Charles Blackstone and Alpana Singh
Vintage Attraction: Charles Blackstone and Alpana Singh.

Alpana Singh?s decade-long run as the host of Check, Please! made her a familiar face and gave her River North restaurant a jump-start on success.

Tomorrow Singh?s husband, Charles Blackstone, will publish Vintage Attraction, his semiautobiographical novel about the couple?s romance.

In honor of the book?s release, we tracked down three of Chicago's biggest female food stars and the men who warm their hearts.

Alpana Singh met Charles Blackstone when he tried to land a guest spot on Check, Please!--a scenario he recreates in his book. (Spolier: He never made it in front of the camera.) The novelist is also the managing editor of Bookslut, an online book-review publication, and you can often spot him writing away at the Starbucks on Oak and Rush.

Mindy Segal met Dan Tompkins when the Hot Chocolate chef/owner showed up for dinner at a restaurant he formerly managed; the couple married this September. Now Tompkins helps Segal run her Bucktown spot--he?s the beer buyer, among other things--and on nights off you can find him sipping brews at the Map Room.

Stephanie Izard met Gary Valentine when the Top Chef and Girl and the Goat owner ran into the craft beer consultant over barbecue at Lillie's Q. The pair married last month, and their wedding menu, of course, was extravagant. Next up, Valentine will serve as beer director for Charleston's Southern Ground music festival.

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