11 Things You Didn’t Know About Jeff Mauro — Chopped All-Stars

by in Shows, March 22nd, 2013

Jeff MauroFN Dish is counting down to the Season 3 premiere of Chopped All-Stars by introducing a competitor every day. Sixteen competitors including Food Network and Cooking Channel talent, renowned chefs, Chopped judges and celebrities are competing for a chance to win the title of All-Stars Champion and a $50,000 donation to charity. Watch the premiere on Sunday, April 7, at 9pm/8c and keep coming back to FN Dish for exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes content.

Jeff Mauro won the seventh season of Food Network Star. Before joining Food Network, Jeff used to be an entertainer and comedian in Los Angeles. But the switch in careers hasn’t changed his personality one bit — he’s still just as funny and entertaining when cooking on Sandwich King and while eating his way through various cities on his other show, $24 in 24. But there’s a lot you don’t know about Jeff — for example, he hates cottage cheese and curry. Find out more about him in his Q&A below.

What’s your Achilles’ heel ingredient, one that you hate to work with or encounter in someone else’s dish?
Jeff Mauro: Cottage cheese. I’ve never consumed it, and if I have any control, I’ll keep it that way. Therefore, I wouldn’t feel comfortable preparing it.

What dish or ingredient will we never catch you eating?
JM: Anything with curry in it.

What was your most memorable meal? What, where, who? Details, please.
JM: My 31st birthday dinner with my wife, Sarah, at Chef Grant Achatz’s Alinea in Chicago. Fourteen courses of pure magic. I literally spent a whole paycheck on one meal with wine pairings and I still think about it more than any other meal. Food as theater at its best. The Wagyu course with the A.1. powder was the best thing I’ve ever encountered.

What’s your guilty pleasure food?
JM: Kettle cooked BBQ chips, usually crushed on any sandwich I am eating them with.

Is there one dish that you always order out and never make at home?
JM: Usually pizza. I’ve been known to do a 72-hour cold-rise dough and churn out a couple pizzas on a Sunday, but normally I leave it to the plethora of professionals here in Chicago.

What kitchen tool can you not live without?
JM: My flat-bottomed, square, heavy-duty griddle pan by Scanpan. It’s super heavy, and makes pancakes, eggs and especially sandwiches easily flippable.

If you weren’t in food, what career would you have liked to have tried?
JM: Cage fighting.

What’s your favorite “food city” to visit?
JM: New York City.

What’s your favorite late-night snack?
JM: My wife, Sarah’s, homemade chocolate chip cookies served warm with a scoop of ice cream and whipped cream. Maybe some hot fudge and crushed cashews. Holy crap.

What’s one must-have at your last supper?
JM: Chicago-style thin crust with sausage and a side of pastrami on rye from Fumare Meats.

Who’s your favorite person to cook with?
JM: When he’s behaving and not just dumping out all the salt, my son Lorenzo.

Rapid fire: Think fast!
Ketchup or mustard? Mustard
Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate
Coffee or tea? Coffee
Burger or hot dog? Burger
Cream cheese or butter? Butter
Soda or water? Water
Sprinkles or jimmies? Sprinkles

Jeff is competing for the Comer Children’s Hospital.

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Comments (8)

  1. Jan says:

    Jeff…Thank you for your show. I have gotten a lot of great ideas from you. I do need help with something and I think you would have some answers. I am on a boat most of the summer. (Yes, I know, blessed!) Do you have some party ideas for someone without a kitchen? When docked I am hooked up to electricity. I have a microwave, sink, and small refrigerater. There is one propane burner, but I never use it because there is no blower. In the water there is nothing but the refrigerator working.
    Do you have some appetizer sandwiches ideas that might be passed around to friends when on the water? We often tie our boats together for parties. Thank you…Jan

  2. Lindy says:

    I love Jeff, he is quirky and fun to watch!

  3. Stephanie says:

    Really enjoyed watching Jeff tonight. He's a great cook, and I'm glad he feels he's redeemed himself! He definitely proved he's not a guy who just makes sandwiches!

  4. Lynn Tietz says:

    I hope you keep Jeff on at a time most of us can see him. He's a good cook, and gives us some varity from Ina and Giada. Actually I'm getting tired of seeing those two so much when you have so much talent in your Food Network Family. Speaking of Ina and Giada, that Thanksgiving Live show was an emmbarrassment to the Food Network. They acted have drunk through most of the show. Speaking over each other and acting like they were little kids. I couldn't even watch it….no matter how many times it was on. (Usually my tv has the Food Network on all day everyday.) Sincerely, Lynn

    • Nancy says:

      I remember that show and thinking the same thing — drunk or not they (except Ina) acted like a bunch of idiots. I read later that Giada cut her finger pretty bad during that debacle. If they do it again this year (which I doubt) I hope they keep their act together!!! And yeah – Jeff rocks !!! I wish his Sandwich King was on more often – maybe Bobby Flay will give him some more air time soon :)

  5. Tina Salvatore says:

    Hi Jeff. You are a GREAT addition to the Food network family. You make us laugh every time we watch you. Love the new show, The Kitchen, but my favorite is still sandwich king. I live with my very own sandwich king. He has a sandwich almost every night, mostly it's a burger that he tops with all sorts of stuff, but he just came up with a good one that I'm sure you have alreay thought of but we wanted to share it with you anyway. We were having breakfast for dinner and he decided to turn it into a sandwich. He took the french toast and topped it with sausage, bacon, a fried egg and then smothered it in maple syrup. He loved it so much, he ended up having three of them. LOL! Thanks for always making us laugh and we look forward to all thats to come. :) Tina and Charles PS Your garlic fries have become a staple in our house.

  6. Steve says:

    Jeff is just one of those guys you would love to just hang out with and also learn from in the proces. Love him on Sandwich King and The Kitchen!! Thanks for the fun, Jeff…and thanks Food Network for recognizing his talent and appeal!!

  7. Rebecca says:

    Love Jeff!! He is so much fun to watch – and his recipes are fabulous!!! I've made a lot of them. I wish big Bobby Flay could get him some more air time!! He's good on The Kitchen but I need ear plugs for the two little women on the show. Sunny and the other Jeff are cool – at first I wasn't sure about the other Jeff but when he dressed up as Guy for Holloween I thought – yeah…..he's alRIGHT too !! :) Giada and Carnival Eats are my other two faves…

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