From Editor-in-Chief Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, Editorial Page Editor Matthew Fleischer and Food & Wine Editor Janelle Bitker:
We are delighted to announce that as of February 1, Soleil Ho will be moving to the Opinion section to become a columnist and cultural critic. Since 2019, Ho has been The Chronicle’s Restaurant Critic, winning a Craig Claiborne Distinguished Restaurant Review Award from the James Beard Foundation in 2022.
“Soleil was a total game-changer for the Food & Wine section," says Food & Wine Editor Janelle Bitker. "They brought a fresh writing style and radical approach to thinking about restaurants, going far beyond traditional reviews. Every week, readers didn't necessarily know what they were going to get, but they were going to get something good.”
In their new role, Ho will continue to write about the Bay Area food scene through the lens of cultural criticism, dissecting the ways our food reflects the way we live. But they will also expand their repertoire to include broader commentary on the news of the day.
“From the beginning of my time as The Chronicle’s restaurant critic, I’ve seen the role as placing all kinds of food into their cultural, social and historical contexts,” Ho says. “Who is this thing for, how does it fulfill its stated goals, and how do we engage with those goals within our broader social structure? What do mass media and food tell us about what we value — or what we’re told to value? In my role with the Opinion section, I’ll expand the scope of my commentary from solely food to popular culture, especially how we talk about work, the internet, art, politics, and what we owe to each other.”
Before joining The Chronicle, Ho worked as a freelance food and pop culture writer, as a podcast producer on the Racist Sandwich, and as a restaurant chef. Their essay on pandemic fine dining domes was featured in the 2021 Best American Food Writing anthology.
About The San Francisco Chronicle:
The San Francisco Chronicle (www.sfchronicle.com) is the largest newspaper in Northern California and the second largest on the West Coast. Acquired by the Hearst Corporation in 2000, The San Francisco Chronicle was founded in 1865 by Charles and Michael de Young and has been awarded six Pulitzer Prizes for journalistic excellence. Follow us on Twitter at @SFChronicle.
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