When New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson announced that food critic Sam Sifton would leave the restaurant beat to take over as national editor, Grub Street reported the rumor that his replacement had already been tapped. But for all Abramson insists she's not worried about the element of surprise in these announcements, the identity of Sifton's likely successor remains a secret. Which either means the replacement isn't final or that Abramson does, in fact, want to make a bit of a splash with the announcement (and why wouldn't she?). Either way, the door is open to rampant speculation as to who it will be, for which Twitter is perfect.
Felix Salmon advocates for The Times bucking its tradition of hiring non-foodies to the job from inside the paper:
So @samsifton's tenure as NYT restaurant critic was short and not particularly glittering. I think they should import his replacement.
Naturally, plenty of amateurs want the job, and some in the media world think they should get it:
Ruth Bourdain would do it. If only that were a real person...
I hereby declare my candidacy to replace @samsifton as New York Times restaurant critic.
There haven't been many serious candidates suggested and argued for so far, but Gothamist took a stab at who would make that inevitable list:
Is it time for Ruth Bourdain to become reality? For the newly svelte Brian Stetler to give up the media beat and put back on the pounds? For Pete Wells to slide down into the critics chair? Or maybe they should just bring back William Grimes? This game will only stop being played when Sifton's replacement is named. And no, you're not crazy, it is a very frivolous game.
Here's hoping the new NYT resto reviewer is a ladyperson. All the big-ticket critics are dudes right now, except S. Irene.