.  Is it flatbread, is it muffins, or is it a roll, and what do you want on it, whole eggs or egg whites?  Whatever it is you want, Subway is allowing you to do it. And fans can get in on the competition on Subway’s Facebook page.

What are the best choices for breakfast?

I have been a fan of Subway for a long time, and this is a healthier way, a safer way and a fun way for you to create your own style of breakfast.  Fresh vegetables, great protein, great chicken, flavorful food that you want. I came up with a Philadelphia cheese steak with spicy Chipotle sauce, steak onions and egg whites in a flat bread. That is a protein breakfast. So, when I am on my show running around, I could actually eat this and get great taste without getting it all over me.

What is important for people to remember about a smart and healthy breakfast?

When we go to bed at night, we go an empty stomach, so we wake up ravenous in the morning.  So, the first thing is to control your intake of food. So, when you’re at home, if you want two eggs, use one egg yolk and the white of another, and put the rest aside for another meal. Crispy bacon at home means you’ve cooked off a lot of the fat, and, although it may sound strange, black beans and rice are the highest forms of protein you can get.

Chef Irvine will appear in the upcoming season of “Iron Chef,” which will begin airing in November.