Check, Please! Bay Area


“You can’t talk to anybody about the restaurant you picked or what you thought about the restaurant,” one of the production assistants advised.

I was practically jumping out of my skin. I was so excited to be there and talk about the reviews and the restaurants I had analyzed for the last 3 weeks. I craved just to talk to another human being about the experience, but we were good and kept our distance….instead talking about the weather, our jobs, etc.

The other two men who would be on the show with me were Brad Glasman, a Financial advisor and Mac Barnett, a children’s book author whose book just won a Caldecott Honor.

The green room was a beige color but it was peppered with permanent marker sayings, signatures and accolades to KQED from past people who have been on other shows. “There, I signed the wall!” wrote one. “Thank you KQED, for talking about schools and having actual teachers in the conversation!” wrote another.

Bottles of wine sat on a cart and producers poured the libations endlessly, coaxing us to eat cheese, crackers and fruit laid out on the coffee table in the middle of the couches. Together we chatted leisurely and perused over our notes, as no notes would be allowed in the actual taping.

I chose a black, ruffly top and a sheer, chiffon-like covering. I decided against the necklace because I just didn’t feel “me” with it. After two hours of waiting, drinking, getting our makeup done, pictures and a personal meeting with Leslie Sbrocco (the host) we were ready to put our mic’s on and head into the taping room.

“You are not to look out into the camera area,” the director led us on taping etiquette. “The assumption is the audience will be thinking what’s better out there that they are looking over there?”

As a warm-up they had us do a fake review of “IHOP” as if we were reviewing that restaurant and it was ours. I had considerable trouble with this, because I’m a person who likes to be prepared. But it was over, and it was time to get to our restaurants — which I was excited about.

I thought that I was able to get most of my points across on Filipino food on the taping. Primarily, we talked about what Filipino food was, because they really had no idea whatsoever. I’ll let you see the dialogue when the actual taping runs, but it was very tastefully and respectfully done.

I hope that you enjoy the show! After about 3 hours we hugged and took photos and it was time to go. I was a little sad to leave such an exciting world. It was such an enchanting, alluring three hours. What an opportunity;  to be able to speak on camera about a subject so charged with passion! It was much more personal and political than I had anticipated.

Until next time. A love for food continues to manifest in subtle ways.



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