And then there was one. After an exciting and highly visible online application and voting process that garnered more than 1,000 host applicants and more than 12,000 votes for the “Round of 17” semi-finalists, the group was ultimately winnowed down to a lucky five to be featured on a Check, Please! Host (Almost) Special which aired on May 17 on WTTW11 and can be viewed on the Check, Please! website.
Now Executive Producer David Manilow and Producer Jacqui Wedewer have made their choice: WTTW’s Check, Please! is pleased to announce that Chicagoan CATHERINE DE ORIO will debut as the new host of the series for season 13, premiering in October 2013.
Catherine is excited to be entrusted with the host position of the Emmy award-winning dining series. “Check, Please! is a local treasure and precious institution for food lovers in Chicago,” she said. “I have been an avid watcher of Check, Please! since its very first episode, and I am honored and thrilled to become a part of the Check, Please! legacy!” she added.
Catherine De Orio grew up in a large Italian family in a suburb of Chicago where she learned to cook at the foot of a true master: her Nana Kay. It was then that she developed a deep appreciation of the power and pleasure of great meals. She is a ‘recovering attorney’ who left her burgeoning career in the courtroom to follow her true passion in the kitchen.
Catherine attended the prestigious culinary school of Kendall College in Chicago, spent years in both France and Italy and staged in the award winning restaurant kitchens of Spiaggia and Japonais. She has also worked as a media spokesperson handling national culinary campaigns for international brands such as Sara Lee/Hillshire Brands, Godiva, Disney, Revolution Tea, and others. In that capacity Catherine has made numerous appearances on national television shows including Today, The Rachael Ray Show, Martha Stewart media, as well as countless local media outlets, such as WGN Chicago, Good Day from the Bay, and many others. Currently, she is a food/travel writer and dining trends consultant in Chicago and her regular columns can be found on Eater.com – Chicago Edition, Vegas Magazine and Z-Life Fitness Magazine, amongst others.
Catherine will make an appearance this evening on WTTW’s nightly newsmagazine Chicago Tonight, airing at 7:00 pm. You can also catch that interview on the Chicago Tonight website after the show. Visit the Check, Please! website at wttw.com/checkplease for more information about Catherine, video from all seasons, a map and detailed information about all of the restaurants featured on the show, chef recipes, and the new Talk & Eat blog and Check, Please! PLANit event calendar.
About Check, Please!
Over the past 12 seasons, WTTW’s Emmy-winning restaurant review series Check, Please! and its continually rotating trio of “regular person” restaurant reviewers have exposed Chicagoans to more than 430 local eateries across a wide span of neighborhoods, cuisines, ethnicities, and price points – encouraging viewers to experience all that the Chicago area’s vibrant and diverse dining scene has to offer – on-air and online. The host of Check, Please! plays a vital role on the program by creating a warm atmosphere and facilitating a lively and informative discussion…all without pulling the focus away from the guests and their chosen restaurants.
For almost 60 years, audiences have turned to WTTW for distinctive programming that informs, inspires, educates, and entertains. WTTW reaches 1.5 million weekly households over a four‐state area, making it the most‐watched public television station in America. Recognized for its award‐winning local and national productions, WTTW is committed to presenting the very best in cultural, nature, science, public affairs, and children’s programming across its five distinct channels: WTTW11, WTTW Prime, its Spanish‐language channel WTTW V‐me, and WTTW Create, and wttw.com.