Brett Anderson as New Times Food Critic Rumors Continue to Swirl

Ever since Sam Sifton was announcing to be ending his short-lived tenure as the dining critic at the New York Times, as was the case when he got the gig after Frank Bruni’s retirement from the post, speculation’s run wild as to who’s going to get the top spot. But rumors of one suspect are running particularly wild.

Brett Anderson—the James Beard award-winning dining critic at The New Orleans Times-Picayune—is currently being floated by many a rumormonger as the leading candidate for the top Times dining spot. Earlier today, Eater noted “half a dozen” independent sources that Anderson was a “shoo-in” for the job.

Furthermore: Eater co-founder Ben Leventhal noted that Anderson hasn’t filed anything at the Times-Picayune since September 20th. Anderson didn’t deny speaking to the Times or if he had knowledge of being short-listed for the job to New Orleans alt-weekly Gambit, and as John Koblin reported for Women’s Wear Daily in September, Anderson was a finalist for the job the last time it was open.

For what it’s worth, Anderson is well-liked by many of his contemporaries; the comments section of Eater’s post is filled with a few hopes on his appointment.

From Bloomberg critic Ryan Sutton:

Getting a New Orleans critic to take the reviewer job at the New York Times would be a seriously awesome development. Would help bring in a more national perspective (and readership) to NYC restaurant reviewing, one would think. And bringing in a critic from New Orleans, a city that represents one of America’s greatest and most unique regional cuisines (and one of the birthplaces of America’s cocktail culture), would hopefully result in some solid reviewing reflective of “outside the tri-state area” context and culture. The Tocqueville approach, of sorts (the French writer, not the Union Square restaurant). SUTTON approves.

From Time food writer Josh Ozersky:

I’m actually surprised that this came to pass. I said on the day Sifty left that this wouldn’t surprise me. Great pick if it happens.

The other frontrunner for the job is supposedly Times dining editor Pete Wells. Wells filled in as a temporary critic between Frank Bruni and Sam Sifton, though Wells certainly earned his fair share of controversy over his short tenure of four reviews, which were mostly negative. Tough gig if you can get it.

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Brett Anderson as New Times Food Critic Rumors Continue to Swirl