Update: This just in from Robert Sietsema himself via secret hyper-encrypted internal Village Voice Media email (that's a joke). "Not me, but it's been fun having people think it is. I'm on my way to tour a rice plantation in South Carolina." Sorry, everybody. Some mysteries are better left mysterious, right? That's why they're called mysteries.
Original post, published 9:39 a.m.:
According to Lee Svitak Dean over at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Ruth Bourdain -- the Beard-winning twitter mashup of Ruth Reichl and Anthony Bourdain -- is none other than longtime Village Voice food critic Robert Sietsema. Dean writes, "How do I know who Ruth Bourdain is? He was tweeting while listening to the same speaker I was, in a closed room in Charleston, SC, at a conference with the Association of Food Journalists." Dean apparently has a call in to Sietsema, who has been the Voice's critic since 1993, but it has yet to be returned.
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Lots of tweets have been devoted to this morning's news already, but Sietsema has been, at least via Twitter and perhaps predictably, silent. "Going on a tour of a SC rice plantation this afternoon. Better put on my wig and clown nose." We'll let you know as we learn more, since, of course this is a Village Voice publication and we just asked. (Sietsema is currently on vacation.) And no, we don't have any idea. We don't, sadly, have those kinds of writers meetings.