A Nitecap with Catherine DeOrio

Catherine DeOrio left behind a successful career in the courtroom to pursue her passion in the kitchen. Today, she's a professional foodie and hosts Chicago's Emmy-winning show 'Check, Please!' - with just enough time to relax with a glass of bourbon and, of course, a bottle of great wine. 

What three things are you most passionate about? Family, learning about different cultures through their cuisine and making the most out of life.

What three words describe you best? Passionate, enthusiastic and hard-working.

What is your favorite place in the worldThat’s a tough question! Having an aperitif in Campo Santa Margherita in Venice, Italy. Closely followed by sipping bourbon while listening to jazz at the Green Mill in Chicago, YSL’s gardens or the souks in Marrakech Morocco, anywhere in New York and Paris, France.

What’s one quirky thing about you that most people don’t know? I get very enthusiastic about things and want to learn everything there is to know about a new subject, and so I buy tons of books about whatever it is I am studying. As a result, I probably have the single largest collection of “For Dummies” books (Canning and Preserving for Dummies, PowerPoint for dummies, Spanish for Dummies, Wordpress for Dummies, etc). It’s actually kind of embarrassing.  

What’s your nightcap of choice? Whisky, preferably bourbon, ideally Pappy Van Winkle 20-year neat

What’s your ultimate comfort food? Pasta—I could eat it every single day! 

You’re sipping on a glass of your favorite wine---what's playing on your iPod? Billie Holiday's "As Time Goes By" on repeat.

If still wine’s not in your glass, what is? Champagne, prosecco or bourbon.

What's your favorite wine-drinking experience or memory? I was in Palm Springs and had a room at the Parker Palm Springs with a private backyard outfitted with a hammock.  After a long day of touring around for an article I was writing I came back to my room after dinner and opened a bottle of Sea Smoke Pinot Noir, headed out to the hammock and sipped my wine while gazing up at the stars—it was magical.