Indian American restaurateur and master sommelier Alpana Singh, who hosted PBS Chicago’s “Check, Please!” for ten seasons, is returning to the Emmy award-winning weekly restaurant review series.
“Because there’s no fan like a Check, Please! Fan,” Singh wrote on Instagram. “Thank you to everyone for your kind words and good wishes. You really know how to make a girl feel at home. It feels good to be back.”
Crain’s Chicago Business reports that Singh has signed a two-year contract to return.
Viewers get to explore Chicago and its restaurants and neighborhoods in this WTTW restaurant review show where three regular people from diverse backgrounds dine at each other’s favorite restaurants and then offer their critiques around a dining table.
Singh hosted the show from 2003-2013, before leaving to focus on her then-new restaurant, The Boarding House. In 2015, Singh opened her second restaurant, Seven Lions in Chicago, Illinois, and in 2016, she opened Terra and Vine, an Italian-Mediterranean spot in Evanston, Illinois.
Singh told Crain’s Chicago Business, reports Eater Chicago, 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.” She also talked about the need for diversity on TV.
Born and raised in Monterey, Calif., she spent her youth working in her family’s ethnic grocery store, Singh explains on her website, adding that later, while waiting tables in college, she fell in love with wine and discovered that it united her varied interests in traveling, history and food.
At 19, she pursued a path in the business with a job as a wine sales clerk at Nielsen Bros. Market in Carmel, Calif. By 23, she had landed the sommelier’s position at the renowned Everest Restaurant in Chicago.
Singh, who is on the advisory council for the Illinois Restaurant Association, played a significant role in bringing the James Beard Foundation Awards to Chicago in 2015. She is also an avid supporter of Deborah’s Place, an organization that assists and empowers women facing homelessness.