Now that New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni is moving out of the anonymous shadows (Bruni resigned his post in May; the identity of his replacement, not yet named, has generated much amusing speculation), his mugshot is now public record. In fact, not only is his picture up on the Publishers Weekly website, but his whole persona is now front-and-center, under the kind of full glare generated by those restaurant food heating lamps.
Bruni's NYT Magazine cover story about his childhood issues with food ("I Was a Baby Bulimic") was just the preview. His memoir "Born Round: The Secret History of a Full-time Eater" comes out August 20th.
In the Publishers Weekly interview, Bruni is in full book-promotion mode.
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"I've read a lot of gauzy and romantic food-related memoirs," Bruni says. "You get this image of someone falling dreamily into a pile of fresh arugula. It occurred to me that, for the most part, people's relationships to food were much more difficult, were more like mine."
Bruni, who officially steps down as NYT restaurant critic this month, will continue at the paper as "writer-at-large" for the NYT Sunday magazine. As to who will be named his successor, the speculation is all over the map. Often listed as in the running: The Los Angeles Times' S. Irene Virbila, the Weekly's own Pulitzer-prize-winning Jonathan Gold, and The Washington Post's Tom Sietsema, although rumor has it that the selection will be internal. Before being named restaurant critic, Bruni was NYT Rome bureau chief.
Bruni's previous books include "Ambling into History: The Unlikely Odyssey of George W. Bush;" and, with Elinor Burkett, "Consumer Terrorism: How to Wage War Against Bad Products and Worse Serivice," and "A Gospel of Shame: Children, Sexual Abuse, and the Catholic Church."