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Marilyn Hagerty is the eighty-five-year-old North Dakota food critic who became an unlikely internet sensation a few months ago when her earnest review of a local Olive Garden went viral, garnering both praise and derision from hipster foodies and culinary figures. Anthony Bourdain is a chef/best-selling author/Travel Channel super-fox known for his acerbic wit and unapologetically brash demeanor, as well as his future role as the father of my unborn child.
Although the two might seem like unlikely bedfellows, Hagerty's paper, The Grand Forks Herald, reports that Hagerty and Bourdain are in talks with publisher Harper Collins for a possible book deal. Cue the Odd Couple theme song over footage of Hagerty and Bourdain folding laundry and sharing garlic breadsticks with a side of unwashed Tasmanian devil rectum!
All sarcasm aside, the two authors actually seem pretty well-matched: after Hagerty's article first went viral, the notoriously outspoken Bourdain was one of the first culinary figures to jump to her defense, telling his Twitter followers: "Very much enjoying watching Internet sensation Marilyn Hagerty triumph over the snarkologists (myself included)." Similarly, in a recent interview with the Village Voice's Fork in the Road, Hagerty appeared to be taking a page from one of Bourdain's books on how to not give a fuck when she told the reporter, "I don't have time to sit here and twit over whether some self-styled food expert likes, or does not like, my column...if anyone's got time to sit out there and nitpick, I kind of feel sorry for them. Get a life." Which is totally something that Anthony Bourdain would say, except without calling Sandra Lee the c-word and telling the Neelys they can "suck it."
The project is currently in its nascent stages, so few details on the collaboration have emerged, though both Hagerty and Bourdain have confirmed that it's a go. Bourdain's recent tweets hint that the book might be an exploration of small-town, American cuisine: "Marilyn Hagerty's years of reviews to be a history of dining in the America too few of us from the coasts have seen. We need to see." Omigod, do we ever. So long as Hagerty writes a paragraph about why the Neelys can "suck it," I'm approximately one million and five percent on board.