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« The King of Hot Dogs "MasterChef" Finale Week »

TV Mon Aug 15 2011

Chicagoan Jeff Mauro Wins "Next Food Network Star"

Photo courtesy of Food Network

Jeff Mauro, a corporate chef for Chicago-based mortgage company Guaranteed Rate and former stand-up comic, won the latest season of "The Next Food Network Star," earning himself a TV show in the process. His show, "Sandwich King," will air Sundays at 10:30am local time beginning Aug. 21.

Mauro will also be involved in promoting the first-ever book produced in conjunction with the series: Food Network Star: The Official Insider's Guide to America's Hottest Foods Show. He and fellow contestant Vic "Vegas" Moea will be at Macy's, 111 N. State St., Aug. 27 at 2pm for a book signing event. (Wonder if "Hearty Boys" Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh, the first winners of "Next Food Network Star," will also be there.)

"Jeff has the perfect mixture of strong culinary chops, a breakout personality, and boundless food passion -- a true triple threat we value in our stars," said Food Network GM Bob Tuschman in a press release. "Jeff's humor, warmth and smart ideas to make sandwiches into satisfying meals make him a perfect addition to join the Food Network family."

Here's Mauro's test pilot for "Sandwich King" from the competition:

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Miriam / August 15, 2011 12:08 PM

Congratulations! However I am so very disappointed. I thought for sure it would be Susie or Vic.

Wrong call from the judges.

SeattleHam / August 15, 2011 12:39 PM

He had it in the bag the whole time. If he didn't win, we weren't going to watch NFNS ever again! Yay Jeff!

Christine / August 15, 2011 2:37 PM

I like all three finalists, but thought Jeff had the strongest idea for a show, and also seemed the most comfortable in front of a camera, and especially an audience. Susie was at a disadvantage in that there is already a show on Food Network with her POV. Vic will have his own show somewhere someday.

kate alston / August 15, 2011 2:48 PM

I couldn't believe they chose him over Susie.
If they think I'm gonna tune in every week to watch this guy make SANDWHICHES, they can thnk again.

L.Everett / August 15, 2011 3:01 PM

Great job Jeff. I know the guys will love this show. Most guys love sandwiches and he makes them with a flair.

HFB / August 15, 2011 3:48 PM

Yes, I watched the entire season. Rather painful at best. I will not be watching Sandwich King....Jeff seems like a nice enough person, but his trying too hard to be funny was cloying and annoying....sort of like watching a precious child actor being interviewed by a late night show fingernails on chalkboard. Vic perhaps needed a drop more polishing, but he is the only one that I would have likely watched of the three finalists. Susie was nice as well, but unlike the professional judges, I do not find it a positive to hear about her upbringing on each and every presentation she gives.
I look forward to a better season next season.

Colleen / August 15, 2011 3:59 PM

Loved him from the get go!!! So glad he won!!!

Brynn / August 15, 2011 5:04 PM

Right choice, I think his show will have a good following.

Christy / August 15, 2011 6:02 PM

I love the idea of his show, everyone eats sandwiches and love new ways to change it up.

Iris / August 15, 2011 6:53 PM

I love Jeff I'm so glad he won. he's sooooo funny! I would have liked to see Vic on TV all the time he had a humble quality that I loved, Also, Susie would have been fun to watch and a great opportunity to learn the secrets of mexican cuisine! Either one of the three finalist would have been great!, Congrats to Jeff! I'm so very glad I won't have to see ever, ever again that hiddeous, nasty woman Penny! How dare she conduct herself the way she did on National Television! Wow amazing I have never seen such an ugly prson proclaim she was beautiful! augh! she looks like an ugly man dressed as a woman! ajjjj...1

borderflies / August 15, 2011 7:18 PM

Congratulations to Jeff. He did a wonderful job on his pilot. He had me craving an eggplant sandwich last night. I'm looking forward to seeing his show on Sunday. Hope he doesn't get lost like the past NFNS have.

Bob Towarnick / August 15, 2011 7:41 PM

Totally wrong choice! You have no one that does Mexican food except Bobby in his Million dollar set up!!!

Sizzle I would watch!!! Sandwiches no way! I can make a sandwich !!!!!!!

You guys blew it!

Lost me as a viewer!!!!!

I think Bobby was scared someone would make better spicy food than him!

Show is fixed!!!!!

Sandwiches! Just think how many people want to see that!!!!

Joanne / August 15, 2011 9:36 PM

Jeff is a natural. Liked Suzie and Vic but Jeff was the top choice. Marybeth should have gone sooner. Looking forward to watching the "Sandwich King" in action on the 21st!
Good Luck Jeff!

Jeannie / August 16, 2011 8:40 AM

This was the right choice. I think Susie would have been great..but it was Jeff's style and his concept that kept him going. I was rooting for him towards the end as I got a feeling he was going to win. I think he can be the next breakout hit. Honestly the only one that has been truly successful from this show was Guy. We all know it. Best of luck to Jeff...I will be watching his show!

that_girl / August 16, 2011 8:56 AM

@Bob Towarnick Um, dude, there's a show called Mexican Made Easy already on. Pay attention.

I knew Jeff would win several weeks ago because a) Mary Beth didn't quite have the cooking chops, b) Vic was too scattered and inconsistent c) Susie would not have been a new concept.

I'll watch the sandwich show, at least for awhile -- we tend to make fancy sandwiches about once a week.

Diane / August 16, 2011 11:19 AM

I am making eggplant sandwiches tonight for dinner after watching Jeff make them the other night. I will definitely watch his show. Jeff has a nice mix between stories and humor.

I think his concept of any dinner can be made into a sandwich is clever and unique.

I got really tired of Susie's stories. How many times can you hear about the big pot in the backyard. There are only so many things you can do with rice and beans and her carnitis cooked in all that lard (tradition or not) was just plain gross. I make a delicious carnitis by cooking it in a crockpot with just water and seasoning, then in the oven to crisp it up, much healthier for you.

Way to go Food Network, another great star has been found.

Kiki / August 16, 2011 12:32 PM

Congratulations Jeff. My husband will be watching the sandwich show and thought it looked great. I loved Vic and Susie but loved Vic more as the season went on and Susie less. Her stories didn't seem from the heart but as a ploy to be what the judges wanted and when she actually said that her dad would put on a sombrero to cook in the yard my Latino husband groaned. All that was missing was the pot was carried by a burro. Susie you live in Aspen!

Jessica / August 16, 2011 10:04 PM

R they coming to Dallas?

Sherrie Bouldin / August 17, 2011 8:46 AM

This is a super nice guy and I could definitely eat his food. I'm sick and tired of Guy Fieri so really give this guy a chance. Also want to see more of Alex, Arti and Melissa. Again, so sick and tired of Guy!!!

Don George / August 17, 2011 11:58 AM

I'm totally glad Jeff one this year. There are already other Mexican food shows on TV: Rick Bayless, and Marcells's Mexican Made Easy. Jeff brings a new POV to Food Network.

Hank / August 17, 2011 6:32 PM

This show is getting worse every season. I would never watch anything should with Jeff on it. Totally annoying.

George / August 18, 2011 1:05 PM

Show lost all credibility when the let go of Whitney.

Whitney was not only the best cook among all of them, she was good at presenting....not too mention hot.

Leslie / August 19, 2011 10:18 AM

while i really do have great respect for Food Network, they need to give up this concept. it's clear that they cast for the game show itself, thinking short-term, and not for the long haul. they definitely got lucky with Guy Fieri, but everyone else has failed soon after winnng. FN should leave this type of programming to Bravo and stick with actual *cooking*

Sandy / August 21, 2011 2:23 PM

My husband and i are thrilled he won. The best and everyone loves sandwiches. Suzie too scattered. Loved Vic so hope he gets something. Go Jeff!

JEAN / August 21, 2011 5:03 PM

just saw the sanwich king this a.m. enjoyed the show and am glad jeff won. i did enjoy susie. thought her food was very interesting and is something i would like to make and of course, enjoy eating. anyway, congrats jeff and good luck. i also enjoy artie's party, she's great.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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