The Sandwich King Hits South Beach

by in Food Network Star, July 12, 2012

In between parties, cooking demos and guest-judging the Star episode airing this Sunday, last year's winner, Jeff Mauro, found some time during the South Beach Wine & Food Festival to show FN Dish where to find the best sandwiches in Miami. Over French salami and Camembert at La Sandwicherie, the Sandwich King catches us up on the whirlwind year he's had since winning Star.

Just one year ago, Jeff stood in the finalists' shoes. "I've learned so much that I've applied to every aspect of this business so far," he says. "You learn a lot through taping your season. You know, small things like smiling all the time. I'm always learning. Most of all, I've learned that it's a fun business!"

Watch the exclusive video and don't miss this Sunday's episode, where Jeff joins an all-star panel of guest judges including Sunny Andersen, Anne Burrell, Aaron Sanchez, Robert Irvine and Melissa d'Arabian.

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Comments (89)

  1. Reuben says:

    I like Jeff Mauro. He stuck with his POV from the beginning of the show right until the end. He also told a lot of food memory stories. Glad to see him judging. The Sandwich King has been picked up for a second season too and Ten Dollars Dinner will have a new season as well (not sure what season this is for Melissa).

  2. cjcal says:

    Good success stories for Jeff and Melissa. Yes, he stuck with his POV from start to finish. This was impressive. I did think, though, the runner-up (her name was Susie?) did really well and I thought she would win. Will Jeff be a fan of ... who? (We already know Anne thinks one of the female contestants comes across like a car salesperson. lol!

    This Sunday is a good time for FN to showcase Jeff, Anne Burrell, and whoever else FN thinks needs the PR.

    • Chuck says:

      U r right, Jeff didn't win last year. Aarti Sequeira won and Jeff was runner-up. All thru the show tonight i kept wondering why they kept saying he won last year when he didn't. Glad i wasn't the only one to catch that.

      • Rilla says:

        Aarti won the previous year. Jeff Mauro won last season, and has his own show the Sandwich King. It's awesome. It has had 2 short seasons, was nominated for an Emmy, and they have shot season 3.

  3. Blonde Browne says:

    I wish sandwiches were a food group. How else can you eat a full course meal that's completely portable. I think Jeff is doing a great job with his sandwich theme, I hope FN gives him more air time and chances to promote his cooking style. I love the Man V. Food guy and his sandwich competition he's got going--Jeff would be great if he can nab an opportunity to travel regionally and show case different sandwiches. You gotta seize the moment...or another entertaining host (and network) will pull the bun right from underneath ya .

  4. Bob Toren says:

    One of the things I like about Jeff's show is at the beginning of each show he typically gives some TV exposure along with some good words to a local place that he is basing his sandwich on for that week. I like his goofy sense of humor too.

    • cjcal says:

      During his FNS competition, Jeff made it clear he has strong ties to his family. This also come across in his TV show where there are pictures of his family or kids in the background. It's a priority for him and he sticks with it.

  5. Jewels says:

    Okay, I will wait for all the "thumbs down" to come.

    I like Jeff Mauro as a person and TV personality. But I just don't think that a show that is nothing but sandwiches has legs. It has already lost me. Sorry. He sometimes gets a bit too bawdy in his jokes for my taste. That said, I think he will do great for the Network. Like they did with Guy Fieri, give him a show that he can show his great personality and how wonderful he does on camera.

    I was really hoping that Suzie Humenez would end up with a show over on the Cooking Channel. I thought she did fabulous even though we do already have a Latin POV, she was easy to watch for me.

    Congrats once again to Jeff Mauro. I hope you go farther than just the "sandwich dude" on the Food Network.

    • cherrycooks says:

      I liked Jeff from the get-go and was not at all surprised that he won. I agree that his show might not survive for a long time, but he could probably start doing some traveling to find other sandwiches to replicate on his show. Most large cities have a sandwich for which they are famous, and I can see him implementing a "Triple D" road tour while he discovers sandwiches outside of his hometown. For example, there is a Food Network kiosk at Comerica Park that features a Detroit Steak Sandwich. I'm sure that there is a wealth of sandwich material out there if FN can afford to have the "Sandwich King" venture beyond the Windy City.

      • cjcal says:

        These are great ideas.
        Also, is there a sandwich guy on Bravo? I think I saw such a show while channel surfing the other day. Wake up, FN! Stay ahead of the competition.

    • guest2 says:

      " But I just don't think that a show that is nothing but sandwiches has legs. It has already lost me. " Really? I have only caught the show a couple of times (unfortunately) but if he's making a meatloaf, meatball, chicken, roast beef or any other kind of sandwich, he's creating a sandwich out of ingredients that could be made into meals without the where are the legs? In the cooking. Shame you have to be lead by the nose...
      However, I will agree that the jokes are sometimes "bawdy"

    • @CJBC65 says:

      It was Susie Jimenez, not Humenez.

    • bobbie says:

      Oh, I TOTALLY AGREE!!!

  6. Cynthia says:

    Never watched this show. I may have to check it out

    • Blonde Browne says:

      Great chef, great show. Sandwich King usually only comes on during the weekend in the am sometime though. I like how he visits the local suppliers that help him create his sandwiches too. Some people think there's not a lot of cooking involved with creating a sandwich, but if it's your craft and the sandwich has homemade componets, then cooking is definately involved.

  7. Kylie says:

    I predict the final three will be

    Yvan from Team Giada,
    Justin from Team Alton and
    Michele from Team Bobby.

    and I hope Yvan wins the whole thing. : )

    • cjcal says:

      It's possible! Please let us know why you see these three as the finalists, and Yvan the ultimate winner?

      • Kylie says:

        I think the three mentors will have a big part in making the final decison on who they would like to work with.

        From what I've seen, Giada has not been able to consistently bring out the star quality in Ippy. He definitely did not impress in the most recent challenge and ultimately, if she wants to produce a successful show, she will need to select someone who can deliver consistently. That person is Yvan.

        Alton has a real star in Justin. He has had to continuosly remind Martie to fine tune her on camera presentations. It would be more difficult and challenging for him to work with her. I think he will choose Justin because Justin has proven he can take instuctions easily, learn quickly and is easy to work with.

        Bobby unfortunately has two people who he has not been able develop into stars. He has not been able to bring out the best in Michele or Nikki. Michele remains inconsistent in her camera challenges. Nikki has a strong personality very much like Bobby but comes off as a bit abrasive. In the last challenge he seemed annoyed with her. I think Bobby will decide that Michele is easier to work with. But I dont think the network will give either of them a show.

        • Food Fan says:

          Between Justin & Martie, what do you think (or anybody reading this)--suppose we take Alton out of it for a minute. What about Bob & Susie? Do they like Justin better, for food? or Martie better, for being outgoing? and which will count more with *them*?
          Should Martie really be this high in the fan vote pretty-much cuz of one recent good stage presentation? It was good. But shouldnt it take more than that?

          • Reuben says:

            I definitely think Susie likes Martie better for being more outgoing and a Paula-Deen wannabe. I believe Susie and Bob believe Martie will appeal to a wider audience than Justin. It is very odd that Martie just suddenly jumped so high in the fan vote after one decent performance. Like someone else commented, I feel a bit deceived by Susie and Bob.

      • JM61 says:

        Yvan, with his less than 10% of the fan vote. Greeeaaattt choice. Wouldn't watch that show.

    • Blonde Browne says:

      I like your picks. It seems only fair one chef from each team creates a promo. These chefs appear to be the stand outs from each team. I wish them luck...

    • cherrycooks says:

      I've thought all along that the winner will come from Team Giada which means that it will likely be Ippy or Yvan.

      • Michele says:

        Interesting....I hope you're right ! I'd love to see what types of recipes an Ippy show would cook up.

        Yvan seems like a sweet guy, but he does not impress me as a person who could carry a TV show....fhe fades into the background.

        II.m still voting for IPPY !

    • Deanna says:

      I would never watch Yvan. He bores me to death.

    • Kylie says:

      Ha to all who voted my post down. My prediction was correct !!!

      I also predict the ultimate winner will be Justin.

  8. Blonde Browne says:

    It's a tiny deceptive because all you hear in the final is only three contestants will get a green light to shoot promos. Does that mean a whole team (two chefs) can be eliminated?

    • cjcal says:

      It makes sense because if FN wants The Best, and an entire team is The Pits, then that entire team should be out of the running.
      I'm a little confused if all six do promos and then are judged by the big panel with guest judges Anne Burrell, Jeff Mauro, etc. Will these judges eliminate an entire team or wind up with a top contestant from each team? And then, after they render their judgment, we viewers get to vote for one of the three finalists.

    • Juli says:

      I highly doubt that. They've been sticking to the team concept since week one. I don't think they are going to change it now, at the end of the show. Three promos, three teams, one from each team. Otherwise they could have two contestant's promos, or four for that matter.

      • cjcal says:

        Yes, you are probably right. This means the "star' competition has been a little manipulative after about the halfway point. Maybe FN figured if this route to elimination was stated upfront people would not watch. It starts out competitively and winds up predictable. I feel a little duped.

      • Food Fan says:

        Its gonna be fun to watch.
        Just totally speculating, but---If, a whole team were to be eliminated that could also explain Alton crying and the nobody-saw-this-coming comment.
        Then again, since they have been sticking with one-from-each-team, they may keep right on doing that. But then on the other hand again, wouldnt it be yet another slick way to fake out the audience yet again, since everyone is expecting them not to do that?
        Then again, Alton's crying could be something else altogether...Emily coming back? They've got my curiosity.
        Not sure I'm gonna like the whole idea of this Panel of advisers/judges eliminating three over just judging one night. Seems like this panel has been far too uninvolved up til now and then suddenly turn over all this power and say-so to them...?.... Welllll...we'll see how it goes. Im interested as to what definite criteria these judges/panel will go by to make their decision. If it were me, I'd go by:
        Consistent great food (that people would eat)
        clear, simple teaching ability
        warm smile/"engaging" personality
        NOT a turn-off due to being loud, dull, or weird.
        ...and then to a lesser extent, showing growth. But some people can grow and still not be caught up to some others. my 2 cents...
        Hoping for Ippy or Yvan.

        • Reuben says:

          On the home page there is a picture of Justin shaking Alton's hand. Is it a goodbye shake or a good-luck-with-the-promo shake? I'm kind of feeling Justin might go (Suzie is not in love with him) and Martie will be the one shooting a promo.

          • Food Fan says:

            Hm. I gotta find that pic. haven't seen it.
            More questions:
            Does Susie have too much power?
            Does anyone remember who were the judges before Bob & Susie?
            And what if by chance Justin goes home and they end up keeping Martie? Who will Justin's fans vote for. I dont remember them saying who their 2nd choice would be.
            Me? I'd like to see either Ippy or Yvan win it. I wonder what criteria "the panel" will use.

          • cjcal says:

            Good point about judge Susie's power. I used to think so, but I think she was ready to vote out Michele (the infamous crab shells), and yet Michele stayed. Maybe judge Bob put the oomph behind Michele. That said, Team Bobby seems like Team Wobbly because they are trying so hard to keep Nikki! What a hoot.

          • Food Fan says:

            I can only imagine the reaction if somehow Nikki on it all. Just suppose she did. What might the judges say to justify it?
            I dont think that will happen...but i love exploring different scenario's/ideas...

            What if Martie wins it? Again, how would most viewers react?

            Anoher idea. Take yer "top-half" THREE favorite out of the 6 remaining--and what if all of them were rejected by "the panel" and we ended up having to vote between out three *least* favorites...?
            I definetly wanna see every minute of this next episode.

          • Food Fan says:

            oops...WON it all....

  9. markohio says:

    The entire show has had an emphasis on keeping the three teams equal in size as best as possible. I just can not visulize Bobby, Giada, or Alton NOT having one of their people in the finale. We have major egos on the line here, and I just can not see one of THEM being not represented in the finale. I would be really surprised (and pleased) if the best 3, regardless of team, make it to the finals.

    I also enjoyed Jeff in last year's show, and was pleased that he stuck to his POV from start to finish. I also enjoy how he brings in local businesses on his show, and his emphasis on his family. I enjoty sandwiches as well, and look forward to his creations on this show. I do see him hopefully being able to expand it by reviewing sandwiches across America.

    • Blonde Browne says:

      Who do think has had the most concise POV this season?

      • Blonde Browne says:

        Who do you think has had the most concise POV this season?

        • Brianna says:

          Ippy....concise and consistent.....and a unique POV....I would love to learn about this cuisine!

        • cjcal says:

          Good question, and pardon my chuckle: Linkie, Emily, and Nikki had/have pretty solid POVs. When I watched Jeff Mauro's season of FNS, I got the impression he was chosen (in part) because he brought to FN a great program idea. FN knew it needed little tweaking.

          This season, by comparison, it seems the folks who have brought great program ideas that need little tweaking would be Justin and Ippy, and perhaps Martie's party thing. Yvan brings a very upbeat personality but for the life of me I cannot remember his POV. Oh, yeah, Nikki has a POV that is solid (how niche can you be with women grilling?). Jeff also had a signature headband, and what does Miichele (decent POV, by the way) have - a look like Anne Burrell and Guy Fieri (without the retro wardrobe).

        • Food Fan says:

          IPPY, because he's needed the least amount of time to explain it. We know what it is and he hasnt changed it. Definite is good.

  10. Shannon says:

    Congrats to Jeff, I like "The Sandwich King" ! He is entertaining and real, Jokes and all (sometimes dumb-sorry Jeff) he is himself and does not put on a fake smile or "airs" as many of the other show hosts do!! His culinary teachings may be a bit lacking (can't say I have ever learned anything from him) but after all, it is sandwiches that he is making and I did not expect to lean anything. But I like it..never miss a show and am ready for the new season!