Check, Please! Northwest’s new host Amy Pennington is already practicing the fine art of wine-fueled conversation. Photo courtesy of KCTS.

Ladies and gentlemen, friends of both public television and dining: KCTS has selected the person who will be guiding your conversations about Seattle’s restaurants on Check, Please! Northwest. And that person is…local gardener/author/cook Amy Pennington.

Food-focused Seattleites know her from her books Urban Pantry and Apartment Gardening, and her energetic Twitter persona (or maybe that recent piece in the Wall Street Journal?).

Pennington says the encouragement of a few friends helped nudge her into auditioning, a process that included shooting a mock episode with fake guests, a teleprompter and everything. While her only previous on-camera experience had been the occasional guest spot on shows like New Day Northwest, she says the new gig is “basically what I do every day of my life, which is sit around with my friends and talk about what restaurants we’ve been to.”

Shooting begins next week for the 13-episode first season, of which the Space Needle is the sole underwriter, and the first episode airs March 8 at 7pm on KCTS 9. You can still apply to be on the show right over here.

“When you work for yourself, you’re always looking for the next big project,” says Pennington. “And I grew up with PBS and I thought it would be such an honor to work with them.” An added bonus: The shooting ends right around the time gardening season revs up.

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