‘Next Food Network Star’ Winner Launches Sandwich Show

Is the Sandwich King the next Guy Fieri?

That’s the question that Jeff Mauro, the newly crowned "Next Food Network Star," will be trying to answer as his sandwich-themed victory show debuts this Sunday at 10:30 a.m. (Apparently, the competition is worthy of a prime slot – "Star" aired on Sunday evenings – but the prize leaves the winner trying to garner an audience at a time when most folks have barely had their Sunday morning coffee.)

Still, the 33-year-old Mauro, a Chicago resident with a colorful past as a stand-up comic, actor (he starred in the Windy City production of "Tony ‘n’ Tina’s Wedding") and deli co-owner, seems ready for the challenge. Make that more than ready: This season of "Food Network Star" marked Mauro’s third attempt to get on the show, much less win it, so he’s been itching for Food Network glory for quite some time. And he knows that past winners – like Fieri – have gone very far. Then again, the Sandwich King (and, yes, that’s what his new show is called) also knows that other "Star" victors have suffered the celeb chef equivalent of what’s been dubbed Taylor Hicks Syndrome – as in the "American Idol" champ whose post-"Idol" career went nowhere. Read More...



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