When Frank Bruni announced he'd be stepping down as the New York Times's restaurant critic, readers were left with a pressing question: Who will step up to the dinner plate? The food world waited collectively with bated breath until the answer was announced today: Sam Sifton, the paper's current Culture editor, will begin reviewing in October.
The blogosphere wasted no time compiling critical stats on Sifton, and Gawker has already come up with a slew of potential dining guises for him. One thing's for sure: The role of restaurant critic is evolving. Even execs at the Times admit critics don't wield the power that they used to, and with photos of him already abundant on the web, dining incognito will be virtually impossible.
Sifton may be new to the position, but he's no novice — in fact, he was rumored to have turned down the job once before. In addition to being the culture editor at the Times, he's contributed to the $25 and Under column, reviewed restaurants before Bruni's arrival, and even served as Dining editor. In last month's New York Times Magazine, he detailed making meatloaf for Nora Ephron. What do you think of the news? At a time when media is evolving so rapidly, does the role of restaurant critic still have a place in the food world?