Chicagoans familiar with WTTW, our local PBS station, will almost certainly have watched the Emmy winning show, Check, Please!. It’s a great show that offers intimate reviews of local restaurants. The reviews are not only “thumbs up or thumbs down” but offer an education into the culinary arts and work to enhance the local culture. It’s exactly for this reason that you should vote to have Cristiane Pereira become the next host.
Cristiane is not simply a brilliant culinary artist and successful business woman (as anyone who has ever eaten at her cafe, Taste of Brasil, knows). She is also thoughtful, articulate, cultured, warm and charming. Beyond this, she has a rare awareness of what role a restaurant owner can play toward the enhancement of a community. I’ll certainly disclose that I’m more or less a regular at Taste of Brasil, where I sometimes go to write, and where my kids love to eat. I speak to Cristian, a native of Brasil, about Oak Park very often. She agrees that a cafe is not simply a business. It is not just a place that feeds people as it turns a profit and offers employment opportunities. A cafe or restaurant is also a cultural phenomenon, and when the owners believe this, they bring a vibration that enhances the community. To serve food is not simply to have someone taste it, and to evaluate food is not just to tell someone whether or not it pleased your senses. Food and public spaces make our cities and improve the quality of our lives. People feel that Cristiane is trying to improve the quality of her customers’ and neighbors’ lives every time they have so much as a demitasse of espresso at her cafe (something I highly recommend). Check, Please! would benefit immeasurably from Cristiane’s insights.
I hope you’ll take the time to vote. It takes only a minute. Each time you watch the show, you’ll feel that much closer for having participated.