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Food Network Star Interviewby Pattye Grippo    

Jeff Mauro, season seven finalist of Food Network Star, pursued a career as a comedian in Los Angeles. Jeff then switched gears to spend time doing what he loves most: cooking. His down-to-earth personality coupled with his comic relief make a great combo in the kitchen.

Jeff Mauro

I had a chance to speak with Jeff Mauro on August 15, 2011 about winning the Food Network Star.

How similar is The Sandwich King to the show that you came up with, seven years ago, in LA?

Jeff Mauro:
Very different. That was more of a party-based barbecue show. We'd drag the barbecues and record the party hijinks of people. We'd provide a younger, more party-based side of cooking. As fun as that was, it doesn't have any legs. I'm still myself. I might not be ripping through a bottle of Jack anymore, but it's still me minus my other half. There's a part of me in all that.

Could you describe the perfect elements of a sandwich?

Jeff Mauro:
Let's start with bread. Not a loaf of French bread from the bakery. It should be buttered and grilled to the correct temperature. You want to start with that and make sure when you take your first bite there's not a lot of resistance. It's not only about the flavors, but about the texture as well which is often overlooked in a sandwich.

Back at the beginning of the show you struggled to balance the humor and the food, then you clearly hit your stride. Was there a moment that it clicked for you?

Jeff Mauro:
I think that 4th of July challenge, when I was on stage and pretty much maxed out my program and personality, I think they liked me for who I am. That's my moment.

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