In these days of economic downturn - read: diminished dining out for most of us -- local restaurants are obviously suffering. As our production crew visits these spots that will be featured in the upcoming season of Check, Please! South Florida, it's especially sad to see young, promising South Florida chefs with empty dining rooms and quiet kitchens. Even in this tourist town, the trend of frugality over frivolity, and home-cooked meals over on-the-town treats, can be witnessed in restaurants across South Florida -- from the large, corporate celebrity-chef-driven spots to local family-run joints.
As we produce these brand new episodes of Check, Please!, we are hopeful that restaurants will stick it out. We know that once word gets out about their incredible food, viewers will throng to the place, in search of a truly unique (and sometimes unbelievably bargain-priced!) dining experience. We're talking about places where the owners and chefs truly appreciate the fact that you chose to patronize and support their restaurant.
And if we value the 'dining destination' that South Florida has become....if having innovative cuisine that is also fresh and homemade is of any importance to us...we need to view 'eating out' as not just a way to drop a few bucks, but as a way to support our culinary community. It's taken decades for South Florida's cuisine to finally reach a point where it creatively reflects its melting pot of residents. But, as we witness restaurant doors closing at an ever-increasing rate, it becomes clear that all of that progress could quickly disappear, leaving us in a wasteland of "chain restaurant mediocrity," as one of our recent Check, Please! guests so aptly put it.
So, soon we will be unveiling ten new episodes and thirty restaurants that need your support, especially during the slow summer season. And we hope that all you devoted diners out there will respond. The quality of the South Florida food scene depends upon it.
-- Joyce in Production