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Taylor Hicks' TV show spotlights Minn. bakery

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Former American Idol winner Taylor Hicks learns the art of rolling Norwegian flatbread, lefse, at Jacob's Lefse and Bakeri in Osakis. He visited the bakery this past May and the segment will air on INSP cable network's "State Plate" on Friday, Sept. 29. (Contributed) 2 / 3
Taylor Hicks, American Idol winner and now the host of a TV food show, poses for a photo with the crew at Jacob's Lefse Bakeri in Osakis. They include (left to right) Joanne Ranum, owner Bonnie Jacobs, Margaret Ellingson, Nancy Collins, Sue Sibell and Kevin Sorenson. (Celeste Edenloff | Osakis Review)3 / 3

OSAKIS, Minn. — Jacob's Lefse Bakeri and Gifts in Osakis will be getting a heaping helping of national recognition this week.

The bakery — and its famous potato-based lefse — will be featured as part of a Friday, Sept. 22 episode of the INSP cable TV series, State Plate, hosted by American Idol winner Taylor Hicks.

The episode, which spotlights Minnesota's unique cuisine, airs at 7 p.m..

Hicks, a platinum-selling recording artist, stopped in Osakis on May 28 with a camera crew to shoot the segment. He was in the store for about three hours, visiting with the bakery's staff and owner, Bonnie Jacobs.

"He worked with our staff, saw how our lefse was made and rolled it," Jacobs said. 'I think he left knowing a lot more about lefse."

Jacobs said she enjoyed meeting Hicks.

"He's down to earth, just like any of us," she said. "You wouldn't know he was this famous singer. He's a nice guy and his crew was good to work with."

Hicks liked the lefse so much that he took some with him when he left, Jacobs said.

Jacobs hasn't seen an advanced screening of the episode, but she said she's looking forward to it. She just returned from the State Fair — a trip she's been making for more than 20 years — where old and new customers snapped up the bakery's products.

"We can never make as much as we need," she said, "but that's a good problem to deal with."

What makes the bakery's lefse stand out?

"I think the main thing is our recipe and the fact that it's hand-rolled," she said.

For State Plate, now in its second season, Hicks travels throughout the country, sightseeing and tasting symbolic and popular foods from state to state. He visits farms, ranches, markets, festivals and other diverse and unusual locations.

In an interview with the Osakis Review during his trip to Jacob's Lefse, Hicks said he was impressed with Osakis and its beautiful lake.

"You can't land in a bad place in Minnesota," he said. "The land, the people, the lakes — it reminds me of my home state of Alabama with the beautiful countryside."

This is the second splash of positive publicity Jacob's Lefse has earned in recent months. In December, the bakery was the winner of WCCO-TV's Viewer's Choice for Best Lefse in Minnesota.

More about Hicks

Hicks won the fifth season of American Idol with a blend of Southern soul, Country, R&B and blues. Sixty-four million votes were cast and nearly 37 million American viewers and more than 200 million viewers worldwide turned into the episode that crowned Hicks the winner, making it one of the most-watched TV events of the last decade.

More about INSP

INSP is available nationwide to more than 81 million households via Dish Network (channel 259), DirecTV (channel 364), Verizon FiOS (channel 286), AT&T U-verse (channel 564) and more than 2,800 cable systems.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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