Jeff Mauro and CESAR give the pups an ultimate game day menu, interview

Jeff Mauro for CESAR, photo provided by CESAR
Jeff Mauro for CESAR, photo provided by CESAR /

For many football fans, game day is all about the delicious game day spread. Jeff Mauro, the popular Food Network star, chef, and podcast host of “Come On Over,” understands that his football Sunday menu needs to be inclusive for all guests, including his dogs Pinot G and JoJo. Although Mauro might have difficulty saying no to those furry companions as he cheers every touchdown, a well-balanced choice is better than feeding the four-legged family members from the table. The CESAR “Match Up” Menu transforms favorite game day foods into dog-friendly options.

Mauro has long shared his love for his dogs, Pinot G and JoJo. As seen with his Bestie Meals, he appreciates that his dogs are his constant companions. From offering comfort when the Bears lose again to the Packers (sorry Jeff) or cheer when the Soldier Field crowd erupts for a first down, the dogs just know how to be that friend in any game day situation.

During a recent conversation with Mauro, the conversation focused on how to bring those game day favorite flavors to the pups. Although there might be a disagreement over which team, Packers or the Bears, will achieve the better NFC record, Mauro knows that everyone can agree that food is the unifier on game day.

As Mauro shared, Sunday is all about the food, specifically the “food that you dream about all week.” Whether it was a pizza, chicken wings, or that always tasty Italian Beef, Mauro found that he was “by myself watching the game with my dogs and it was the happiest.”

While Mauro might try to convince his son to watch all four quarters, the hunger of a teenage boy might create a eat and dash moment. After enjoying that football spread, the call of video games in the basement is far greater than wishing for a Bears comeback in the fourth quarter. Even if his son might make other plans, his dogs were his constant companions.

That dog loyalty sparked the idea of the CESAR “Match Up” Menu. This concept takes various CESAR offerings and mimics the flavors in popular game day foods. Specifically, the first-ever CESAR 7-Layer is a take on the always popular 7-Layer Dip, using the CESAR SIMPLY CRAFTED Beef, Chicken, Purple Potatoes, Peas & Carrots, CESAR Filet Mignon Flavor & Spring Vegetables Garnish Dry Dog Food and CESAR SOFTIES Medley Trio Treats.

As Mauro said, in his house, “So when you know when Chicago team scores a touchdown and when Green Bay team has like three injuries in one play, we celebrate, I’m going to take a bite, I’m going to grab an Italian Beef and then I’m going uh give my dogs the CESAR 7-Layer and they’re just beyond excited and it creates this whole experience, right? Because you know, the humans are fun to please but I’m in it for these dogs. They give me so much, I want to give back to them.”

Many dog parents appreciate that they need to be mindful of the food choices for the furry family members. Feeding them a pizza crust from the box might not be the healthiest option. As Mauro said, this recipe “uses the food that they are used to and they crave every morning and night when you feed them.”

Although Mauro might have a large section of his pantry devoted to Pinot G and JoJo, he has drawn a line with one item. Mauro is skipping the dog jersey on game day. As he described it, “when you try to dress a dog for the first and sometimes only time it can be a certain look. Then they give you like what do you that, just why?”

Even though Mauro might enjoy playing some Boot Scootin Boogie by Brooks and Dunn at school drop off with his son, there is a difference embarrassing his teenager and forcing his dogs to wear something more than just a game day bandana.

As Mauro prepares the menu for game day, he knows that there are plenty of CESAR recipes which mimic the flavors on the table. From chili to chicken wings, the brand’s website has multiple options to ensure that all football fans, both two-legged and four-legged, have a meal worthy of the occasion.

In the Mauro household, a Chicago classic is always a tasty choice. While a certain television show might have sparked a resurgence in the Italian Beef, Mauro knows that it has never gone out of style. And for anyone who cannot get one from a Chicago icon, Mauro Provisions is ready to ship a kit anywhere in the US. Even a little giardiniera on a dish will boost the flavor in the best way.

While Mauro’s Chicago Bears might have an uncertain season ahead, he will be all over the Food Network this fall. From new episodes of The Kitchen to an all-new Food Network show coming this November, Jeff Mauro will be bringing his quick wit and delicious recipes into everyone’s homes.

This football season, grab an Italian pilsner, robust stout, a delicious Italian beef and make some CESAR 7-Layer for the dogs. Regardless of the final game score, the food will have everyone cheering.