10/17/2013 03:25 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

Montreal man crowned sandwich king for creation featuring flavours of Morocco

TORONTO - A Montreal man's adventurous spirit when it comes to elevating the humble sandwich has earned his lamb creation the title Canada's best sandwich.

Jean Emond won $10,000 Thursday for his North African Lamb Filet Sandwich With Harissa and Figs as well as $10,000 donation toward his charity of choice, World Wildlife Fund Canada.

He beat three other finalists in the competition sponsored by ACE Bakery and judged by Bob Blumer, host of Food Network Canada's "World's Weirdest Restaurants," Julie Van Rosendaal, the Calgary-based blogger behind, and Marcus Mariathas, ACE Bakery's master baker.

The four prepared their sandwiches in front of an audience at the Cooking School at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto.

The three other regional finalists were Meghan Legere of Toronto for her Lavender Roasted Plums With Pancetta; Ling Huynh of Calgary for her Korean Barbecue Chicken With Kimchi and Spicy Mayo; and Ashley Seely of Rothesay, N.B., for her Spicy Berbere Steak With Fresh Cheese and Lemon Vinaigrette Salad.

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, ACE Bakery bumped up the prize amount so that each finalist received $1,000 cash and $1,000 to donate to their charity of choice before entering the cook-off.

Here is Jean Emond's winning recipe.

North African Lamb Sandwich With Harissa and Figs

Emond developed his recipe through a step-by-step process starting with tender lamb, then layered on ingredients and spices to create a balance of Moroccan flavours. Ras el hanout is a spice mix from North Africa.

340 g (12 oz) lamb tenderloin, cut into thin strips, 7.5 to 10 cm (3 to 4 inches) long

4 ciabatta buns, split

Lamb Marinade

2 cloves garlic, crushed

5 ml (1 tsp) honey

15 ml (1 tbsp) olive oil

5 ml (1 tsp) harissa paste

5 ml (1 tsp) kosher salt

2 ml (1/2 tsp) ras el hanout

2 ml (1/2 tsp) cumin seeds

2 ml (1/2 tsp) freshly ground black pepper

30 ml (2 tbsp) pine nuts

50 ml (1/4 cup) chopped Italian parsley

Spicy Mayo

50 ml (1/4 cup) mayonnaise

1 clove garlic, minced

5 ml (1 tsp) honey

5 ml (1 tsp) harissa paste

Pinch ras el hanout

Fig and Goat Cheese Salad

2 fresh figs, diced

60 g (2 oz) soft goat cheese, crumbled

5 ml (1 tsp) honey

5 ml (1 tsp) olive oil

1 ml (1/4 tsp) cumin powder

1 ml (1/4 tsp) cumin seeds

1 ml (1/4 tsp) ras el hanout

6 fresh mint leaves, julienned

250 ml (1 cup) baby arugula

In a large bowl, mix together marinade ingredients except pine nuts and parsley. Add lamb strips and marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour to let flavours mingle.

In a large wok or a skillet over medium heat, stir-fry lamb until just cooked through, 3 or 4 minutes. Stir in pine nuts and parsley and toss to combine.

Spicy Mayo: In a small bowl, combine all ingredients.

Fig and Goat Cheese Salad: In a small bowl, gently toss all ingredients together until lightly coated, adding mint and arugula at the last moment.

To assemble sandwiches, lightly grill ciabatta buns until warm and toasty. Spread cut sides of each bun with some of the mayo. On the bottom bun, lay some of the seasoned lamb mixture and drizzle with some of the jus. Finish with the salad and top of bun.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: ACE Bakery.