Whole Foods’ Hidden Messages and Sam Sifton’s Exit: Eating and Reading

Every week, we'll let you know what the Washingtonian food staff is reading in the blogosphere and off the bookshelves.

Eater’s cat-filled anti-homage to Sam Sifton: an oldie but a goody.

Anna Spiegel, assistant food and wine editor:

• Sam Sifton’s departure as the New York Times restaurant critic set off a flurry of media reactions. The Atlantic has a contemplative piece on the role of the modern food critic: The End of the Career Food Critic.

• But I may prefer Eater New York’s send-off, curated by Scandinavian design firm Kinderbrod. And it doesn’t matter if you’ve never been to the zero-star Imperial No. 9. You must read the illustrated version of Sifton’s review.: The Worst Lines of Sifton’s Imperial No. 9 Review, With Cats.

• If you think the food at Minibar is out-there, check out Fast Company‘s report on printer-made edibles: Ramen by HP? The Wild Possibilities of Printing Food.

• Cold weather is (eventually) coming, which means goodbye margaritas, it’s Manhattan time: I’ll Take Manhattans, With a Twist.

• Because it’s almost the end of the week, and . . .: Because Yelp Needs Cormac McCarthy.

Todd Kliman, food and wine editor:

• According to Foreign Policy, the food fetishists of the First World, with their locally produced milk and organic, non-genetically modified fruits and veggies—uh, that would be you, dear reader—are a bane to the world’s poor.: Got Cheap Milk?.

• California, New York, Washington state and Oregon are the biggest producers of wine in the country. But the biggest per-capita consumer? None other than the state that’s not a state: DC. My my my: Chocolate City is turning into Cabernet City.: The United States of Winos.

• A look at Chipotle founder Steve Ells, as he prepares to roll-out his hush-hush ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen in Dupont Circle (it opens today)—the first of what surely will be a slew of chains across the country. The old fast-food model of bad-for-you bland stuff in bad-for-you styrofoam is giving way to the new fast-food model: good-for-you spicy stuff in biodegradable bowls.: Chipotle’s Growth Machine.

Ann Limpert, food and wine editor:

• As someone who ate way too many bags of Funyuns from high school vending machines, I am not one to pass judgement. But lollipop rings? Really? Still?: Top 5 Snacks Most Commonly Enjoyed by 9th Graders.

• Anthony Bourdain is getting his own publishing imprint, and will release three to five books a year through Ecco. Bourdain says in a press release that “we’re looking at an initial list composed of chefs, enthusiasts, fighters, musicians, and dead essayists.”: Anthony Bourdain Gets His Own Line of Books With Ecco.

Fascinating. Vindicating. I always fall for the flowers.: How Whole Foods Primes You to Shop.

Longtime Playboy Mansion chef William S. Bloxsom-Carter reveals Hef’s pedestrian eating habits—not surprisingly, he’s a night owl, having breakfast at 10:30 or 11:30, lunch at 5:30, and dinner at 10:30. He likes comfort foodie things, like “two piles of mashed potatoes with a poached egg placed in each one.” And the bunnies? “We try to make them healthy. It doesn’t always work out. They want the cheesecake with strawberries on top.”: Hugh Hefner Dines Late, Likes Chops, Says Chef.

Sophie Gilbert, assistant editor:

DC’s first lady of dining, Michelle Obama, regularly frequents Equinox, The Source, Good Stuff Eatery, and other local restaurants, but she showed up today at an unusual spot: a Hyattsville Olive Garden. Mrs Obama is teaming up with Darden Restaurants, owner of the “Italian” chain, Red Lobster, and others to help them unveil their new, healthier kids’ menu.: Mrs. Obama Heads to Olive Garden.

This is rather brilliant: Jay Rayner unloads on whether chef’s egos have finally surpassed the point of ridiculousness at the G9 chef summit.: Chefs’ Manifesto: Reality Check, Please.

I am absolutely guilty of scraping the mold off certain dubious dairy products and then continuing to eat them anyway. But not as bad as my (English) stepmom, whose fridge is a veritable breeding ground for penicillin.: Best Before, Still Fine After.

In more Sam Sifton news, HuffPo has 10 of his finest moments.: Sam Sifton’s Restaurant Reviews: The Ten Most Scathing and Glowing Pieces from the Past Two Years.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.