By Megan Dooley
A local boy hit the big time in the world of celebrity culinary arts this week, winning a Food Network competition to become the network's next cooking show star.
Jeff Mauro grew up in River Forest and graduated from Oak Park and River Forest High School before he packed his bags and moved to Hollywood to pursue an acting career. Though that dream never panned out, he eventually found his key to getting behind the camera with cooking.
"As parents, we were quite impressed with his ability to change gears a little and pursue his second love," said Mauro's father, Gus, of his son's decision to enroll in culinary school. Mauro graduated at the top of his class from Kitchen Academy in Hollywood, never missing a day of classes or even racking up a single tardy. Before landing a spot on the show, Mauro worked as a corporate chef for a Chicago mortgage company.
On Sunday night, Mauro won the coveted title of the next Food Network Star. In his casting video and bio for the show, Mauro proclaimed the sandwich to be "the most perfect food in the world."
In keeping with his love of all meals served between sliced bread, Mauro's new show will be called Sandwich King, and will air on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. on the Food Network.