Laura Reiley has been a food critic at the Tampa Bay Times for the last 10 years and has managed to remain anonymous, which an important quality in a food critic, as you don't want restaurants to know who you are when you're dining.
That all changed this week when Laura decided to reveal herself to the public:
"I’ve been an anonymous restaurant critic since 1991, and for the past 10 years at the Tampa Bay Times," says @lreiley. "I’ve made it a point to not show my face in print or on https://t.co/Qv9G6hjsS4, unlike our other critics and columnists. Until now."https://t.co/QkopdrV5t8— Tampa Bay Times (@TB_Times) January 29, 2018
There was even a party, and cake:
And Laura recorded a video explaining why she decided to "come out":
There are the costs of being anonymous, which means I can't be places, I can't be present for a story...I think that there are stories that I've not been able to write because I've been worried about people knowing what I look like.
She elaborated in an OpEd she wrote for the Tampa Bay Times:
The world is changing and I increasingly think of my beat more broadly. I believe there’s never been a more important time to write about food. Just as more people care about the provenance of what they eat, the food system has become infinitely more complex and opaque and the institutions for policing such things have become weaker.
I find myself writing more about agriculture, because with only 2 percent of American families involved in agriculture these days, it feels like pulling the curtain back on a mysterious world. I write about new food technology and industry innovators, about the confusing and conflicting pronouncements of nutrition science, about how the food system works. And about how it doesn’t.
Many of Reiley 's coworkers at the Tampa Times tweeted their support.
Cheers to good eating and critiquing!