Last week Eater discovered a photo of newly appointed, largely anonymous LA Weekly Restaurant Critic Besha Rodell taken during a panel moderated by Rodell at Atlanta Food & Wine. At the request of the photographer, we unpublished the photo several hours later. Smart move for all restaurant personnel who took a screenshot of the image while it lasted. Meanwhile, a reader sent over this here image stating he had done an image search for Rodell a few years ago and this is one of the few photos still around, published in 2005 on IndyWeek. Also, it appears as though Rodell has a twin sister named Brenda Pollard (seen here), but we're not sure if the sisters currently look alike or not. We do know, from the photo last week, that Rodell's hair is much longer now than it was back then and she grew out those bangs.
Rodell once wrote a piece for Creative Loafing titled "Dining critic anonymity: the hard truth" where she states her case on anonymous restaurant critics: "I reject the notion that anonymity doesn't matter. I notice a palpable change when I've been recognized at a restaurant. Sometimes it makes no difference – the better the restaurant the truer this is. If service and food are genuinely stellar, they'll be stellar for everyone. But sometimes it makes a world of difference...While many of the chefs in town [Atlanta] know what I look like, and although I am occasionally recognized, I don't think that's the end of the battle. I haven't yet taken to wearing disguises (mainly because it seems silly, self-important and probably futile), but I don't let the game end just because I'm identifiable." Have a more recent Rodell photo, do send it our way.
·New Incognito LAW Resto Critic Besha Rodell Unmasked [~ELA~]
·Dining critic anonymity: the hard truth [Creative Loafing]
·A pillow from mom [IndyWeek]
Update: We caught her once , but not twice. In a piece titled "Welcome to Los Angeles: YOU'RE SO UGLY!!!" new queen bee LAW Restaurant Critic Besha Rodell admits we outed her, though unfortunately this here photo is not her after all: "...Eater L.A. posted a blurry photo taken at a panel I moderated at the Atlanta Food and Wine Festival...I don't know if I can rightfully blame Eater for trying to unmask me. The unmasking of critics seems counterproductive and dumb, but we (restaurant critics) kind of brought this on ourselves... Which brings me to this past Monday, when Eater published another photo, claiming it is me circa 2005. Thus far, the photographer of that photo has not demanded it be removed. Probably because the photographer may have a vested interest in people thinking that photo looks exactly like me. You'd think Eater, with all its smarty-pants Internet savvy, would know the difference between a credit and a caption."