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New TV show looking for guest restaurant reviewers

October 22, 2010

Beginning in January 2011, Eight will debut the half-hour restaurant review show, "Check, Please! Arizona." Each week, three people – ordinary Arizonans, not professional critics – will sample one another’s favorite restaurants and then get together at the Eight studios to share their experiences on the program.

Information on how to apply to be a guest and talk about a favorite Valley eatery (restaurant, supper club, diner, lunch cafe, dive, hole-in-the-wall, stand, food truck) on "Check, Please! Arizona" is available at

Robert McGrath, the James Beard award-winning restaurateur and chef, serves as host to the new weekly series.

“We want our guest reviewers to have fun," McGrath said. "All we ask is that you are passionate about your favorite restaurant. My job as host is not to offer an opinion, but to share culinary insights and explain cooking techniques or dishes based on my years of experience in the restaurant industry. I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be a great time.”

The restaurant review program first launched in Chicago in 2001 and has since become so popular it has “franchises” in San Francisco, Miami and Kansas City.

“We are excited about bringing 'Check, Please!' to Arizona,” said Scott Wallin, executive producer for Eight. “It’s a unique way to showcase our state’s restaurant community, and to introduce our audience to restaurants they might not visit otherwise.”

The first season – a total of 13 episodes and 39 reviews – will feature restaurants in Maricopa County, but there are plans to extend the show beyond the Valley.

"Check, Please! Arizona" debuts Jan. 5.

An Eight original production made possible by, Ironwood Cancer & Research Center, and Whitfill Nursery.

About Eight, Arizona PBS
Eight, Arizona PBS specializes in the education of children, in-depth news and public affairs, lifelong learning, and the celebration of arts and culture — utilizing the power of noncommercial television, the Internet, educational outreach services, and community-based initiatives. The PBS station began broadcasting from the campus of Arizona State University on January 30, 1961.  Now more than 80 percent of Arizonans receive the signal through a network of translators, cable and satellite systems.  With more than 1.3 million viewers each week, Eight consistently ranks among the most-viewed public television stations per capita in the country.  Arizonans provide more than 60 percent of the station’s annual budget. For more information, visit Eight is a member-supported service of Arizona State University.