What Is Bread Maven Nancy Silverton Doing in a Subway Ad?

The James Beard Award-winning chef was on a ”roll-tasting panel” to help the chain rework its bread

Your eyes do not deceive you: yes, that is Nancy Silverton in a recent Subway TV ad.

The local culinary legend and James Beard Award-winner is sandwiched between a series of athletes (Steph Curry and Serena Williams among them) in the new TV spot touting the fast-food chain’s menu refresh.

Subway is currently catching heat for allegations that the tuna it serves contains no real tuna. And, of course, there was that whole Jared thing a few years ago. A rebranding is definitely in order for the sandwich purveyor.

But why is Silverton partnering with the franchise? Her restaurants continue to remain popular even after last summer’s protests severely damaged Chi Spacca. She even set up a food pantry out of the Mozzaplex for restaurant workers in need of help during the depths of the pandemic.

As Silverton told Los Angeles, her relationship with Subway began when her friend and fellow James Beard Award-winning chef Mark Miller, who was consulting on the chain’s menu overhaul, reached out to her to join the effort. “If Mark Miller was involved then I knew it was a real move to take Subway to a higher level,” she continued. “So my obvious connection with La Brea Bakery, one of Subway’s contractors, paved the way for me to be on the roll-tasting panel.”

Roll-tasting panel? We’re happy to volunteer if they need any more help.

Silverton added that she was interested in the project because it was a large company putting sincere effort into improving their quality: “I think we need to support large companies who are doing the right thing.”

We asked if Subway had any special requests for its new breads. “We needed to make it fool-proof because they bake off the rolls in house,” Silverton said. “Also, the rolls needed to compliment the fillings.” Her involvement led to new Hearty Multigrain and Artisan Italian breads.

So what is Silverton’s favorite sandwich at Subway? That one was a little harder to get a straight answer on: “I’m looking forward to the new Subway. It’s not just one particular sandwich I’m looking forward to, but the whole new vision.”

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