Jeff Mauro: What the winner of Food Network Star season 7 is doing now

It's been almost a decade since sandwich aficionado — excuse us, "sandwich king" — Jeff Mauro won Food Network's talent search in 2011, and the Chicago native has been busy in and out of the kitchen ever since (via The Chicago Tribune). In case your memory of the seventh season of Food Network Star is a little fuzzy, Mauro entered the competition as one of 15 hopefuls and bested the rest of his competitors by focusing on what he knew best — sandwiches. 

Whereas other chefs tried to wow the judges with fancier culinary dishes, Mauro stuck to his guns and it paid off with his eggplant Parmesan sandwich winning over judge Susie Fogelson (via Leigh Valley Live). 

Since winning the competition, it's been one TV appearance after another for Mauro. 

Jeff Mauro makes regular TV appearances on and off the Food Network

Mauro kicked off his reign as the winner of Food Network Star by appearing on a slew of Food Network shows and other talk shows. Everything from guest spots on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to Cutthroat Kitchen, Beat Bobby Flay, Guy's Grocery Games, and don't forget about his judging spots on Chopped Junior and Cupcake Wars (via IMDb). Mauro also landed his own dream show Sandwich King from 2011 to 2014, and found himself crisscrossing the country to eat America's best sandwiches. 

Around the time Sandwich King came to an end, Mauro picked up a gig co-hosting the Food Network show The Kitchen. According to Food Network's website, the show is now in its 23rd season and Mauro is still on board. The chef isn't restricting himself to only Food Network appearances, either. Outside of the TV channel that gave him his star power, he regularly shows up on morning shows like The Today Show and Good Morning America where he showed the morning crew in 2019 the best way to prep mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving. 

He's busy outside of the kitchen being a dad

The sandwich king has also put his sandwich knowledge to good use in the commercial realm as well and appeared in a TV ad for sandwich giant Subway. As for Mauro's life outside of his career endeavors, Mauro is a husband and father at home in Chicago. Mauro's son, Lorenzo, occasionally joins his father on TV shoots, but in Mauro's downtime, the pair is all about not cooking — but music. "It's kind of our thing," Mauro told Chicago Parent. "Some dads play catch with their kids, we play rock and roll."

As for what fans can expect of Mauro in 2020, well, judging from his Facebook feed, he'll be cooking up more delicious sandwiches and non-sandwiches on The Kitchen and there are plans to open more Pork & Mindy's restaurants — of which Mauro is a partner in.