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WTTW’S Emmy-winning Check, Please! announces five finalists for new program host

The popular restaurant review series names its “final five” finalists to replace former host Alpana Singh; the new host to be named on May 29

For immediate release
Chicago, IL - May 1, 2013

And then there were five. After wading through more than a thousand video submissions, winnowing that number down to a lucky 17 who taped mock segments of the show, and considering the results of a competitive online poll that garnered 12,000 votes, the producers of WTTW’s Check, Please! are approaching the finish line of their exciting search. Here are the picks for the five finalists, all Chicagoans, vying to be named the new Check, Please! host to debut season 13 in October 2013:

  • Senam Amegashie, freelance writer
  • Donny de Castro, owner of Tavern at the Park Restaurant
  • Catherine De Orio, president of Culinary Curator
  • Sarah Levy, magazine editor and owner of S. Levy Foods
  • Ina Pinkney, chef/owner of Ina's

Over the past 12 seasons, WTTW’s 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. The host of Check, Please! plays a pivotal 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.

The five finalists who fit that bill will be featured on a special edition of Check, Please! on Friday, May 17 at 8:00 pm. To learn more about them, watch a snippet of their mock segment and view their original applications and videos, visit the Check, Please! website at

The new host of Check, Please! will be announced on Wednesday, May 29.

About WTTW
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