Joseph Walker and his winning toastie.

New Zealand’s best toasted sandwich has a name, and a face—'The Detroit’ from Hokitika Sandwich Company. The winner of the inaugural Great New Zealand Toastie Takeover competition, The Detroit wowed judges with its combination of corned beef, McClure’s Sweet & Spicy Pickles, Havarti and cream cheeses, red onion, and an in-house special sauce inside a locally sourced and baked to order loaf.

'The Detroit'

           Out of 13 finalists, The Detroit was praised for its simplistic, yet bold flavour profile, something that reminded the judges of what it truly means to be a toasted sandwich. Joe McClure, of McClure’s Pickles in the United States, flew over personally to help the judging of the final 13. Travelling across the country and trying each of the 13 toasties individually, McClure said that by the end of the trip, he was questioning the very idea of the humble toasted sandwich—what is a toasted sandwich?

           The owner of the Hokitika Sandwich Company, Joseph Walker, serves freshly baked and made sandwiches from 10 am to 2 pm Tuesday to Saturday. His menu varies, but everything is comprised of free-range and locally sourced suppliers. In addition to Walker’s establishment, more than 50 cafes and restaurants submitted their own take on the toastie. The requirements for the sandwich was that it had to be served between two slices of bread, and able to be eaten by hand. Additionally, the sandwiches needed to contain cheese and McClure’s pickles.

           “We saw sandwiches with wild duck, sautéed cauliflower, smoked kahawai, pastrami, brisket, you name it,” said Joe McClure. “And that’s what a toastie is about—getting what’s to hand and putting it together to create a great, simple and tasty bite.”

           The Toastie Takeover trophy is now proudly displayed in the Hokitika Sandwich Company’s venue, with a year’s worth of McClure’s Pickles being supplied to the winners, too. For more information about the competition, please visit For more information about McClure’s delicious pickle offerings, see

Joe McClure and Joseph Walker.