From Eater, October 2017:
In May, the Times, ostensibly New York’s paper of record, opened a bureau in Sydney, Australia to expand its international coverage, and last month, Australia bureau chief Damien Cave announced plans to add a restaurant critic to the Australia staff. For those who follow the small world of restaurant criticism, [Besha] Rodell was the clear choice.
“We know that food matters, to Australia and to our readers all over the world, and we think Besha can really add something to the conversation about Australian culture and the ways that Australia is changing, with food being an entry point that allows for both fun and insight,” Cave tells Eater.
Rodell was LA Weekly’s restaurant critic for five years. In that time, she stood out as the city’s sole truly anonymous critic and instituted a starred-rating system for LA restaurants. Rodell wasn’t afraid to be critical, and could be vicious, as was the case with a July takedown of Hollywood hotspot Tao. At the Times, Cave says, Rodell will “apply Times-ian rigor to her reviews — to really dig in without fear or favor.“
The reviews, which will run every two weeks, will cover restaurants that “tell us something about the country.”
Not, thank goodness, on the model of Ligaya Mishan.
Oops, no, I take that back:
"Stinky bean” is a good nickname for a jolly baby, but it is also the colloquial name for petai, a plant whose vibrantly green seeds look much like fava beans. Unlike the polite fava, petai has an irrepressibly subversive personality that unleashes an umami bomb of funk, with a flavor like a shiitake mushroom but more extreme.
It is kind of funny to read the comments: Americans who have no idea what food is like in Australia, Australians who feel they have to educate the Americans AND Rodell.