The New York Times just confirmed that Pete Wells will be that paper's next restaurant critic, ending two months of rampant speculation about who would get that coveted chair at the table. The previous critic, Sam Sifton, stepped down in September after two years at the position. The New York Times restaurant critic has been somewhat of a musical chairs post of late. Before Sifton's relatively brief tenure, Frank Bruni held the position from 2004. He succeeded William Grimes, who in turn succeeded Ruth Reichl. In between there have been various temporary critics, most recently Eric Asimov, the paper's wine columnist.
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Wells, who has been the dining editor since 2006, continues the Times' practice of promoting from within. Susan Edgerley, the former metropolitan editor, will replace Wells as dining editor. Sifton is now national editor. Bruni and Grimes both wrote for the paper before their tenures as critics and are now staff writers covering other beats. Wells has won numerous James Beard awards for journalism, was previously an editor and writer for Food & Wine, and wrote the column "Cooking with Dexter" for The New York Times Magazine. Oh, and you can follow the guy ("have two hungry children, and eat too many doughnuts") on Twitter at @pete_wells. Don't know if he'll be tweeting out stars, but you never know these days.