Jeff Mauro's Favorite Type Of Taco Is So On Brand - Exclusive

If there's one way to describe Jeff Mauro's ethos in the kitchen, it's this: He likes to keep it simple and have a great time. Since his debut on TV after winning season 7 of "Food Network Star," his personality and his approach to cooking haven't changed from those fundamental values. You can see it in his goofy lightheartedness in front of the camera, whether he's cohosting "The Kitchen," "Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition" or "Sandwich King," or appearing as a guest on a range of other shows. You can taste it if you give any of his easy and delicious homestyle recipes a try.

We got the chance to catch up with Mauro recently at the Food Network New York City Wine and Food Festival. Along with presenting a culinary demonstration highlighting one of his favorite hometown foods, Mauro, along with the rest of the cast of "The Kitchen" hosted one of the festival's signature events, Tacos and Tequila After Dark, presented by Caviar. Ahead of the fiesta, Mashed spoke exclusively with Mauro about all things food and fun at Food Network. And of course, we asked Mauro to describe his ultimate taco. 

While you might be expecting him to give an answer that was wild and silly and over-the-top, you'd be wrong. Jeff Mauro's favorite taco is actually quite on brand -– it's simple, and it's always good.

Jeff Mauro's favorite taco is all about highlighting tradition

As a Chicago native, Jeff Mauro grew up appreciating meat between bread. Though in his case, it was classic windy city sandwiches piled to the sky with meats, cheeses, and more -– and always topped with the Italian Condiment giardiniera, of course. 

But when it comes to tacos, Mauro likes to scale back a little bit and let the beauty of the ingredients speak for themselves, rather than in a symphony. "I'm simple ... traditional," he told Mashed, adding "I'm an al pastor pork taco or carnitas [person]." And Mauro doesn't need his tacos decked out with a ton of fancy toppings and sauces either. "I like onions, cilantro, and a salsa verde. That's it." For Mauro, there's no reason to mess with a good thing, and no need to go against tradition –- whether it be a Chicago-style Italian Beef, a Mexican street taco, done the way it's done best, or anything in between.

For the latest from chef Jeff Mauro, follow him on Instagram. Plus, click here to learn more about the annual Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival Presented by Capital One, and be sure to check out the highlights from this year's event.