It has long been said that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. But one woman has taken that adage and turned it into a mission statement.
Stephanie Smith, a New York Post reporter and author of the blog "300 Sandwiches," is midway through a challenge to make her boyfriend hoagies, sliders and banh mi sandwiches under the auspice that when she has reached 300, he will propose.
The mission began in 2012 when, after preparing a turkey-and-swiss for Eric Schulte, he devoured it and told Smith, "Honey, you're 300 sandwiches away from an engagement ring!" according to a personal account she wrote on the blog documenting her project and in a column for the New York Post this week.
Since launching, the recipes and photography featured on 300 Sandwiches have been crave-worthy enough to attract the attention of celebrity chefs such as Emeril Lagasse. But Schulte's original exclamation inspired a wave of Internet backlash from feminists, who say he should make sandwiches for himself. Others claim Smith is merely trying to market herself and her almost-fiance for a book deal.
I'm better than just making #300sandwiches for an engagement ring. Make your own sandwich dammit. I'll buy myself a ring. Lol— Chelle Carey (@ZETAZEN) September 26, 2013
Let's all get real & acknowledge that #300sandwiches is yet another brilliant scheme to get a book/TV/movie deal and it's probably working.— Sam Lee (@samsuperstar) September 26, 2013
Smith responded to her detractors with a follow-up essay in the Post on Thursday.
"Some people read into the article too literally," she wrote. "This project is not about me promoting myself as some gourmet chef, nor a desperate plot to win Eric's love — or a movie deal or Internet fame. It's an idea that made us laugh and made for a good, lighthearted blog with some drool-inducing sandwich photos."
The Post and Smith's publicist declined an interview with ABC News. Perhaps she was too busy in the kitchen. After all, there are 123 sandwiches left to go.