Impostor Pretending to Be New York Times Columnist Melissa Clark Fools Miami Food Blog

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A Miami food blog has been duped by an anonymous writer-marketer posing as a New York Times food scribe, who hoped to garner some press for a few South Florida restaurants.

This is a warning to you, the enthusiastic eater, to make some effort to learn who your recommendations come from. As online food and restaurant marketing has boomed, the Internet has become clogged with shady characters posing as earnest gastronomic guides. The fraudsters collect some benefits from the joints they boost.

The sketchy postings on Miami Food Review, first spotted by lawyer-foodist David Rosendorf, were purportedly written by Melissa Clark, a cookbook author and New York Times food columnist.

"It's all completely out of the blue," she said in an email.

Someone posing as Clark first reached out to the website in February last year offering to write a post focused on South Florida spots suited for family dining, according to emails provided by Sergio Calzado of Miami Food Review.

The Yahoo address in those emails didn't respond to inquiries, and the Brooklyn-area number told New Times it was a wrong number.

Clark, meanwhile, said she never heard of Calzado or his website and set the grey lady's legal team into action.

"This is scary," she said.

Calzado, who said he doesn't take payments for posting articles on his site, but acknowledged accepting the occasional free meal, removed the post announcing Clark as a contributing editor and the lone post "she" sent.

The two later spoke over the phone, and Clark is trying to figure out who has pilfered her name. Imitation, they say, is the sincerest form of flattery.

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