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Arizona PBS Introduces New Host in Season Seven Premiere of ‘Check, Please! Arizona’

Jan. 3, 2017

Arizona PBS is introducing an all-new host in the seventh season of the Emmy Award-winning series “Check, Please! Arizona,” premiering Thursday, Jan. 5, at 7 p.m.

The seventh season of Arizona PBS’ highest-rated locally produced series features a diverse lineup of local dining destinations, from inventive culinary creations to exotic restaurants and happy-hour hotspots. The new season will include a wide variety of restaurants, presenting viewers with gourmet dishes from around the globe.

“We are so excited about the new season of ‘Check, Please! Arizona’ and our new host Mark Tarbell,” said producer Margery Punnett. “I think viewers are really going to enjoy Mark and the diversity of food and restaurant experiences that the show explores this season.”

Each week on “Check, Please! Arizona,” local foodies dine at and dish on the three restaurants they visited in a roundtable discussion. The restaurants featured on the show have been nominated by local viewers who are not affiliated with the restaurants. To be eligible, a restaurant must be local to Arizona and independently owned and have been in business for a minimum of two years.

This season marks the beginning of a new era, as the program bids farewell to James Beard award-winning chef Robert McGrath, who hosted the show for six consecutive seasons, and welcomes award-winning local chef Mark Tarbell. Tarbell will host the program and lead discussions with local food enthusiasts about the restaurants they recommended.

Tarbell has a number of television credits on his resume, as well as a collection of culinary awards. He was the season five winner of “Iron Chef America,” and has been featured on various programs on the Food Network, NBC, Lifetime and FOX. Tarbell has also been inducted into the Arizona Hall of Culinary Fame twice as a chef and media master.

Season seven restaurants include:

  • Franco’s Italian Caffe
  • Liberty Market
  • Zur Kate German Restaurant
  • Bootleggers Modern American Smokehouse
  • French Grocery
  • Tandoori Times Indian Bistro
  • 24 Carrots
  • Elote Cafe
  • Page Springs Vineyards & Cellars
  • Up the Creek Bistro and Wine Bar
  • Crêpe Bar
  • Otro Cafe
  • Southern Rail
  • SumoMaya Mexican Asian Kitchen
  • Khyber Halal Restaurant
  • The Duce
  • High Tide Seafood Bar and Grill
  • Clever Koi
  • Fresh Mint
  • The Gladly
  • Original ChopShop Co.

By the end of the seventh season, more than 270 local restaurants in Arizona will have been featured on the show. Viewers are invited to nominate their favorite restaurants for future seasons, 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

“Check, Please! Arizona” is an Arizona PBS original production made possible by, Whitfill Nursery, Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers and Lawns by Les.


Media Contact:  Joe Giordano
(602) 496-5118

About Arizona PBS

Arizona PBS is a trusted community resource.  For over 55 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 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.