About Check, Please! Bay Area
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 anonymously — the restaurants are not notified that Check, Please! “reviewers” are dining there. After trying all three restaurants recommended, the guests come on the show to discuss, dispute, and celebrate their dining experiences. The panel of diners is moderated by host Leslie Sbrocco, an award-winning author, wine connoisseur, newspaper columnist, and speaker.
Host, Check, Please! Bay Area
An award-winning author, speaker, consultant and television host, Check, Please! You Gotta Try This! host Leslie Sbrocco is known for her entertaining approach to wine and food, as well as inspiring others to live a life of passion. Voted one of the Top 100 most influential people in the American wine business, Sbrocco’s engaging personality, humor and ability to connect with the audience — whether on screen or on stage — are her trademarks. As host of Check, Please! Bay Area, Sbrocco has won a coveted James Beard award, three Taste Awards and multiple Emmy awards in the span of 15 seasons. She appears frequently on national television outlets including CNN, The Hallmark Channel’s Better TV and QVC, and is a regular guest on NBC’s Today Show. Her work has been published in outlets such as People Style Watch magazine, Epicurious.com, O the Oprah magazine, Coastal Living, Woman’s Day, Health, Good Housekeeping and Glamour, among others.
Series Producer, Check, Please! Bay Area
Lori Halloran is the Series Producer for Check, Please! Bay Area and its spin-off, Check, Please! You Gotta Try This! Her work in arts and current affairs programming for KQED has garnered five Regional Emmys and multiple awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, the NorCal RTNDA, the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club and the Los Angeles Press Club. At KVIE in Sacramento, she produced the national adventure program Off Limits, where she flew in the Goodyear Blimp, got towed out to sea on the Navy’s FLIP ship and spent a long, cold night checking bear traps in Yosemite. Originally from Canada, she’s partial to poutine, butter tarts and salt n’ vinegar chips. When it comes to her pick for the Bay Area dish you just gotta try, it’s a close tie between the Curried Sweet Potato Punjabi Burrito at Avatar’s in Mill Valley and the “Squeeze with Cheese” Burger at Napa’s Squeeze Inn.
Coordinating Producer and Reporter, Check, Please! Bay Area
Cecilia Phillips is the Coordinating Producer and On-Camera Reporter for Check, Please! Bay Area
and its spin-off, Check, Please! You Gotta Try This!
She started at KQED as an intern for Check, Please! Bay Area!
and worked as a Digital Video Producer for KQED Food. She has been a part of the Bay Area food scene in many roles, including working under several celebrity chefs and serving as a food tour guide for many years in San Francisco. In her special series "Cecilia Tries It," she scours the Bay Area in search of off-the-beaten-path spots for exciting, culturally-diverse, culinary experiences that fans can’t miss. For the one dish that she thinks everyone’s just gotta
try: It has to be the sizzling, assorted mushroom soup from Kirala Japanese Restaurant in Berkeley; for her, it’s a warm, earthy hug in the midst of a chaotic world. Recommend your
favorite hidden-gem food spots to her on Instagram
Engagement Producer, Check, Please! Bay Area
Coco Keevan is the Engagement Producer for Check, Please! Bay Area and its spin-off, Check, Please! You Gotta Try This! Before joining the Check, Please! team in May 2021, she spent four years as the Digital Engagement Manager at PBS North Carolina, where she worked on local and national productions, including Somewhere South with Vivian Howard. A freelance food and pop culture writer, Coco’s work has appeared in Time Out, American Way, San Francisco magazine, Atlanta magazine, The A.V. Club and Paste, among others. She’s always eager to share her favorite food recommendations, show you countless cute photos of her dogs, Gravy and Cricket, and round out your weekly trivia team. When it comes to the Bay Area dish you just gotta try, she recommends the Udon Soup at Yo Yo’s in San Francisco’s Financial District, the simple, savory solution to whatever ails you.
Intern, Check, Please! Bay Area
Candice Yung is Check, Please! Bay Area’s Production Intern. Her first assignment was wrangling interview subjects at food truck gatherings for the new segment, “Cecilia Tries It.” Candice is a recent graduate of the University of San Francisco, where she studied performing arts and social justice. A Bay Area native, she is passionate about all things food and the Bay! For the past few years, she has worked in the Bay Area food scene preparing different sweet treats, ranging from boba milk tea to chiffon mousse cakes. She’s excited to explore and taste her way through everything that the Bay Area has offer!