David Manilow, creator of the original Emmy award-winning, Chicago-based television show, “Check, Please!,” is set to participate at Check, Please! Arizona Festival at the event’s new location, Margaret T. Hance Park (67 W. Culver St., Phoenix, 85003) Sun., March 20, from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Manilow is the creator and executive producer of the popular food program, which began on PBS station WTTW/11 in 2001. The show celebrates its 15th year, and locally produced versions appear on many PBS stations across the country in cities such as Seattle, Miami, Phoenix and others. Manilow, whose version of the show in the Bay Area has been honored with a James Beard Award, has interviewed more than 500 chefs and restaurateurs and has been named one of the top 10 most important people in the Chicago restaurant scene.
Manilow will participate in a panel entitled “Check, Please! Confidential: Meet the Creators,” featuring “Check, Please! Arizona” host and James Beard Award-winning chef, Robert McGrath along with Arizona show producers and other special guest panelists. Festival visitors will get a behind-the-scenes look at “Check, Please! Arizona,” and have the opportunity to ask their burning questions of featured panelists.
Check, Please! Arizona Festival once again offers the highly anticipated cooking demonstration stages, this year kicked off by distinguished cookbook author and founder of the esteemed Les Gourmettes Cooking School, Phoenix, Barbara Pool Fenzl. Fenzl was the host of a 13-week public television series, “Savor the Southwest,” which aired in 1999 in approximately 90 markets, and for the past several years has hosted cooking-related pledge programs on Arizona PBS, including “Eight Cooks.”
Three stages will set the scene: the SubZero/Wolf Chef Demonstration Stage, the Portland on the Park Chef Demonstration Stage, and the Mercedes Benz Panel Stage.
SubZero/Wolf Chef Demonstration Stage
11:30 a.m.: Arizona PBS personality and cookbook author Barbara Pool Fenzl
12:30 p.m.: Chef Eddie Matney of Eddie’s House
1:30 p.m.: Chef Lester Gonzalez of Cowboy Ciao
Portland on the Park Chef Demonstration Stage
12:00 p.m.: Chef Raveen Arora of The Dhaba
1:00 p.m.: Chef Gio Osso of Virtu Honest Craft
2:00 p.m.: Chef Mark Tarbell of Tarbell’s
Mercedes Benz Panel Stage
11:45 a.m.: A Masterful Chat with Lidia Bastianich. This conversation is hosted by “Check, Please! Arizona” host Robert McGrath as he shares an up-close conversation with special guest Lidia Bastianich, Emmy award-winning public television host, restaurateur and owner of a flourishing food and entertainment business. The best-selling cookbook author also discusses the makings of her latest book: “Lidia’s Mastering the Art of Italian Cuisine: Everything You Need to Know to be a Great Italian Cook.” The festival will also feature the booth Inspired by Lidia, serving samples of her creations, courtesy of MATCH Cuisine & Cocktails.
1:15 p.m.: Check, Please! Confidential: Meet the Creators panel discussion featuring “Check, Please!” creator David Manilow, “Check, Please! Arizona” host and James Beard Award-winner Robert McGrath and “Check, Please! Arizona” producers Margery Punnett, Suzanne Guery , and director of photography Scot Olson, as well as a few special guest panelists.
In addition to chefs offering a number of unprecedented insights, more than 25 of Arizona’s independent dining spots are set to dish out their specialties; and offerings from global wineries and unique craft breweries will be available to sip as well.
Restaurant Lineup to Date. Among participating restaurants in this fourth year are:
- Flavors of Louisiana
- The Dhaba
- Tryst Cafe
- Eddie’s House
- Timo Wine Bar
- Rula Bula Tempe Irish Pub and Restaurant
- Pig & Pickle
- Cucina Tagliani
- SanTan Brewing Company
- The Salt Cellar
- Cowboy Ciao
- Chloe’s Corner
- America’s Taco Shop
- Hob Nobs Cafe & Spirits
- Nook Kitchen Downtown
- Four Peaks Brewing Company
- The Haymaker Restaurant Company
- The Wild Thaiger/Little Thaiger
- Bella Luna Ristorante
- Lon’s at the Hermosa Inn
- Old Town Sarajevo
- The Breakfast Joynt
- Frasher’s Smokehouse
PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD. Also new this year, guests will have an opportunity to vote for their favorite dish of the festival in the new People’s Choice Award competition on social media – using the official event hashtag #CheckPleaseAZFest. Details available on the festival web page and on Arizona PBS social media: www.azpbs.org/checkplease/festival.
TICKETS. Tickets are available at www.azpbs.org/checkplease/festival. General admission advance tickets are $59 through March 19; tickets at the gate are $69. All tickets include food, wine and beer sampling as well as panel discussions, cooking demonstrations and guest lectures. NOTE: This event is expected to sell out, as in prior years.
SPONSORS & PARTNERS. “Check, Please! Arizona” Festival is made possible by support from Hensley Beverage Company, Southern Wine & Spirits, SubZero/Wolf, Portland on the Park, Goose Island, Red Bird Farms, Mercedes-Benz of Scottsdale, Best Dental Care AZ, Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers, Whitfill Nursery, Lawns by Les, The Linkous Group, Phoenix New Times, Arizona PBS and R Entertainment.
About Arizona PBS. Arizona PBS is a trusted community resource. For over 52 years, the PBS station has focused on educating children, reporting in-depth on public affairs, fostering lifelong learning and celebrating arts and culture. Arizona PBS achieves its mission through the power of non-commercial television, the Internet, educational outreach and community-based initiatives. Its signal reaches 80 percent of the homes in Arizona. With more than 1 million viewers weekly, Arizona PBS consistently ranks among the most-viewed public television stations per capita in the country. For more information, visit azpbs.org or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest or Tumblr. Arizona PBS is a member-supported community service of Arizona State University and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
About R Entertainment. R Entertainment is a national concert and event business development company, which produces and markets more than 200 dates a year. Private corporate gatherings such as the American Express Chairman’s Event, charity events such as Super Bowl XLIX Big Game Big Give, celebrations such as the Harvey Mackay 80th Birthday Event, noteworthy culinary spectacles such as azcentral.com Food & Wine Experience and Check, Please! Arizona Festival, and The Good Life Festival series by Shea Homes are part of the company portfolio. R Entertainment also books concert entertainment nationwide, working with artists such as Tim McGraw, Miranda Lambert, REO Speedwagon, Eli Young Band, Sinbad, The String Cheese Incident, The Band Perry, Fun., Primus, The Beach Boys, Queen + Paul Rodgers worldwide tour, and others. For latest event and concert dates, visit R-Entertainment.com