YES, Jeff Mauro, host of the Food Network cooking show Sandwich King, is in Manila, and he’s cooking up a storm wherever he goes. Just this morning (June 10, 2013), he ‘invaded’ Enderun Colleges in McKinley Hill, Taguig City, when he met members of the Manila-based food media and conducted a cooking demo-cum-workshop at The Enderun Culinary Center. He’s in Manila to promote his show, Sandwich King, which returns to the screen this June with its Season 3 episodes, airing every Wednesday at 2000 hours (8:00 p.m.) on Food Network Asia (Channel 68 on Sky Cable and Channel 100 on Cignal Digital TV), with encore episodes airing every Monday at 1430 hours (2:30 p.m.) and every Friday at 0730 hours (7:30 a.m.)
A Chicago native with a deep passion for cooking, Jeff Mauro was the winner of the seventh season of Food Network Star and, as such, he was given his own show, Sandwich King, which was inspired by his all-time favorite food.
“You can make any meal into a sandwich and any sandwich into a meal,” says Jeff, whose culinary expertise and sharp wit makes him the perfect host for the show.
A graduate of California’s Hollywood Kitchen Academy, Jeff grew up in a big family, whose members congregated around each other at the dining table every day to share meals and bond over food. Small wonder he has had the chance to work in the food industry since high school, taking on different jobs, including line cook, caterer and chef instructor. In an odd twist of fate, he also pursued a career as an entertainer and comedian in Los Angeles but eventually went back home to Chicago to do what he really loved – cooking. So when he joined Food Network Star, his innate culinary talent shone through and combined with a sharp wit and awesome humor developed during his years in the entertainment industry to make him the natural choice to win the competition. And he proved himself to be worthy when he steered his show, Sandwich King, to become a hit series in its first two seasons. Through the show and for the show, Jeff has taken the sandwich to a whole new level, making not just classic sandwiches with a twist but also creating new and never-before-thought-of gourmet and one-dish meal sandwiches that no one thought possible.
Now that Season 3 of Sandwich King is on, Jeff is leaving no stones unturned in promoting the show. His trip to Manila forms part of his efforts to capture the Asian market and make Asian countries go ‘sandwich crazy’ as well.
During his cooking demo-cum-workshop session at Enderun Colleges today (June 10, 2013), he had a whole captured audience of media practitioners, who lined the school’s long working table at the culinary center and watched as Jeff put together a sumptuous Jewish Brisket Sandwich with Smoked Mozzarella and Red Cabbage Slaw with a side of Carrot and Cranberry Salad. This is a recipe which will be shown in the Deli in My Belly episode of Sandwich King airing on June 26, 2013, at 8:00 p.m. He cooked the beef brisket from scratch during the workshop, but everyone had their own little work stations at the culinary center, complete with all the ingredients needed to each make the Brisket Sandwich, the Red Cabbage Slaw and the Carrot and Cranberry Salad. To make things easy for the participants, which included me, the mise en place of the ingredients had already been done ahead of time, so it was mostly just cutting and assembly work that had to be done.
At the end of the session, we all got our own sandwiches assembled and got to eat them, too, before proceeding to Enderun’s Atrium on the ground floor for a casual lunch. I call Enderun’s Atrium the Harry Potter Room because it resembles, to a great extent, the Banquet Hall of Hogwart’s School of Magic and Wizardry, and when the students – garbed in black suits (with matching pants for the guys and skirts for the ladies) – congregate in the room, it just has that Harry Potter feel. But that is an entirely different story!
With the usual soup, salad, appetizers, hot dishes and desserts on the buffet table, what was different about today’s lunch was that there were also trays of huge Jewish Brisket Sandwiches with Smoked Mozzarella and Red Cabbage Slaw on the buffet spread. More sandwiches from the Sandwich King himself!
In the 10 new episodes of Sandwich King’s Season 3, which runs from June to August this year, Jeff gets to create sandwiches beyond his wildest imagination. Yes, even dessert sandwiches like Macaron Sandwiches with Coconut Lime Cheesecake Filling or Banana, Chocolate Hazelnut and Potato Straw Crepe Sandwich!
Sandwich King Jeff Mauro, welcome to Manila, and may our Kare-Kare, Crispy Pata, Chicken Inasal and Pinakbet inspire you to create Filipino gourmet meal sandwiches. Anyone dare to try?