New season of ‘Check, Please! Arizona’ highlights Valley’s growing food scene

“Check, Please! Arizona,” the Emmy-winning, Arizona PBS-produced series that has spotlighted the Valley’s burgeoning food scene for nearly a decade, is back for another season.

The eighth season of “Check, Please! Arizona” premieres Thursday, Jan. 4, at 7 p.m. and features a diverse selection of local dining hotspots with international offerings. The top-rated series highlights a wide variety of restaurants throughout  Arizona, from unique culinary concoctions to longtime Valley staples.

“I had so many surprises, tasting cuisines and approaches I never would have thought of trying. It was a blast,” said Mark Tarbell, award-winning local chef and host of “Check, Please! Arizona.” “The Phoenix food scene is world-class. I’m so happy to live here at this time in culinary history.”

Each week, local foodies dine and dish on three restaurants with Tarbell. They discuss everything from the food to the atmosphere in a roundtable discussion. Restaurants featured on the show are nominated by viewers who are unaffiliated with the restaurant.

Before becoming the host of “Check, Please! Arizona,” Tarbell was the Season 5 winner of “Iron Chef America,” and has been featured on the Food Network, Lifetime and many other networks. Tarbell also is the owner of Tarbell’s and The Tavern, and has been inducted into the Arizona Hall of Culinary Fame twice, as both a chef and a media master.

“Arizona is emerging as one of the country’s top food destinations,” said Arizona PBS General Manager Mary Mazur. “There are a lot of exciting things going on at restaurants across the state, and it’s great to see that ‘Check, Please! Arizona’ is right in the middle of it all.”

Arizona PBS launched “Check, Please! Arizona” in 2009. Since then, Phoenix has grown into what Guardian food critic Marina O’Loughlin has described as “a foodie oasis in the Arizona desert.”

Some of the restaurants in Season 8 include:

  • Cuisine & Wine Bistro
  • Dino’s Greek and Italian Grill & Bar
  • Elements
  • Hodori
  • Indian Delhi Palace
  • Noble Eatery
  • Original Breakfast House
  • Shabu Fondue
  • The Uprooted Kitchen
  • Welcome Chicken + Donuts

More than 300 local restaurants in Arizona have been featured on the show. Viewers are invited to watch previously aired shows online, view an interactive map of restaurant locations, post reviews of restaurants featured on the show and even obtain recipes at azpbs.org/checkplease.

“Check, Please! Arizona” is an Arizona PBS original production made possible in part by Biltmore Loan and Jewelry and CDC Pools.

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New season of 'Check, Please! Arizona' highlights Valley’s growing food scene

The eighth season of “Check, Please! Arizona” is airing Thursdays at 7 p.m.

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