Jeff Mauro, born, raised and returned to River Forest, found his passion in creating sandwiches in a deli he launched after college with his cousin. But he found fame on TV, again with sandwiches as the Food Network’s “Sandwich King.”

His next star turn will be May 15 when he takes the stage for a Wednesday Journal Conversation at Dominican University’s Fine Arts Center. Tickets for the event are now on sale at Tickets for the event are $25. Grab a $5 discount with this promo code: OPEats.

This lively event is co-sponsored by Dominican University and, the new all local, all food venture of Wednesday Journal.

Mauro grew up in River Forest, one of four kids. He found his sweet spot making his family laugh, a gift he brought later to Chicago theater performances, comedy and improv, cooking demonstrations and then TV.

While Mauro is now a lynchpin of the Food Network’s schedule with multiple series, he found his way to TV through a cooking competition reality show, Food Network Star Season 7. That was 2011. He was one of 15 finalists and the only one fully focused on the virtues of a sandwich.

Those winning performances led straight to his own show, The Sandwich King, as well as an on-the-road project called $24 in 24 in which he is given $24 for find breakfast, lunch and dinner in an American city. These days, Mauro is also a co-host of Food Network’s popular The Kitchen.

Mauro lives in River Forest with his wife Sarah and their son Lorenzo. 

Mauro will join Charlie Meyerson, an Oak Parker, longtime radio and digital journalist, and on-the-side moderator of the Wednesday Journal Conversations series. In our first two excursions of this series, Meyerson interviewed David Axelrod, political consultant to President Barack Obama, and Peter Sagal, host of NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.

Meyerson is currently proprietor of Chicago Public Square, a daily digital newsletter focused on Chicago and national news and the digital radio version of same.

Dan Haley

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Dan Haley

Dan was one of the three founders of Wednesday Journal in 1980. He’s still here as its four flags – Wednesday Journal, Austin Weekly News, Forest Park Review and Riverside-Brookfield Landmark – make...