Even Michelin-Star Chefs Love The Masters’ Pimento Cheese Sandwich: “It’s Everything You Could Ask For”

Thomas Keller weighs in on the beloved concession staple.

Masters Pimento Cheese

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Few sandwiches are surrounded by as much folklore and mystique as the Masters' pimento cheese sandwich.

The modest $1.50 meal has had a hold on Masters patrons for more than 20 years, and not just because Augusta National has managed to keep its price so comically low. There's just something about pimento cheese smeared between two humble slices of white bread that works in the setting. 

Even Thomas Keller agrees. In a recent conversation with Golf Magazine, the Michelin-star chef  behind French Laundry and Per Se revealed that it’s his go-to concession stand purchase. 

“It’s the Masters,” Keller told the publication. “You’ve got to go with the pimento cheese.”

The restaurant legend went on to share his theory behind the success of the sandwich, which, he believes, has to do with expectations. 

“In everything we eat, as with all of our experiences, it’s a matter of managing our expectations,” Keller said. “I learned that lesson years ago when I dined at my first Michelin three-star restaurant in France. I don’t know what my expectations were, but no restaurant could have possibly met them, and I wound up ruining the experience for myself.”

When you purchase a pimento cheese sandwich at Augusta National, you know what you’re getting. Simple, delicious, and consistent. 

“It’s everything you could ask for,” Keller told Golf. “Right down to the soft white bread that sticks to the roof of your mouth.”

Keller has such respect for the Masters’ pimento cheese sandwich that he’s on a quest to recreate it at his local golf course in California. He has gotten close, but even he can’t get it quite right. 

“I’d love to use the green cellophane wrapping they use at Augusta, but I can’t find it anywhere,” Keller told Golf. “That must be made specially for them.”

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