Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Interview With Celebrity Chef Jeff Mauro After SOBEWFF

The South Beach Wine and Food Festival has wrapped up for the year and the event was nothing short of a pageant of food-focused scenery, celebrity chefs, influencers, and foodies from all walks of life. There were so many events happening, you didn’t know where to start. There’s a reason it’s a five-day event, it gives you a chance to taste test all you can (and more).

It’s almost like the hustle and bustle of a restaurant, almost. There’s so much happening it’s easy to get swept up in the moment. Luckily, we had a chance to chat with Chef Jeff Mauro after this year’s South Beach Wine and Food Festival. If you don’t know Celebrity Chef Jeff, he is known as the Sandwich King, the winner of Season 7 of Food Network Star, and one of four co-hosts on The Kitchen on Food Network.

image jeff mauro pointing up for his come on over podcast.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Celebrity Chef Jeff Mauro and The Manual Interview

If you have ever watched Jeff on television or have had the pleasure of seeing him in person, then you know that laugh and you know that smile. No matter what he is doing, Jeff is always laughing and having fun especially when you talk to him about his favorite person, the projects he has going on, or about his friends and co-hosts.

TM: A Lot of People Follow You and Admire You Across Social Media Platforms and Television, but Who Do You Admire? And Why?

Jeff Mauro: Outside our wonderful food world, I admire Dave Grohl for not only being a living rock and roll legend, but he is constantly hilarious and extremely likable. Would love to cook for him someday, and then retire to the basement to start jamming and drinking.

What Are Your Top 3 Kitchen Tools You Can’t Live Without?

Jeff Mauro: Quart deli cups, a flat non-stick square griddle pan, and my Kramer Knife.

What’s the Last Cookbook You Read?

Jeff Mauro: My cookbook Come on Over! It came out last year and I still cook from it.

The Last Few Years Have Been Insane for Everyone Including the Restaurant Industry. How Did It Impact Your Work Professionally?

Jeff Mauro: I started my own direct-to-consumer food brand called Mauro Provisions that ships the world’s greatest Hot Giardiniera (Chicago’s famous fermented oil-packed peppers), Prime Italian Beef Kits, and Butcher Boxes. I now have 2 full-time employees, a warehouse, and offices!

Mauro Provisions

What Food Trends Are You Enjoying? Which Ones Are You Not?

Jeff Mauro: I am enjoying the fermented food trend for sure. Tasty and insanely good for you. Stop with the gold foil. Nothing is tasty about $300 worth of nano-thin metal coated over what otherwise would be a delicious steak.

What Is Your Go-To Comfort Food? Do You Have a Guilty Pleasure?

Jeff Mauro: Pepperoni pizza all day every day.

What Is the Last Thing You Learned in the Kitchen?

Jeff Mauro: Don’t smoke tender steaks, it literally makes them tough.  Like a ribeye should never be low and slow smoked.  Tough cuts of meats, of course!

What Does Your Downtime Look Like?

Jeff Mauro: I’m an avid guitarist and musician and play in the actual Basement Dad Band (we’re called the Jewel Bags, and we gig!), I host a hilarious podcast with my little sister called Come on Over (with over 65 episodes and counting) and I love reading sci-fi in the bathtub … don’t ask.

Come On Over Podcast

If You Weren’t a Chef, What Would Your Career Look Like?

Jeff Mauro: I would be a cast member on SNL, hands down. I promise you all, I will host that show one day.

Do You, or Did You Have a Mentor Who Influenced You?

Jeff Mauro: Geoffrey Zakarian is a true friend, a brilliant businessman, and my greatest mentor who is always available for advice. Above everything he is a dedicated family man and that there is the most important job.

It was great to learn more about the Sandwich King. It turns out the Foo Fighters have been on Saturday Night Live approximately 8 times since 1995. Wonder if Jeff knew that. We’re pretty sure he did. Now, how do we make this Dave Grohl dinner happen? Maybe, Dave could pull some strings to get Jeff on SNL. From what I hear, Jeff and his band could be the musical guests, too.

OR perhaps he’ll do a skit impersonating his doppelganger Jimmy Fallon. It’s no secret they are look-alikes and even have the same mischievous laugh and smile.

We hope you make it Jeff. We think you’d make a fine addition to the show. In fact, we can see the skits now.

No matter if he makes it on SNL, we know he’s going to be cooking and laughing all the way.

Joe Morales
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Joe Morales is a trained chef with over five years of experience working in fine dining and Michelin recommended restaurants…
A huge Le Creuset Cyber Monday sale just started — from $10
Carrots in the Le Creuset Signature cast-iron skillet.

Cyber Monday deals all over the place right now, with many of the biggest retailers discounting some popular products. You’ll appreciate this if you’re in the market for some holiday gifts for the chef in your circle, or if you're looking for something new for your own kitchen. Amazon is having Cyber Monday Le Creuset sale, with all sorts of high quality cookware seeing discounts and prices as low as $10. Skillets, Dutch ovens, mugs, and other kitchen items are available in this sale, so click over to Amazon and add something by Le Creuset to your kitchen.

Why You Should Shop the La Creuset Cyber Monday Sale at Amazon
Le Creuset is a premium cookware brand. It makes high quality cookware that both looks great and cooks great. It’s one of the most sought-after brands when it comes to a discount, as its premium reputation brings with it premium prices. But with this Le Creuset sale at Amazon you can save on cookware across the board. The Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Oval Dutch Oven regularly costs $445, but

Read more
Slow cooker recipes: Cincinnati chili is easier than you think
Put it over spaghetti, we dare you
Cincinnati chili

This time of year, everyone loves good slow cooker recipes. You want one that warms, comforts, and greets you with a delicious scent the moment you walk through the door after a long, chilly autumn day. The slow cooker is a beautiful thing for that very reason - not only does it provide a nearly prep-free meal, but it's the gift that keeps on giving with its delicious promise of a warm and hearty meal through tantalizingly exquisite aromas filling the house all day. And while we all love common slow cooker recipes - a meaty pot roast or Kung Pao chicken, sometimes what we're craving at the end of the day is something a bit out of the ordinary. That's why we love this recipe for Cincinnati chili.
Cincinnati chili is tremendously unique in the world of varying (sometimes competing) American chili dishes. Its flavors are warmer and more exotic, which makes sense as its origins aren't American at all, but Greek. In the early 20th century, Greek-Macedonian immigrant brothers John and Tom Kiradjieff opened a restaurant in Cincinnati. Their chili was flavored with traditional ingredients like chili pepper and cumin but also included more familiar Mediterranean ingredients such as allspice and cinnamon. The deliciously comforting dish caught on, and Cincinnati chili quickly became a regional favorite.
This spicy chili is traditionally served over spaghetti with a generous topping of shredded cheddar on top. Depending on the locals you happen to ask, the best way to enjoy this chili is over spaghetti, with or without cheese, kidney beans, and/or grated white onion. Within these barriers, one cannot go wrong. Just make sure to always, always use your fork to cut the pasta into bite-size portions. Twirling is absolutely out of the question.

Cincinnati chili recipe
While spaghetti is the traditional choice for serving Cincinnati chili, another popular option is pouring a generous heap over hot dogs. If you ask us, this is the absolute best way to make chili dogs.

Read more
Ice cream bread is the lifehack your internal fat kid needs
You like ice cream. You like bread. Why not mix them together?
ice cream bread recipe 6289263 1920

Social media's hottest new recipe trend that's floating around is one that we deeply, truly approve of. Naturally, things like butter boards and new coffee concoctions are always appreciated by those of us who love a fun culinary trend. But there's something about this one that just really tickles us pink - ice cream bread. Maybe it's the tempting simplicity of the name that combines two of the most wonderful things in the world. Maybe it's the fact that the recipe itself is almost simpler than the name. Maybe it's the sprinkles. Whatever the reason, ice cream bread is our new favorite trendy treat.

When we saw this video making the rounds, we decided that we needed to give ice cream bread a try, and the results were pleasantly surprising.

Read more