When New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson announced that food critic Sam Sifton would leave the restaurant beat to take over as national editor, Grub Street reported the rumor that his replacement had already been tapped. But for all Abramson insists she's not worried about the element of surprise in these announcements, the identity of Sifton's likely successor remains a secret. Which either means the replacement isn't final or that Abramson does, in fact, want to make a bit of a splash with the announcement (and why wouldn't she?). Either way, the door is open to rampant speculation as to who it will be, for which Twitter is perfect.

Felix Salmon advocates for The Times bucking its tradition of hiring non-foodies to the job from inside the paper:

So @samsifton's tenure as NYT restaurant critic was short and not particularly glittering. I think they should import his replacement.less than a minute ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet Reply

 

Naturally, plenty of amateurs want the job, and some in the media world think they should get it:

Now that @SamSifton is moving on I think the Times should hire @immaculateinfat as his replacement(s).less than a minute ago via Power Twitter Favorite Retweet Reply

Allow the speculation of @SamSifton's replacement begin. Word is @docsconz and @ulteriorepicure are battling it out steel cage styleless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

 

Ruth Bourdain would do it. If only that were a real person...

I hereby declare my candidacy to replace @samsifton as New York Times restaurant critic.less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

 

There haven't been many serious candidates suggested and argued for so far, but Gothamist took a stab at who would make that inevitable list:

Is it time for Ruth Bourdain to become reality? For the newly svelte Brian Stetler to give up the media beat and put back on the pounds? For Pete Wells to slide down into the critics chair? Or maybe they should just bring back William Grimes? This game will only stop being played when Sifton's replacement is named. And no, you're not crazy, it is a very frivolous game.

Commenters on Eater, Grub Street, and of course Twitter have plenty more suggestions. And while she doesn't name names, Saveur's Helen Rosner had this bit of honest advice:

Here's hoping the new NYT resto reviewer is a ladyperson. All the big-ticket critics are dudes right now, except S. Irene.less than a minute ago via Seesmic twhirl Favorite Retweet Reply