Plated delivers the origin story of a restaurant dish as told by an establishment’s chefs and owners. Today's plate is from Baoguette, the Gramercy-area bánh mì destination owned by chef Michael Huynh and wife Thao Nguyen.

On the plate: The ‘Sloppy Bao’ sandwich. $7
The players: Thao Nguyen and Michael Huynh, proprietors.

Michael Huynh: "I love Sloppy Joes, but I think the Sloppy Bao has more kick to it. I used to make Sloppy Joes maybe 25 years ago, when I was still in high school, for an after-school snack. More recently, we’d make a version of this, the Sloppy Bao some nights for family meal at Bar Bao. The beef stew is a traditional recipe based on my wife's family recipe, made with shallots, garlic, lemongrass, red curry paste, basil, and fish sauce. It’s served on a French-style baguette with green mango julienne, pickled onion, cilantro leaves, and sliced jalapeno.

The bread is a par-bake product from Wenner; we bake it every 15 minutes. It’s really best available baguette for our sandwiches: even fresh bread from bakeries can sometimes be 10 hours old, stale, and not soft enough. We leave the spice level of our sandwiches up to the customer. Some customers freak out when they request something spicy and we give them spicy food. We give them a cold Vietnamese ice coffee, though, if we hear a cry for help."