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Evening Standard appoints Jimi Famurewa as Chief Restaurant Critic

The Evening Standard yesterday announced the appointment of Jimi Famurewa as its new Chief Restaurant Critic, working across the newspaper, ES Magazine and its digital platforms.

Evening Standard appoints Jimi Famurewa as Chief Restaurant Critic
Jimi Famurewa: “I’m hungry for all of it. And I can’t wait to get started.”

Award-winning writer, editor, and broadcaster, Jimi’s first piece in the Evening Standard’s Reveller section will be published on 6th January 2021.

Jimi will be a familiar face to Evening Standard readers, having served as food critic for ES Magazine since September 2018. In June 2020, he won the annual Restaurant Writing Award from the Guild of Food Writers for his weekly “Jimi Eats World” column, and during his tenure at ES Magazine he has become a regular guest critic on BBC One’s MasterChef; a guest speaker at the British Library’s 2020 Food Season; a guest judge on CBBC cooking competition Step Up To The Plate (to air in 2021); and a featured contributor in hit charity cookbook Community Comfort (Tezeta Press). Jimi originally joined The Evening Standard as Features Executive in 2015, during which time he also edited the newspaper’s food section.

Jimi was Features Editor at ShortList Magazine for five years, and has contributed to publications including The Guardian, Time Out and Wired UK. He is the author of Family London (Frances Lincoln) – a guide to the capital's parent-friendly attractions, activities and restaurants – and, in 2017, he was shortlisted for the Guardian/4th Estate BAME Short Story Prize for his story Teddybird.

Jimi’s appointment comes as Fay Maschler announces that she will be stepping back as the Evening Standard’s Restaurant Critic after nearly fifty years in the role. Fay joined the newspaper in 1972, after winning a competition for the opportunity to review restaurants, and since then has become one of the UK’s most loved and respected critics.

Revered by chefs and diners alike for her discerning and trustworthy commentary, say the publishers, Fay has played a pivotal role in the evolution of London’s now world-renowned food scene over the past five decades. She has been presented with numerous awards throughout her career at the Evening Standard, including Critic of the Year at The British Press Awards and the Glenfiddich Trophy. In 2004, Fay was awarded an MBE for services to journalism.

Although she is stepping back from her weekly column, Fay will continue to contribute to the Evening Standard, beginning with the annual wrap-up of her “meals of the year” on 16th December. Fay will also contribute regularly to the Standard’s Reveller section, which covers the best of London’s restaurants, bars, food and drink, as well as things to do. The Reveller is one of a number of recently launched, cross platform verticals; it prints every Wednesday and is updated throughout the week at standard.co.uk/reveller.

Jimi Famurewa said: "To be named as the Evening Standard’s new Chief Restaurant Critic fills me with both immense, dream-job happiness and the creeping fear that this is all an elaborate prank. It truly is the honour of a lifetime. And, as the London-born child of Nigerian immigrants, I’m acutely aware of what it will mean for those like me to see one of their own taking up such an illustrious and iconic role. Fay Maschler leaves figuratively enormous shoes to fill. But I hope to continue the boundless curiosity, rigour and insatiable passion for the job that she has set in place. And, perhaps, as London’s hospitality industry emerges from a devastating year – and the notion of what makes a great restaurant evolves before our eyes – push even further to reflect the broad span of resilience, creativity and joyful unexpectedness that still makes this the most exciting (and occasionally ridiculous) dining city in the world. I’m hungry for all of it. And I can’t wait to get started."

Fay Maschler said: “The Evening Standard has been my work family, a notably congenial one, for nearly five decades. In that time twelve editors have put his or her slant on recording the extraordinary city that is London. It will be a wrench to stop reviewing restaurants, especially in this perilous time for hospitality, but I am pleased to continue to contribute to the paper.”

Emily Sheffield, Editor of the Evening Standard, said: “As anyone who has read his “Jimi Eats World” column knows, Jimi is a hugely talented and insightful writer with a voracious appetite for seeking out the most exciting experiences that London’s dining scene has to offer. I am thrilled to welcome him as the Evening Standard’s new Chief Restaurant Critic during this vital time for the city’s chefs and food businesses. Jimi will build on the incredible legacy that Fay Maschler leaves as she steps down from her weekly column. We are immensely proud of everything that Fay has contributed not just to the Evening Standard but to eating in London over the past five decades. She remains an intrinsic part of the Evening Standard’s coverage of London’s incredible food scene.”

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