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BruniBetting: So, Who'll Replace King Brunz?

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Morimoto's Frank Bruni signage

The question on everyone's mind following the upcoming August departure of NYT chief restaurant critic Frank Bruni is this: Who will be his replacement? We've edited the list of suggestions from our commenters, industry insiders, and the Eater Ouija Board to 25 potential candidates. They're presented below in descending order based on odds. The top five candidates, presented in a reader poll, are those candidates who were mentioned most frequently to us this afternoon. NB: The Times could pull the same trick they did last time and pick someone way out in left field (or Rome), but our experts are expecting a food world person this time around. Here now, your vote, followed by the full list after the jump.

The Underdogs
1,000,000 - 1 Josh Ozersky, meat man, Citysearch restaurant editor, lover
999,000 - 1 Scott Solish, Down by the Hipster blogger, bon vivant
998,000 - 1 Abbe Diaz, food world eminence
500,000 - 1 Brian Cashman, Yankees GM
475,000 - 1 Katie Lee Joel, cookbook author, famous wife, burger magician
100,000 - 1 Jeffrey Steingarten, critic for Vogue, Iron Chef
50,000 - 1 Bill Buford, author of Heat, Babbo alum
5,000 - 1 Amanda Hesser, former NYT Magazine food editor, 3-star fan
3,000 - 1 Michael Ruhlman, cookbook author
1,000 - 1 Glenn Collins, Times writer*
1,000 - 1 Robert Sietsema, Village Voice restaurant critic, outer-borough food lover

The Dark Horses
500 - 1 Nina Lalli, former Village Voice writer and blogger*
250 - 1 Jonathan Gold, LA Weekly
150 - 1 Josh Sens, SF Mag*
125 - 1 Jay Cheshes, Time Out New York critic, bon vivant
100 - 1 Ryan Sutton, food writer/critic for Bloomberg News*
75 - 1 The Robs, Underground Gourmets for NYMag*
50 - 1 Michael Bauer, San Francisco Chronicle restaurant critic*
50 - 1 Jennifer 8. Lee, reporter for New York Times, Chinese food lover
10 - 1 Julia Moskin, New York Times Dining Section reporter

The Inside Track
9 - 1 Adam Platt, restaurant critic for New York Magazine, runner-up for job in '04
4 - 1 Peter Meehan, former $25 and Under writer, Momofuku Cookbook author*
5 - 1 Tom Sietsema, Washington Post food critic*
3 - 1 S. Irene Virbila, restaurant critic for the Los Angeles Times*
3 - 1 Oliver Schwaner-Albright, current $25 and Under writer, Gourmet contributor

(Asterisk designates a candidate not easily recognizable via Google Image Search. Got a pic of one of the off-grid critics? Send it our way!)

Not Ranked but Oft-Mentioned: Steve Cuozzo (ain't ever leaving his beloved Post), Gael Greene (new hats too pricey), Anthony Bourdain (though we'd be totally on board), The RG (ditto). And there we have it. Well, for today, anyway.
· Complete Bruniocalypse Coverage [~E~]

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