It was no big secret that last time The New York Times was looking for a new food critic — waaaay back in 2009 — one of the names on the paper's short list was Brett Anderson, the bean-bestowing critic of The Times-Picayune. The job ended up going to an internal choice, Sam Sifton, but last week Sifton announced he was moving up to be the Times' national editor, once again leaving a vacancy in what is almost certainly the most powerful food journalism job in the country.
So who's short-listed this time around? Media sources are speculating that Pete Wells, the Times' Dining editor, is likely to be tapped. (Wells filled in on a temporary basis between Sifton and Sifton's precedessor, Frank Bruni.) But Anderson is still on good paper with the Times, his writing continues to win national awards, he's a bigfoot in the Association of Food Journalists and behind the scenes , he's well liked by his peers ... and his name has been floated about in the last week.
Has he been talking to the Times again? "No comment," Anderson said tonight.
Does Anderson know if he's really on the short list? Would he take the job this time if it was offered?
"No comment." "No comment."
And that was that.