Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Changing of the Guard.

To most people, Wednesday is 'Hump Day' - the middle of the week slump that you just have to power through and end up on the other side - Thursday. But for us here at Gourmet Galley, Wednesday morning arrives with great excitement - it's New York Times Dining Section Day! It is filled with interesting tidbits about NY restaurant life, awesome seasonal recipes, gossip snippets about what chef is heading where, what new restaurant is opening, and of course, the restaurant review. Revered world wide, the New York Times Restaurant Review is, for some, the be all end all of a restaurant's life - 3 of Frank Bruni's oh-so-hard-to-get stars can catapult a restaurant to instant fame, and conversely a bad review can destroy its' reputation and shutter its' doors forever.

The tales of the restaurant critics adventures are numerous - past reviewers include Jeffrey Steingarten {author, Vogue contributor, and frequent judge on Iron Chef} and Ruth Reichl {author, Editor of Gourmet}, who both wrote memoirs about their experiences. It's well known that the NY Times Reviewer's photograph can be found in any established kitchen and hostess stand in the city, and often times managers will reward the first staff member to realize when he or she is in their midst. Ruth Reichl talks about her concealing her identity in three or four different ways and visiting the same restaurant as each different 'character', to assure a fair and comprehensive review. Now that's dedication! - talk about a dream job!
Well now, the tides are changing. Frank Bruni's tenure has come to an end and there's a new chief in town. Already, the food blogs are aflame with photographs of Sam Sifton, who was named yesterday as Bruni's successor. Sifton has been the Times' Culture Editor for the past few years, and insiders are calling him an 'obvious choice'. We are looking forward to reading about Sifton's adventures, disguises, and new spin on the goings on around the city - it will definitely keep us anxiously awaiting our Wednesday paper!
Images of Sam and his proposed disguises via gawker.

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