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.
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.