After a five-year absence, it looks like Alpana Singh is returning to Check, Please!, PBS Chicago’s dining show that assembles three strangers who share their dining experiences, Crain’s reports. Singh hosted the show for 10 seasons before going into the world of restaurants as she owns Boarding House in River North and Terra & Vine in suburban Evanston. Singh reportedly signed a two-year contract to return.
Singh’s replacement, Catherine De Orio, wasn’t reached for comment. The reasons for the reported change aren’t clear. The show’s creator, David Manilow, recently unveiled a new dining show on PBS Chicago. Dishalicious features Monteverde chef/owner Sarah Grueneberg as host with a rotating group of chefs. Manilow told Eater Chicago last month that he saw his new show as complement to his old one. Check, Please! has ran since 2001. Manilow wasn’t immediately reached.
Crain’s broke the story, and Singh told the publication that she wants to create a voice for restaurant owners who seemed swallowed in a vortex of online criticism whether it’s from Yelp, Facebook, or Instagram. Singh, a master sommelier who helped Chicago secure Beard Awards, also talked about the need for diversity on TV. Singh was born in California and is of Indian descent. This is shown by a series of marketing materials made by the city of Chicago. Singh, when reached on the phone, confirmed what she told Crain’s, but couldn’t immediately share details. She had a wine class.
De Orio, a former attorney and Kendall College graduate, hosted the show for five seasons. She’s now the executive director of the Kendall College trust.
The show’s original host, Amanda Puck, was onboard for two season before Singh took over in 2003. The show’s success has begotten versions in other cities. Check back for updates.