Help Wanted: Phoenix New Times Hiring Restaurant Critic

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The first words that go through my head when I think of my colleague Laura Hahnefeld are "class act."

Second: "Wow, that woman will eat anything."

The two most important qualifications for a restaurant critic, right? And so it is with heavy hearts that we at Phoenix New Times accepted Laura's resignation after almost three years as our critic and Chow Bella blogger. She's taken a job outside the food scene and as you likely learned on social media this morning, she'll be leaving us January 17.

See also: Fry Girl archives

Before she was our food critic, she was Fry Girl, and if you haven't entertained yourself with those pieces, you should -- right now. In her relatively short time with us Laura has won awards, her work has been anthologized, she's been praised and castigated and through it all she's never let any of us see her sweat.

Oh, and she's hilarious. A great writer, a tenacious reporter -- okay, I'm starting to get depressed.....

In short, Laura Hahnefeld is leaving some pretty big shoes to fill. I'm delighted to announce that Lauren Saria (you know her already from Chow Bella) will be taking a newly created job as full time Chow Bella blogger.

And now the search begins for a restaurant critic for New Times. Are you interested? Here's the fancy pants job description:

Phoenix New Times has an immediate opening for a freelance restaurant critic. We are looking for a writer who can build on the success of our award-winning food coverage. Ideal candidates must:

-- Possess the writing/research skills to produce stylish, provocative weekly restaurant reviews in print.
-- Understand social media platforms and blogging.
-- Have strong opinions that they are prepared to broadcast and defend.
-- Have a sophisticated knowledge of food and restaurants, either self-taught or through professional kitchen experience/education.

Is that you? Send a resume, cover letter and links to clips (if applicable) to me, New Times Managing Editor Amy Silverman, at amy.silverman@newtimes.com.

Please, no phone calls.

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41 comments
Juanita La Shell
Juanita La Shell

April Garcia hahahaa yesss we did...with our restaurant queen status lol

Emma B
Emma B

I love to eat and I am hilarious, I'll do it! ;)

April Garcia
April Garcia

Juanita La Shell we always said this was a job for us!!

Gene Edwin Miller
Gene Edwin Miller

I would write my reviews as if i were writing some poetry. Or story.

Paul Tom Bennett
Paul Tom Bennett

Guess it's time to whip up a resume and cover letter, it would give me the opportunity to work with Zach Fowle.

Paul Tom Bennett
Paul Tom Bennett

Lol, why would I be good for this gig? I can write about beer and wine. Never really written about food besides the food I make in my own kitchen.

James L. Crabtree
James L. Crabtree

And today, we are visiting this little bistro and Scottsdale landmark that was featured on Kitchen Nightmares.

Darin Spyderdog
Darin Spyderdog

im allergic to everything otherwise id be all over this

Aanya Gapinski-Greene
Aanya Gapinski-Greene

I'm not a foodie- I just like what I like. Plus, I'd only review restaurants in my bubble.

Kimberlynn Hall Tovrea
Kimberlynn Hall Tovrea

Laura will be missed - class act covered it perfectly. The snarkiness that pervaded NT food section prior to her tenure made me abandon NT for a while....

froggermario
froggermario

Shameful to replace a full-time reporter with a freelancer and expect the same quality product. I fully expect the new times' restaurant coverage to tank come January 17th.

jliven23
jliven23

Wow...really bummed to hear the news about Laura leaving. No one has had more influence on where my wife and I eat out than her over the past couple of years (her time with the New Times certainly coincided with the acceleration of the Phx food scene). I wish her all the best....those are some very big shoes to fill indeed.

Paul Benjamin
Paul Benjamin

Hopefully it will be someone who doesn't start every new restaurant announcement with "Hey, [alliterative possibly insulting name for the people of the area] you're gettin' a new [restaurant description]"

lhsaria
lhsaria

Hi @froggermario

If by freelancer you're referring to me, I just wanted to share that I've been a blogging at Chow Bella since 2011 and have been a full-time employee at the New Times for the past nine months - though not a full-time blogger. I hope that my work thus far has been the quality product you expect from the blog. I'm sorry to hear you don't think we'll be able to carry the incredible work Laura's done and I too am sad to see her go, but I do hope you'll stick around after the 17th to see how it goes. 

Best, 

Lauren Saria  

froggermario
froggermario

@lhsaria @froggermario  

Hello Lauren,

I wasn't meaning to offend freelance writers. It was more a comment on the state of journalism.

You admit that you are a full-time employee. You don't have to worry about pulling together enough work to make rent, pay your bills, and hopefully afford health insurance. Freelancers do. As papers replace full-time employees with freelancers, either the quality or the quantity of coverage goes down. There just isn't enough respect for or value placed on good reporting anymore.

Good luck in your career, Lauren!

PS - I enjoyed a wry laugh at this Onion article yesterday: http://www.theonion.com/articles/media-company-looking-for-ways-to-get-rid-of-veter,34888/

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