New Times Critic Sam Sifton: Reactions from the Food Blogotwittersphere

Sifton The big news yesterday was the New York Times' appointment of Culture Editor (and former Dining Editor) Sam Sifton as its new restaurant critic. Here's a small sampling of the diverse reactions heard round the Internets:

Brilliant, Well-read, High-Bandwith

Ed Levine, Serious Eats: "Sam Sifton is brilliant, and that's a word I don't throw around easily. He's smart as a whip, and he has more bandwidth than just about any other human being I know. Sam is endlessly curious and ridiculously well-read."

On Anonymity and Restaurant Criticism

Bill Daley, "The Stew," Chicago Tribune: "Unless Sifton does something major to alter his appearance, every restaurateur in New York City is going to know exactly who he is. Frankly, that saddens me. As a former reviewer, I used anonymity to really get what a restaurant was all about. I was dining like a regular guy, not a celebrity, and could tell readers what to expect. I got kicked away from reserved tables, was overcharged, waited hours for a seat and suffered several bouts of food poisoning. There was no kid glove treatment."

Josh Ozersky, The Feedbag: "The fact that the Times has brought him on, despite their being so many readily-available images of him (and him being so well known in New York) should be the death-blow to critical “anonymity,” which was a sham anyway. Huzza for the Times!"

Cute, Looks Like Simon Pegg, Resistant to the Charms of Gael Greene

@GaelGreene: "I took Sam Sifton (Times new dining critic) to lunch once hoping I could disarm him & lessen attacks from the NYPress. He was yng & cute."

@seriouseats: "As others have pointed out, Sam Sifton kinda looks like Simon Pegg. That's not a bad thing."

Uses Big Words

@goodiesfirst "So far, the only effect that the Sam Sifton announcement has had on me personally was the need to look up the definition of 'caparisoned.'"

@lelandcs: "This Sam Sifton sounds like a complete, total jerk and douchebag. Also a snob. "Prevaricate?" Is that a joke?"

Knives Out
: Douchey, Phallic, But Not Asshole-y

Food in Mouth: "To use his own word, he doesn't trust bloggers. Then that's the curious thing, if you don't trust bloggers, why are you even wanting to get in on the discussion? Obviously as the Times critic, if you comment on something, you're automatically part of the discussion. Is that what you meant? Or do you actually believe in dialog with people you don't trust. Or do you value people's opinions only when you've validated them for yourself? That sentence shows more of an error in logic than an open minded invitation for actual discussion. . . . Since Sifton didn't elaborate, I would say it was just douchey and not asshole-y."

@gastropoda Allah save us all: Restaurant reviews will be pounded out by penis on keyboard. I Feel Bad About My Dreck's hem well-kissed.



An excellent synopsis of commentary from the "bloggotwittosphere" - thanks for compiling some hilarious comments about the "new guy" at the Times. I have no idea what this means though: "I Feel Bad About My Dreck's hem well-kissed."


you're automatically part of the discussion. Is that what you meant?


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