WTTW'S CHECK, PLEASE!
Catherine De Orio left a successful career in the courtroom to pursue her passion in the kitchen. Now a formally trained chef in addition to a “recovering attorney,” she has expertly combined her skills from both career paths to serve as Executive Director of Kendall College Trust while creating a full-time brand as a culinary consultant, lifestyle expert, media spokesperson, journalist, web editor, and public speaker.
Known to many Chicagoans as the host of the Emmy award-winning dining review show Check, Please!, Catherine travels the country to dish on the food scene, discussing trends, demonstrate recipes, and give professional tips for organizing successful events. A successful journalist, she also writes articles relating to food, travel, and lifestyle for various publications, including Eater, Vegas Magazine, Time Out, CS, Brides, Daily Candy, Huffington Post, Wynn, US Weekly, Michigan Avenue, Chicago Tribune, and Crain’s Chicago Business. Zagat named her one of the “10 Chicago power players you need to know now,” and New City included her in the 2013-2015 “Big Heat” List of Chicago’s most influential culinary figures, listing her as the second most powerful culinary figure in Chicago in their 2016-17 list.
Successfully balancing many full-time jobs in the food scene, Catherine serves as Executive Director of the Kendall College Trust. In this capacity, she raises scholarship funds for culinary and hospitality students in financial need, as well as mentors students in the culinary/hospitality field. In Summer of 2016, she launched a culinary camp in partnership with C-CAP (Careers Through Culinary Arts Program)/Chicago Public School (CPS), which provides culinary training for high school students in underserved communities. She also continues, through her consulting company, Culinary Curator, to do culinary trend research and recipe development, as well as speak about creating your dream job at universities and career-change events.
Always high energy, Catherine attended culinary school while working full-time as a litigator. Her unique blend of culinary, creative, and oratory skills soon caught the eye of executives at Sara Lee Corporation, and she was selected as their national media spokesperson and culinary consultant in 2006. Since, she’s also worked as a spokesperson for major corporations including ConAgra Brands, Ballpark hotdogs, Jimmy Dean, Gallo Salame, and more, and she’s appeared on every major network, including NBC and CBS. She also has done recurring spots on The Today Show, Better TV, The Rachael Ray Show, Good Day LA, Bringing it Home, and the Cooking Channel. Her down-to-earth personality and energetic delivery make her a favorite at live engagements: Catherine has done live cooking demonstrations and speaking engagements for crowds ranging from 25 to 5,000 at private events, various food and wine festivals/events across the country, and prestigious conferences.
To follow Catherine’s continued culinary pursuits, please check out her Instagram (@catdeorio) and Twitter (@CatCalls) accounts.