|Check, Please! Bay Area: Press Release|
Check, Please! Bay Area
A new series featuring ordinary diners reviewing local restaurants, produced by KQED Public Television
Premiering Thursday, November 3, 2005 at 7:30pm
September 15, 2005, San Francisco, CA -- Bay Area restaurants: everyone seems to have strong opinions on the best sushi bar, favorite bistro, or neighborhood hidden gem. With so many restaurants to choose from, how do you decide where to go next for dinner? Making food critics of regular diners, KQED Public Television premieres Check, Please! Bay Area, a new, must-watch, half-hour series for Bay Area residents eager to discover the latest in food trends, from the simplest café to the four-star destination.
Check, Please! Bay Area will air on Thursday nights at 7:30 p.m., premiering November 3, and will also be available on KQED 191 Life, and On Demand. Kqed.org will offer a new website, www.kqed.org/checkplease, currently hosting the online application for reviewers, and will feature a blog devoted to restaurant reviews.
Check, Please! Bay Area is the second new series from KQED to launch this fall, following The Josh Kornbluth Show, which premiered with great success this September. These new local shows represent the station's commitment to offering unique local content that illuminates life in the Bay Area and anchor a new era in local production for KQED.
Every week, Check, Please! Bay Area features three guests who are local diners, not professional restaurant critics. Each guest chooses their favorite restaurant and the other two guests visit that restaurant under total anonymity -- the restaurants are not notified that Check, Please! "reviewers" are dining there. After trying each other's restaurant recommendations, they come on the show to discuss, dispute, and celebrate their dining experiences with lively commentary. The panel of diners is moderated by host Leslie Sbrocco, an award-winning author, wine connoisseur, newspaper columnist, and speaker. At the end of the show, each restaurant is rated based on the panelists' comments.
The concept was originated by David Manilow, the executive producer for the original version of the program, based in Chicago. Now entering its fifth season as the highest-rated local program on public television station WTTW in Chicago, Check, Please! enjoys a huge fanbase, with 300,000 weekly viewers.
"This is the first attempt to bring a restaurant review show featuring citizen reviewers to the Bay Area. We expect the series to be as successful as its Chicago counterpart, especially with the popularity of dining out in the Bay Area," said Michael Isip, executive producer of the series and executive director of television production and programming for KQED.
With some of the world's best chefs situating their landmark restaurants in this region and a wealth of locally grown produce and ingredients, the Bay Area is a foodies' paradise. San Francisco and the surrounding areas offer a diverse selection of ethnic epicurean delights, as well as California cuisine, invented here by pioneers of organic cooking. Check, Please! Bay Area will explore this fantastic world of food through diners ready to dish about their favorite places.
Support for Check, Please! Bay Area is provided by The Campaign for the Future Program Venture Fund and the Members of KQED.
KQED Public Broadcasting operates KQED Public Television 9, one of the nation's most-watched public television stations during prime-time, and KQED's digital television channels, which include KQED HD, KQED Encore, KQED World, KQED Life and KQED Kids; KQED Public Radio, the most-listened-to public radio station in the nation with an award-winning news and public affairs program service (88.5 FM in San Francisco and 89.3 FM in Sacramento); KQED.org, one of the most visited station sites in Public Broadcasting; and KQED Education Network, which brings the impact of KQED to thousands of teachers, students, parents and media professionals through workshops, seminars and resources.