First he conquered the ranks of Food Network Stardom with his Season 7 competition win, then he tackled the world of between-bread creations on Sandwich King and just two years ago he joined forces with four other co-hosts for the ultimate celebration, The Kitchen. Now Jeff Mauro is setting his sights on something offscreen: the restaurant scene. His first restaurant, Pork & Mindy’s, which he’ll launch with business partner Kevin Corsello, is slated to open at the end of 2015 and will feature a hybrid of “food, music and art,” according to Jeff, and the very best in barbecue.
Pork & Mindy’s will open in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago, a city that’s currently known more for lakeside skyscrapers than for smoky barbecue. But Jeff’s planning to change that when he releases his over-the-top meaty menu in the Windy City. According to Jeff, the focus will be on “real, authentic, slow-smoked barbecue,” and he adds that just as the eatery’s name suggests, there will be plenty of pork. “All our pork is cooked 14 hours in a natural wood smoker, bone in and shredded.” Though the foundation may be pig, including what he deems “pig candy … caramelized crispy bacon brittle,” the offerings go far beyond that, to smoked legs of lamb, chicken and chuck roasts.