After months of anticipation, the San Francisco Chronicle has announced Michael Bauer’s successor: Soleil Ho will start her job as the paper’s restaurant critic in January.
Ho, who has contributed to Eater in the past, is a Minneapolis-based journalist who has also worked in kitchens across the country, including Bayona in New Orleans and Grand Cafe in Minneapolis. Her podcast, Racist Sandwich, has been an increasingly influential voice in discussions of race, class, and gender in the restaurant industry (and beyond); she founded it with co-host Zahir Janmohamed. Her resume also includes work for the New Yorker, GQ, Heavy Table, and more.
According to Chronicle editor-in-chief Audrey Cooper, “[Ho] was a clear choice: she has a fresh and modern approach to food journalism.”
As expected, the juxtaposition between Michael Bauer’s three-decade reign as the city’s most prominent critic and the company’s new hire is distinctive. Ho’s work has focused on fostering conversations around social justice and ethics, bringing voices of marginalized communities into the spotlight. However, as the Chron reports, the ultimate goal remains to “enlighten, entertain and most of all, determine whether local restaurants are worth a diner’s time and money.”
It’s a new era for San Francisco diners, who may see more of themselves and their concerns addressed in Ho’s future criticism. The writer begins her new gig in January. Now, where should she go first?