The "Sandwich King" has finally been crowned.
Jeff Mauro, a corporate chef from Chicago with a passion for all things that can be created with two slices of bread, was named the new "Food Network Star" on the series’ Sunday night finale. He beat out Vic Moea, the Vegas chef who played up his "Mama’s Boy" roots, and Susie Jimenez, a Colorado caterer who made modern Mexican her signature cuisine. As part of his prize, Mauro will host his own Food Network series, airing in the coming weeks.
Mauro has been a strong contender all season – not only because of his engaging personality (he’s a former stand-up comic), but also because of what judges refer to as the right "P.O.V." That is, he has a unique concept – the sandwich as meal and the meal as sandwich – that hasn’t previously been seen on television. (Well, there was a certain SNL skit where Bill Murray played the Earl of Sandwich, but we digress…)
Which isn’t to say that Mauro’s win tonight was guaranteed. Here’s our rundown: