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'Check, Please!' Names Catherine De Orio As New Host

By Chuck Sudo in Food on May 29, 2013 1:30PM

Catherine De Orio
The producers of WTTW-TV’s Check, Please! have named the new host of the popular restaurant review show: Catherine De Orio. The food consultant and former lawyer was chosen after an exhaustive and much-publicized search that drew over 900 applicants and an astounding amount of media attention.

De Orio’s coronation has been known in the halls of WTTW for weeks—she was even referred to as “The Chosen One”—but kept under tight wraps. Producer David Manilow told the Sun-Times De Orio nailed down the job with her mock show taping. “She pops off the screen. She’s engaging, lively, smart, quick-witted,” Manilow told TV critic Lori Rackl. (Rackl also served as a panelist on that mock show.)

De Orio worked as a litigation attorney and took classes at Kendall College before making the jump to the culinary industry. She works in recipe development, event consulting, public speaking, brand ambassadorship and travel and lifestyle writing via her company, Culinary Curator. De Orio described herself to the Tribune as a “non-critical” food writer, which should help her in her new gig; De Orio may be the host but the true stars of Check, Please! are the guests.

De Orio has some mighty steps to follow in former host Alpana Singh and has received criticism throughout the audition process. She told DNAInfo Chicago that comes with the territory.

"It would be unrealistic of me to think everyone's going to like me," she said. "So as far as I'm concerned, my job isn't for everyone to like me, my job is to do a very good job with the show, and to get people to talk about their restaurants."

De Orio signed a one-year contract with WTTW to host Check, Please!. She begins taping the show’s 13th season June 22.