The secret to becoming a famous and successful food journalist is now clear, and it's so simple: All you have to do is write about the Olive Garden. The most recent breakout foodie star is Marilyn Hagerty (at left), the critic for the Grand Forks Herald, of North Dakota, who just became Internet famous for her glowing treatment of that city's Olive Garden. The Herald explains why: "Internet sharing is the reason. Popular websites such as Fark, Gawker and Boingboing posted the story, setting off a barrage of comments via Twitter and Facebook."
It's becoming a narrative: Gawker or some similar site (but usually Gawker) finds it hilarious that you earnestly wrote about the Olive Garden and gently mocks you. "Hagerty found the $10.95 chicken Alfredo dish to be 'warm and comforting on a cold day,' and reports that the servings at Olive Garden are 'generous.' She did not, however, opt for the raspberry lemonade," wrote Emma Carmichael. Soon, everyone forwards your piece along in a fit of amusement of indignation. Then another publication comes along (in this case it's The Village Voice) and interviews you about how it feels to be famous, establishing the fact that you are, in fact, famous.