Times dining section obsessives likely have noted in recent weeks the debut of a new contributor, one Oliver Strand. Indeed, more casual readers, as we wait for the dawn of the Sifton era—commencing either October 14th or the 21st, by most reliable accounts—you'll excuse us crazies if we're a bit sensitive, hyper-aware, of who is writing what for the dining section of record. So, then, to clear up any previous confusion Oliver Strand is long time contributor Oliver Schwaner-Albright. The call is coming from inside the house. Same guy (though now bearded), different name.
We happened to run into the man at last night's party for the premiere of "Avec Eric", where he provided proper documentation (right) of this change. And via email, he explained the move thusly, casually, maybe too casually, glancing over the possibility that said move was to boost anonymity so that he might file a review or two in the Bruni-Sifton transition void:
Strand is a family name, and I've long wanted to use it for my writing. I had this crazy fantasy of a last name that was spellable, pronounceable, alphabetizeable. Punctuation-free. There's no subtext. I'm not self-hating, or dodging the IRS.Calls to the IRS for comment were not immediately returned.
· The Strand Archive [NYT]