Ad: [ ? ]

Monday, July 27

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« Deconstructing Fall's Best Cocktails: The Knee High Stocking Rick Bayless Returns to the Stage »

Interview Fri Oct 18 2013

New "Check, Please!" Debuts Tonight

DSC_2137.jpgI live for my Friday night WTTW ritual: "Chicago Tonight," followed by "Check, Please!" I have something new to look forward to tonight, when Catherine De Orio takes over the hosting reigns from Alpana Singh following a long audition process earlier this year. The Elmwood Park native has made some bold moves in her career, having ditched her litigator gig for culinary school at Kendall, followed by consulting and writing in the food industry. In conversation, she is warm and engaging, and talks at length about her love for food and the city.

Despite her credentials, De Orio maintains that everyone has a place at the table when it comes to critiquing food. "Everyone's opinion is valid; what my palate likes is different from what your palate likes." I like her style; in a world of buzzwords and overindulgence of using "amazing" to describe experiences, De Orio is quick to emphasize that the success of the show is the conversation that arises between people who simply love food, and the great experiences that come from going outside of your comfort zone and visiting a new place that never would have crossed your mind before. As someone who accompanied a past show participant to Midlothian to check out a restaurant serving pork chops larger than my head, I know what it's like to have the uneasiness that comes with driving over an hour out of the city for a meal that someone on a television show recommended. The show serves as a tour guide of sorts to the newly minted Chicagoan who wants to get familiar with the city through its food, and to the longtime resident who can't seem to expand their horizons past a few mainstay restaurants.

Other than the set, which has gotten a makeover from 555 International (the same people who designed Girl and the Goat), the format of the show is unchanged: three people, three restaurants, and three discussions. The debut episode -- which visits Bucktown's Estrella Negra, Near North's Benny's Chop House, and Tinley Park's Tin Fish -- airs at 8pm.


bob / October 21, 2013 2:26 PM

i saw this first episode and i just really, really wanted the host to relax and cut over-smiling. perhaps it was a case of nerves, but her non-stop smiling throughout the episode was unnerving.

Add a Comment

Please enter the letter w in the field below:

Live Comment Preview

Notes & Tags

Items marked with a * are required fields. Please respect each other. We reserve the right to delete any comments borne out of douchebaggery or that deal in asshattery.

Permitted tags and how to use them:

To link: <a href="">Link text</a>
To italicize: <em>Your text</em>
To bold: <strong>Your text</strong>

Feature Tue Apr 21 2015

"Cookie Love" Uncovers Dessert's Best-Kept Secret

By Robyn Nisi

The first line of the introduction to Mindy Segal's newest cookbook Cookie Love (Ten Speed, $25) is all you need to know for understanding why this is required reading for all bakers: "I am a cookie nerd." Yes, the celebrated...
Read this feature »



Thu Jul 30 2015
Anthony Bourdain @ Auditorium Theatre

Drive-Thru on Flickr

Join the Drive-Thru Flickr Pool.

About Drive-Thru

Drive-Thru is the food and drink section of Gapers Block, covering the city's vibrant dining, drinking and cooking scene. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Robyn Nisi,
Drive-Thru staff inbox:



 Subscribe in a reader.

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15