The food media shuffles continue this week, as an era ends over at The San Francisco Examiner with the dismissal of longtime and beloved food critic Patricia Unterman by new editor Stephen Buel. Unterman was originally hired by Phil Bronstein when Hearst Corp. owned the paper, and has since seen the organization through three different ownership shuffles as food critic on record for the past 20 years. Most recently the paper was bought by Canadian publisher Black Company, who has cut the staff in half and now famously removed its highest paid contributor. Unterman's replacement is former New Yorker Jesse Hirsch who has been the food critic for the East Bay Express since October, and had the guts to slam Daniel Patterson's Haven in February.
Unterman has always had a penchant for sniffing out the unsung, outstanding ethnic eateries of the Bay Area. Her fans can continue to read her reviews by subscribing to her newsletter. She'll also devote more time to her website, Unterman on Food, which will now include the chronicles of her food related travel. "It's what I love most," says Unterman. "It was getting harder and harder for me to publish my travel writings. It's actually liberating for me to be able to do this." Unterman will also continue to work four days a week at her restaurant Hayes Street Grill. Look for her last Examiner review on Gajalee to publish later this week. Hirsch's first review will appear next week. He says he's excited to take on his new role.