THE BLOG
09/23/2014 08:47 am ET Updated Nov 23, 2014

Chef Jeff Mauro and Singer Phillip Phillips at the Food Network in Concert

Gearing up for Tuesday night's Dinner Party, I headed to the Food Network in Concert at Ravinia last Saturday. In a very fun and off-the-cuff interview, I met with funny man, Jeff Mauro, host of "The Sandwich King" and "The Kitchen," and Phillip Phillips whose platinum album, "The World from the Side of the Moon" sold 9 Million copies after he won the 11th season of American Idol. His second album, "Behind the Light," was released this May.

Although seemingly an unlikely pair, around noon Mauro and Phillips did a cooking demonstration together, where Mauro did the demonstration and Phillips noted that he got a grill for this birthday. Just after they mixed it up on stage, I joined the two of them on a back balcony for an outside, completely unscripted interview (below).

In our chat, we talk about their pawnshop connection, the pressure and stress of competing on reality TV shows, and how much of the shows are reality and how much are scripted. Also, in the spirit of fun competition, I give Mauro and Phillips a friendly food and lifestyle quiz, and their answers have me and the entire crew in stitches. Be sure to catch Phillips' hilarious favorite expression at the end and Mauro's surprise rendition of an apropos tune sung for Phillips who was enjoying his 26th birthday.

Enjoy this hilarious interview with these now good buddies recorded right before Mauro headed off to a book signing, Phillips prepared to perform, opening that night for John Mayer, and I set out to try samplings from over 50 well-respected chefs and 100+ wineries scattered among the beautiful Ravinia grounds amidst a day full of music, food and wine.