Welcome back!

By Carmen Schmidt |

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Welcome back to the new season of Check, Please! We're excited to bring you a ninth season of culinary treasures. As a new Associate Producer to the production, I'm excited to tell you about what else is new. Along with over 40 new restaurants and charismatic guests from all over Chicagoland, there are more new things to talk about on the production side as well.

This season, we're producing the show in High Definition! That's right. If seeing all of the dishes from our featured restaurants made your mouth water in the past, then get your napkins ready now. If you're a new viewer, then you have picked a great time to start watching. Each episode is produced in beautiful, high definition bringing you every delicious culinary detail, except for the aroma. But, we'll get on that. As soon as we can bring you that sensory experience, we will. I can tell you that it has not been easy sitting over here at the WTTW Studios as we edit the show – watching people enjoy the delectable food from a distance. We get VERY hungry and the cafeteria vending machines just don't cut it! I can't wait to try some of these restaurants myself.

You may also notice Alpana's new haircut. It's a much sleeker look that frames her charming smile beautifully. Alpana has taken off about five inches of her dark brown locks this season, and she looks all the lovelier for it in her shoulder length "bob."

The first episode of the season is a personal favorite of mine. Not just because it was the first episode I have worked on…or because it features Café Central, a Puerto Rican restaurant, and I'm Puerto Rican...but, because our guests drew us in and made us laugh while we were working to get the show just right. You will definitely find an eclectic selection of restaurants in the first episode, maybe even something new to get excited about, when you plan your next meal out. Like our guest interviewer Monte says, "Stuff wrapped in bacon! What's not to love?"

Make sure to visit our website weekly and participate in the new Check, Please! Challenge for a chance to win a variety of delicious prizes donated by some very generous partners. You can also watch the show year, search for restaurant information, give us your own review of each restaurant, try some famous restaurant recipes, and much more. Everything you need to plan a great dinner date is right here at your fingertips.

I hope you enjoy the new season. Now, get out your napkins and be ready to drool!

Carmen M. Schmidt
Associate Producer, Check, Please!