August 20, 2011 04:38 PM by Megan Thompson
Jeff Mauro took home the grand prize on last week’s Food Network Star, his very own show on the Food Network. Keep reading to find out what this self-proclaimed sandwich king has to say about his experience on the show!
Did you miss the finale?
Check out Jeff’s winning moment below:
Now that Jeff is the newest Food Network Star, he answered some questions about his experience on the show.
How closely does the sandwich king resemble the show that you came up with seven years ago when you were in LA?
Very different! That was more of a party based barbeque show. As fun as that was, obviously it doesn’t have any legs. So it really is very different.
Name the elements of the perfect sandwich?
You have to start with well-handled fresh bread. Take it to the next level with buttering or grilling it. You want to make sure when you take the bite down, from top to bottom, there is not a lot of resistance. If there is resistance, it’s good resistance – like crunch or good chew or crispness. It is all about paying attention to the flavors and textures.
The finale was recorded several months ago, so what have you been doing? Will you still be in Chicago?
Yes! I have been working. I just left work this Thursday. I have been living dual lives. Going to shoot my show, which was top secret. Going to shoot the finale, which was top secret. I have been doing, in my mind, all these large things and then going home and making 120 sandwiches! I have been working normally and spending time with my family. But now my goal is to stay here all week, and then go shoot a show in three-four weeks. Not have to uproot my entire existence to New York or LA. Eventually shoot here when I have a little bargaining power.
Was there a moment in the show that clicked for you- balancing humor with food?
The Fourth of July challenge, when I was on stage. I think they liked me for who I am and that’s when I just really – no one has ever kicked over a mike stand on Food Network before! Or wore an American flag cape! I think that is when I came out of my shell fully and was able to trust in my abilities and learned to rein it. Then the Rachel Ray show, I came into my own.
Were you surprised when Vic was eliminated versus Susie?
I was surprised. I think at that point, I had a feeling it wasn’t going to be me versus Vic. Something in my heart said me versus Susie. Not to discredit Vic’s ability or talent. I just thought two Italian American guys going against each other – didn’t make sense to me. I think Vic is going to do really well, so I wasn’t sad for him. He has stuff in the works as we speak. I love him, he was my roommate. We both think we are witty!
Is there someone that you learned the most from, whether a judge or contestant?
I think I learned a lot from Guy. He was really the only judge that I wanted to say, “come here I want to talk to you privately for a second.” He would give very sincere advice not only camera, but off camera he was like a buddy. Which was nice – it was nice to have him treat us normal.
What do you think of Jeff as the winner of Food Network Star? Will you be watching his new show, The Sandwich King, which premieres Sundays at 11:30? Let us know what you think about this season’s finalists and the winner, comment below!
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Photo Credit: Food Network