Chef Jeffrey Mauro of Jam - Biography

Chicago, IL

December 2010

Chicago born and bred Chef Jeffrey Mauro began his culinary journey with a scholarship to Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. It was there that he met Certified Master Chef Alfonso Constrisciani, at that time an instructor at the school. Upon retirement, Constrisciani invited star-student Mauro to join him in opening Opus 251 in Philadelphia, and, within the year, Mauro was promoted to sous chef. Next, Mauro spent a year as sous chef at Philadelphia’s Susanna Foo under Chef de Cuisine Bill Kim, before landing a position at the height of the culinary pantheon: a place on Charlie Trotter’s line. After two years with Chef Trotter and a complete rotation through savory and pastry stations, he moved to Las Vegas to serve as executive sous chef with the opening team of Bradley Ogden’s at Caesar’s Palace.

In 2003, Bradley Ogden’s was awarded the coveted James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant. Although rewarding, the experience left Mauro emotionally and physically exhausted. After two years at Ogden’s, Mauro abandoned his culinary ambitions and left for a spiritual sojourn through Europe, where he experienced an epicurean epiphany that formed the foundation of his culinary philosophy—an approach that combines purity of ingredients, integrity of method, and respect for tradition.

While In Europe, Mauro set his sights on Spain and the triple Michelin-starred Martín Beresategui. Chef Berasategui turned Mauro away three times before giving in to his dogged persistence and inviting him for a six-week stage. Mauro returned to the United States with the goal to open his own restaurant. A feature in Art Culinaire on Chef Bruce Sherman inspired Mauro to seek a position under this pioneer of sustainable cuisine. After only two months at Sherman's North Pond in Chicago, Mauro was promoted to sous chef. In July 2009, Mauro opened Jam, a highly acclaimed breakfast and lunch restaurant in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village.