Watch Cooking Channel

Meet Darrell Butler, Creator of the Fat Darrell Sandwich

After spending months collecting information from all of the restaurants featured in our Bracket Battle: Best College Eats tournament (not to mention sampling every single recipe that came out of the test kitchen), I wanted to figure out how something like the Fat Darrell — a huge sandwich loaded with mozzarella sticks, chicken fingers, marinara sauce and French fries — came to be. Who thinks of piling all of the best late night snacks together in one sandwich? A hungry college kid, that’s who.

Late-night inspiration came to Darrell Butler at Rutgers University in the form of the Fat Darrell sandwich, which was named as the Best Sandwich in the country by Maxim magazine in 2004 and has been featured on Paula’s Party, Man vs. Food and even The New York Times.

I recently caught up with him to find out more about how the Fat Darrell came to be.

Cooking Channel: How do you think the Fat Darrell sandwich is going to do in our Campus Eats bracket?

Darrell Butler: If this gets announced ahead of time, I think it will do really well. It’s been popular at Rutgers for a very long time, and expanding out. Now it’s at Temple University, West Virginia University. It’s at different colleges already and I’m still trying to expand it. I think it’s going to do pretty well. It has a lot of media exposure already.

CC: Do you think your sandwich has an advantage over all of the other college-town eats because it has been featured on shows like Man vs. Food was named Best Sandwich by Maxim in 2004?

DB: That can’t hurt; there are a lot of imitations out there, so clearly it’s made an impact nationwide. With that said, I don’t know some of the other competitors so I’m not going to get all cocky and insist that it’s going to win. But all things considered, I think it should do pretty well.

CC: How many Fat Darrell sandwiches have you eaten in your life?

DB: Me personally? Oh god. When I made the thing, I lived off of them in college so I had a billion of them. But I mean, there is lot of pressure whenever I go back to those trucks or when I make an appearance anywhere, because I have to eat them.

People want to hear me order myself. So let’s say a couple hundred? Every TV spot I do, I mean there was this one show that wanted a shot of me eating the sandwich, but they never told me to cut, so they kept having me eat the sandwich over and over again. I’d say a couple hundred conservatively, but who knows, it could be even higher.

CC: What time of day did you create the sandwich?

DB: That was late night. It was after a frat party that got broken up; it was a horrible party. So I wanted some change. I was a little frustrated that day — I got yelled at in class, I had gone to this horrible party.  I had a very frustrating day so I didn’t want the same thing anymore. It was a little creative inspiration.

CC: That was the R U Hungry grease truck?

DB: It has different owners now, but yes, it was the R U Hungry Truck. That was way back.

CC: I know it was ’97 that you created the sandwich. What year of college was that for you?

DB: I was a sophomore. It was the second semester of my second year, January of 1997. I guess you could say sophomore or junior, it can go either way, because I finished the next year.

CC: When you ordered the sandwich, did you think that the Fat Darrell would gain this type of attention?

DB: I definitely didn’t expect to still be talking about it now. I mean, I was just hungry. I didn’t want to spend the full amount on the individual ingredients. I basically hustled the guys behind the counter. But it turned out to be a win for both of us, because they’ve made probably thousands of dollars off this thing. So it all turned out okay.

CC: How has the creation of the Fat Darrell affected your career path?

DB: I majored in journalism and psychology. And I’m also a personal trainer. Anything media-related, it kind of all ties together.  Before this started I thought it was a passing moment in my life. It ended up opening more doors. The Fat Darrell gets on Good Morning America and Fat Darrellcan go to Food Network, but Darrell Butler can’t necessarily get hooked up yet. Ideally I want to start a travel or food show on Cooking Channel or Food Network, or another network out there and will have to transition to acting from the sandwich, because most people know me through that.

CC: What kind of future do you see with the sandwich and for yourself?

DB: With the sandwich, my goal is to expand it nationwide. There are some imitations out there, but nothing really beats the original. I’d like to take it nationwide. It’s already in one stadium and it’s at three colleges. I’d like to have it accessible to everybody across the country, the official version, not some of these cheap knockoffs that are out there. I definitely see it expanding out — nationally, internationally, who knows.

For myself? I could easily see myself doing stuff for the Cooking Channel or Travel Channel, stuff like that. But my goal is doing things like that. At the same time, my day job is as a personal trainer. It sounds kind of funny, because I made this really fattening sandwich. But there is a healthier spinoff that once I get the first version out on that, I want to put the other version out simultaneously. I also want to show that you can have certain things in moderation. You can still be fit and not necessarily … it doesn’t have to be one or the other.

CC: You just touched on this, but how do you feel about the imitations?

DB: A lot of places don’t give credit where it’s due. It started at Rutgers. I mean, if you want to sell a Fat Darrell you have to contact me. As far as the actual grease truck sandwiches, some people think that Monmouth University is the place where it started. Some of the history gets kind of lost, but it started at Rutgers and it is a Rutgers-based sandwich, even though there are these other imitations out there.

I don’t really like the way some of these people are making knockoffs and not giving credit where it’s due. Or doing it the wrong way; the worst thing for me is making knockoff versions with bad ingredients.

CC: What’s your culinary background?

DB: I like food. I have always experimented with food. When I was little I would mix and match with the Big Gulp cup and mix all of the flavors, and figure out how to not overpower the Dr. Pepper. I’ve always put chips on my sandwiches and things like that. I’ve always made weird concoctions and experimented with things. I’m definitely no chef. If I had a show, ideally my plan would be to have a food-related show. But I would never market myself as a chef. I have a lot of good ideas. I’m pretty decent in the kitchen, but I would never market myself as a chef. I would leave that to a good team around me to help me out with that stuff. I’m a foodie more than a chef.

Find out more about the Fat Darrell here. And to vote for the Grease Truck Sandwich in our Bracket Battle: Best College Eats tournament, visit our blog Devour.

Tags:

Comments (868)

  1. sleva, doprodej, výprodej, levné zboží…

    sleva, doprodej, výprodej, levné zboží…

  2. Autoškola Ostrava Slezká Hlučín…

    Autoškola Ostrava Slezká Hlučín…

  3. Cheap Moncler Sale posted 11/28/2013

    Title…

    [...]one of our visitors a short while ago suggested the following website[...]…

  4. Chytrá dezinfekce posted 11/28/2013

    dezinfekcni prostredek,dezinfekcni prostredky,dezinfekcni pripravek,dezinfekcni pripravky,chytra dezinfekce,bezpecna dezinfekce,sirokospektralni dezinfekce,setrna dezinfekce,kvalitni dezinfekce,ucinna dezinfekce,praskova dezinfekce,dezinfekce aktivni…

    dezinfekcni prostredek,dezinfekcni prostredky,dezinfekcni pripravek,dezinfekcni pripravky,chytra dezinfekce,bezpecna dezinfekce,sirokospektralni dezinfekce,setrna dezinfekce,kvalitni dezinfekce,ucinna dezinfekce,praskova dezinfekce,dezinfekce aktivni k…

  5. medovina posted 11/29/2013

    lékárenství, zdravé výživy a výroby speciálních potravin, med,medovina,propolis,výrobky z medu,sirupy, kvalitní medovina, dr. Bojda, přírodní medovina…

    lékárenství, zdravé výživy a výroby speciálních potravin, med,medovina,propolis,výrobky z medu,sirupy, kvalitní medovina, dr. Bojda, přírodní medovina…

  6. Kloubní výživa posted 11/29/2013

    Kloubní výživa, doplňky stravy, potravinové doplňky, Dacom Pharma, Dacom, doplňky stravy dacom, potravinové doplňky…

    Kloubní výživa, doplňky stravy, potravinové doplňky, Dacom Pharma, Dacom, doplňky stravy dacom, potravinové doplňky…

  7. hostgator promo codes posted 11/29/2013

    You must see this website ……

    We came across a cool web site that you may enjoy visiting ……

  8. cookbook recipe posted 11/30/2013

    Title…

    [...]The data mentioned inside the post are a number of the top readily available [...]…

  9. Home posted 11/30/2013

    Title…

    [...]although internet sites we backlink to below are considerably not associated to ours, we feel they may be really really worth a go as a result of, so possess a look[...]…

  10. Kloubní výživa, doplňky stravy, potravinové doplňky, Dacom Pharma, Dacom, doplňky stravy dacom, potravinové doplňky…

    bakterie a enzymy pro domácnost. Bakterie do žumpy, septiků, jezírek a čističek. Ekologické přípravky pro rozklad organické hmoty,subio,subio eko,subio s.r.o.,sannitree,bakterie a enzymy…

  11. hooker posted 11/30/2013

    Title…

    [...]one of our visitors not long ago recommended the following website[...]…

  12. 5000 Youtube Views for $2 posted 12/01/2013

    You should check this out……

    Here are some completely unrelated web sites to ours, having said that, just take a second to visit ……

  13. pohlschroeder posted 12/01/2013

    Title…

    [...]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine some unrelated information, nonetheless truly really worth taking a look, whoa did one particular understand about Mid East has got extra problerms also [...]…

  14. Follixin…

    Untoxin…

  15. officialiphoneunlock scam posted 12/01/2013

    Title…

    [...]one of our visitors not long ago recommended the following website[...]…

  16. OBAGI posted 12/02/2013

    obagi SKIN care…

    OBAGI nu derm skin care…

  17. voyance telephone posted 12/03/2013

    Title…

    [...]please go to the web-sites we adhere to, like this a single, as it represents our picks in the web[...]…

  18. Cara mengobati sakit gigi posted 12/03/2013

    Title…

    [...]always a big fan of linking to bloggers that I enjoy but really don’t get a whole lot of link adore from[...]…

  19. szczeg�ly posted 12/06/2013

    Title…

    [...]always a significant fan of linking to bloggers that I love but do not get a lot of link really like from[...]…

  20. Pea Coats posted 12/07/2013

    MENS pea coats…

    pea coats for men this spring…

  21. pengantin baru posted 12/07/2013

    Title…

    [...]very couple of internet websites that occur to be detailed below, from our point of view are undoubtedly well worth checking out[...]…

  22. Dárkotéka je unikátním portálem pro nákup originálních dárků všeho druhu. Pořízením trefných dárků můžete potěšit rodinu i přátele. Zaměřujeme se pouze na exkluzivní sortiment, který jen tak někde nenajdete. Shlédněte naší nabídku a naučte se darovat…

    Dárkotéka je unikátním portálem pro nákup originálních dárků všeho druhu. Pořízením trefných dárků můžete potěšit rodinu i přátele. Zaměřujeme se pouze na exkluzivní sortiment, který jen tak někde nenajdete. Shlédněte naší nabídku a naučte se darovat s…

  23. Fotografův blog, vyhledávač, 2stromy…

    Fotografův blog, vyhledávač, 2stromy…

  24. visite site posted 12/11/2013

    Title…

    [...]always a large fan of linking to bloggers that I enjoy but do not get a great deal of link really like from[...]…

  25. price ventolin inhaler ireland posted 12/11/2013

    Title…

    [...]here are some links to web sites that we link to because we think they may be worth visiting[...]…

  26. handyman denver posted 12/12/2013

    Title…

    [...]Every as soon as in a although we decide on blogs that we read. Listed beneath are the newest web pages that we decide on [...]…

  27. teeth bleaching denver posted 12/12/2013

    Title…

    [...]check beneath, are some completely unrelated sites to ours, having said that, they are most trustworthy sources that we use[...]…

  28. see this posted 12/14/2013

    Title…

    [...]the time to read or check out the content material or sites we have linked to below the[...]…

  29. handyman denver posted 12/15/2013

    Title…

    [...]one of our visitors lately recommended the following website[...]…

  30. produit de beaute homme posted 12/15/2013

    Title…

    [...]the time to read or stop by the content or websites we have linked to beneath the[...]…

  31. more here posted 12/15/2013

    Title…

    [...]we like to honor a lot of other web web-sites around the internet, even though they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages really worth checking out[...]…

  32. pittsburghspaceballooncompany posted 12/15/2013

    Title…

    [...]although websites we backlink to beneath are considerably not related to ours, we really feel they are truly really worth a go as a result of, so have a look[...]…

  33. Živé přenosy Sport dnes posted 12/15/2013

    Živé přenosy Sport dnes…

    Živé přenosy Sport dnes…

  34. visit site posted 12/16/2013

    Title…

    [...]very few web sites that come about to be in depth below, from our point of view are undoubtedly nicely really worth checking out[...]…

  35. Classifieds apartments for sale…

    Classifieds apartments for sale…

  36. cheapest car insurance quote posted 12/17/2013

    Title…

    [...]Sites of interest we have a link to[...]…

  37. Google posted 12/17/2013

    Google…

    The time to read or check out the subject material or websites we have linked to below….

  38. browserspiele posted 12/20/2013

    Title…

    [...]please stop by the websites we follow, including this a single, as it represents our picks through the web[...]…

  39. moncler official posted 12/20/2013

    Title…

    [...]below you’ll uncover the link to some sites that we consider you must visit[...]…

  40. Polus posted 12/20/2013

    Polus…

    [...]just beneath, are numerous completely not related websites to ours, nevertheless, they may be certainly really worth going over[...]…

  41. Schnaps posted 12/22/2013

    Title…

    [...]Sites of interest we’ve a link to[...]…

  42. Marcos posted 12/22/2013

    Marcos…

    [...]Sites of interest we have a link to[...]…

  43. asianbusinessevents posted 12/22/2013

    Title…

    [...]that will be the finish of this article. Here you will uncover some web pages that we believe you’ll value, just click the links over[...]…

  44. Classifieds apartments for sale…

    Classifieds apartments for sale…

  45. tumblr girl posted 12/24/2013

    Title…

    [...]very few web sites that come about to become in depth beneath, from our point of view are undoubtedly very well really worth checking out[...]…

  46. trade show magician posted 12/25/2013

    Title…

    [...]one of our visitors not long ago suggested the following website[...]…

  47. party bus posted 12/26/2013

    Title…

    [...]Every once inside a even though we opt for blogs that we study. Listed below are the most recent sites that we pick out [...]…

  48. No Credit Check Loans posted 12/27/2013

    Title…

    [...]very few web-sites that happen to be detailed below, from our point of view are undoubtedly very well worth checking out[...]…

  49. official iphone unlocking posted 12/28/2013

    Title…

    [...]Sites of interest we’ve a link to[...]…

  50. truyen hai huoc posted 12/28/2013

    Title…

    [...]one of our guests just lately proposed the following website[...]…

Post a New Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

c