“Have you seen Wayne’s World?” asks Amy Pennington, host of the new local restaurant review show Check, Please! Northwest on KCTS-TV.
“I constantly think: ‘Camera 1, Camera 2.’ I’m a total fish out of water.”
Pennington, 37, may be new to the role of television host, but her love of good food is longstanding. Having grown up on a Long Island homestead with a vegetable garden and chickens, she has built a successful Seattle business, Go Go Green Garden (gogogreengarden.com), on the premise of planting food in urban yards.
As host of Check, Please! the Queen Anne resident will bring her sustainable food focus to a popular show that has already filmed seasons in Chicago, Miami and San Francisco. The guests (three per episode; chosen based on individual applications) are regular folks asked to share their opinions of restaurants they recommend to each other.
“They bring an everyman’s view to the table, which in my opinion, is better than a food critic’s,” says Pennington.
After each guest dines anonymously at the others’ suggested spot, she reconvenes the group of strangers for a rousing conversation about the eatery’s pros and cons. “It’s an amalgamation of all these people from different walks of life sitting at the table together talking about food.” Sounds like a reason to party on, dude.
NEED TO KNOW:
1. Tune in starting tomorrow! Check, Please! Northwest airs on KCTS on Thursdays at 7 p.m. through May 31.
2. Pennington’s books, Urban Pantry (2010) and Apartment Gardening (2011), educate readers in sustainable city living.
3. After years of working as his executive assistant, Pennington considers restaurateur Tom Douglas a sort of “food parent,” explaining, “Just as parents raise you to have good manners, Tom raised me to think about food critically.”
4. You can apply to be a guest on the show at kcts9.org/check-please.