Wed. 9 March '11

Check Please!

And then there was one; it's official, the AZ Republic's Howard Seftel is the Valley's final full-time food critic

Gross_out_250 wide Whoa! Big shakeup in the local 'foodie-verse' as Michele Laudig, longtime food critic at the Phoenix New Times has left the table. Jess Harter, a fellow former food critic (he was laid off when the East Valley Tribune nearly-imploded), broke the story on his Mouth By Mouthwest blog, writing: "It looks like the Valley is down to one fulltime restaurant critic – at least temporarily. Michele Laudig, restaurant critic and blogger for Phoenix New Times, has resigned after a decade at the paper, according to a memo that just went out to staffers. No word yet on what Laudig is doing next. Howard Seftel of the Arizona Republic is the only other fulltime restaurant critic in the Valley, a metro area of more than 4.5 million people." One thing he didn't mention is that Seftel actually proceeded Laudig as the PNT's top food guru. Until he defected to the AZ Republic, causing the PNT to go all agro with the outrage (as is their usual M.O.), by releasing a pic of the supposedly anonymous Seftel out of spite. Wonder if the PNT will pull Stephen Lemons, who held down the food critic post in between Seftel & Laudig, off his beat as Sheriff Joe Arpaio's personal pain in the ass to resume restaurant reviewing. Or maybe they'll just use Laudig's former salary to pay off that pesky $22M dollar legal bill. One last thing, it's ironic that Harter broke the news on his personal blog, considering Laudig was one of the few local reporters who covered Harter's surprising layoff from the East Valley Tribune. Plus, it says all you need to know about the slow death of traditional print media that this story was broken on a blog. Image via Phoenix New Times

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