Jimi Famurewa is the new Evening Standard Magazine restaurant critic.
Famurewa announced the news on Twitter this morning, putting an end to the critical carousel that has been spinning since Grace Dent’s departure for The Guardian in December 2017. British-Nigerian, he is the first black restaurant critic on staff at any national newspaper in the United Kingdom, ever. He also wrote two reviews as part of that critical carousel, of pasta restaurant Bancone, and Soho Japanese grill restaurant Inko Nito.
The series of guest appearances was notable for its professional diversity: Eater London contributors; musicians; novelists; political commentators. Like London’s broader restaurant criticism pantheon, it was not notable for its actual diversity, and Famurewa’s appointment is a step in the right direction for representation in food media in the U.K.
Announcing the news, Famurewa wrote:
As Londoners, understandably, we take it for granted that we live in one of the most dynamic, ever-evolving dining cities on the planet. But it only takes the right table at the right moment for all that jaded cynicism to melt away, and leave you in a universe of your own, a child again, accompanied only by a plate of something magnificent.
That’s the nameless magic that — in the era of breathless Instagram hype and anodyne major players spending their way to dominance — I particularly want to celebrate.