Here’s Anthony Bourdain’s Foreword to Marilyn Hagerty’s Book ‘Grand Forks’
Here is the foreword written by Anthony Bourdain for Grand Forks Herald restaurant critic Marilyn Hagerty’s new book, Grand Forks: A History of American Dining in 128 Reviews. Hagerty became a household name in 2012 when her positive review of an Olive Garden in Grand Forks, North Dakota, became a viral internet phenomenon: Readers embraced the octogenarian’s sincerely fawning review of the chain restaurant, which she dubbed “the largest and most beautiful restaurant now operating in Grand Forks.”
In the ensuing media circus, Hagerty went on a meta media tour of New York City, appeared on the Today show, guest judged on Top Chef, and landed herself a book deal on Bourdain’s imprint with Ecco. Back when the book was announced, Bourdain called Hagerty’s collective work “a history of American dining” and a “sincere, genuine reportage of food that people don’t really see or talk about.”
Published by Ecco/Anthony Bourdain Books in 2013, the book is a collection of Hagerty’s reviews and is, as Bourdain put it, “the antidote to snark” with straightforward reviews of the restaurants in and around Grand Forks, North Dakota. Hagerty is a highly controversial figure, and the publisher is allowing Eater to run Bourdain’s foreword in full.
Below, Bourdain explains why people should read the book. “Reading these reviews, we can see, we can watch over the course of time, who makes it and who doesn’t. … And you will understand why the opening of an Olive Garden might be earnestly anticipated as an exciting and much welcome event.” Her reviews, writes Bourdain, offer up “a fascinating picture of dining in America, a gradual, cumulative overview of how we got from there… to here.” Below, the foreword: Continue Reading (5 minute read)