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Published December 13, 2012, 10:48 PM

Marilyn Hagerty: My guest appearance on 'Top Chef'

GRAND FORKS - Thank goodness for Stacey Heggen. She is the first person to tell me she saw me on the new episode of 'Top Chef.' She thinks it will be airing again soon.

By: Marilyn Hagerty, Forum Communications, INFORUM

GRAND FORKS - Thank goodness for Stacey Heggen.

She’s a local young woman who happens to be president of the Greater Grand Forks Young Professionals. And she was watching television Wednesday evening while I was out at a Christmas party.

She is the first person to tell me she saw me on the new episode of Top Chef. She thinks it will be airing again soon.

It is like pulling teeth to find out when these things will happen. I have been in contact with Padma Lakshmi, star of the show, asking when it would appear. She is a doll and she promised to let me know. But oh my goodness, Padma lives a busy life and didn’t get back to me.

I had a great day with Padma and the crew when I flew out to Seattle in July to be guest judge on the show they were filming about holiday foods. I was asked to talk about my Danish background. I told about the abelskiver skillet we always have in our homes. We make the round sort of pancakes that often are filled with applesauce.

I also walked with Padma around the enormous kitchen filled with contestants. After they were through with their cooking, we sampled beautiful food. We retreated to a room where winners were chosen. And Padma asked me to announce the winners.

After the show first appeared Wednesday evening, the emails started rolling in once again.

Gene Chiro from San Francisco remembered the Olive Garden review that brought notoriety. He said it was honest, well written, direct and to the point. The person who started me out on the viral trail last March said then that the column was “pathetic.”

Astrud Villareal, a medical student at the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas wrote: “I just wanted you to know I really enjoyed watching you on Top Chef and of course reading your infamous Olive Garden review. I studied abroad in Denmark, so your mention of abelskiver made me miss the delicious food there. I am excited to read more about your columns and see your collaboration with Mr. Bourdain. Thank you.”

As the year 2012 winds down I am still delighted, amazed and puzzled over the business of going viral. It started in March after my Eatbeat column in the Herald about the new Olive Garden. For some weird reason, the review brought on a monstrous barrage of comments. I read somewhere that there were 1.3 million hits.

It still seems like a dream being featured in national newspapers and television programs such as Anderson Cooper. I had to pinch myself to see if it was true when I visited in New York at the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. I keep wondering if it was me dining at Le Bernardin in New York City.

As I sit back and enjoy the holidays, I am full of wonder.

You can still watch Marilyn

Though the Top Chef episode Marilyn Hagerty was on has run, it’s re-running a few more times on the Bravo network.

According to TV Guide, the episode, called “Even the Famous Come Home,” will run:

• Sunday at 6 a.m.

• Wednesday at 10 a.m., 9 p.m.

• Dec. 23 at 10 a.m.

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