The New York Times’ Food Editor Sam Sifton hosted a Reddit AMA on Thursday, October 2, and talked about his varied career at the paper and “cooking & eating & food & anything else.” Sifton was appointed to the position of Food Editor in July, and has previously been National Editor, Culture Editor, and the paper’s restaurant critic.
We highlighted the 10 best food-related responses from Sifton from his AMA, below:
Have you ever had the pleasure or displeasure of meeting Anthony Bourdain? Any stories?
I have met him! (True fact: His mom was a copy editor here at The Times.) He sent me a story when I was an editor at New York Press. I loved it. We put it on the cover. Then the boss editor came back from vacation and spiked it. Bourdain took the story to The New Yorker. It became a book you may have heard of: Kitchen Confidential. Later we would meet again on a dais, where we absolutely ROASTED Alan Richman, the GQ restaurant critic.
Do you find any correlation to Yelp reviews and your own impression of restaurants?
Have you eaten at Guy Fieri's Times Square restaurant? If so, what do you think?
I have not. You know why? Because my pal Pete Wells did and wrote about it and I kinda thought, Life's too short. Read his review.
What is the most current trend in NYC restaurants? Oh, and what's your favorite place to eat in the city that doesn't break the bank?
Why won't the small plates go away? Must we have a raw kale salad? (Though those can be pretty good.) Those scamps at Eater did a good job running down the problems with trendiness. Check out the menu. At the opposite end of the spectrum? Head down to Mott Street and have dinner at 456 Shanghai Cuisine.
Do you think gluten-free and juices are just a trend?
I think gluten-free is going to be around for a while. Juices? OJ's been trending since the first one was squeezed. That's not going to change, even if we eventually tire of acai.
Do you think bacons an overrated food?
I think bacon-flavored food is overrated. I think bacon is AWESOME.
What is the most gross food you have ever tasted?
Deep-fried cow brain at a German joint in St. Louis. It had been frozen before it went into the fryer. It was not quite cooked when it came out. It was served with a slice of pumpernickel, a slice of onion, and a bunch of potato chips. I asked for fries. "It comes with chips," the waitress said. I got some veins caught in my teeth.
What did you cook for yourself most when you were in your 20s?
Kielbasa, caramelized onions, baked potato. Repeat.
Food critics don't talk about candy often.
What is your favorite candy?
What will you be handing out on Halloween?
Snickers is a righteous candy. I will hand out little ones to the little ones on Halloween.
Who is the coolest person you have ever sat down and had dinner with?
Stephen Sondheim, no question.
Read the full AMA on Reddit.
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Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.