Viral Olive Garden food critic Marilyn Hagerty, who is probably working on her book for Anthony Bourdain, popped up on the Top Chef radar this morning with a sneak preview of what Eater says is the first 15 minutes of the episode.
The adorable Grand Forks Herald columnist is introduced by Padma Lakshmi, as cheftestant John Tesar says in a voiceover, "I'm thinking, is she like Martha Stewart's mother or something?" (Note to Tesar: Martha Stewart is 70. She looks hella good for her age). Sheldon Simeon recalls her review discussing a "magical Italian eatery," although that's not particularly accurate.
Naturally, Hagerty's Olive Garden review and subsequent New York trip (including a dinner at Le Bernardin) are all explained, as she retells the joke of not knowing what going "viral" was when it happened to her. "It's just been a hoot, the whole thing," she said.
Her first appearance pops up around 1:56 in the first video, as she introduces the chefs' first challenge.