Texas Monthly magazine hires 1st Taco Editor

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AUSTIN, Texas (News Release) –Texas Monthly has announced the appointment of the U.S. magazine world’s first full-time taco editor, José R. Ralat, who will begin in this new role on Sept. 18. The addition of Ralat now marks the 10th full-time new hire to the editorial staff in six months, part of the magazine’s continued effort to expand its audience and revenue and further add new talent to the team.

This is the latest step in Texas Monthly’s continued commitment to producing quality coverage of the unique and outstanding culinary landscape of Texas for readers within its borders and around the world. In 2013, TM became the first magazine to appoint a barbecue editor, Daniel Vaughn, who’s been energetically covering the state’s thriving smoked-meat scene ever since. As taco editor, Ralat will be a regular presence on TexasMonthly.com as well as in print, covering all things related to tacos and Mexican cuisine, from trends and reviews to the stories and people behind the food.

“José is one of the foremost experts on tacos in the state and the country,” says Texas Monthly Executive Editor Kathy Blackwell, who recruited Ralat after long admiring his work. “We are thrilled to have him join our growing editorial team, bringing a wealth of knowledge on the amazing variety of foods that can be tucked into a tortilla, as well as on the history and culture surrounding this beloved food.”

Ralat began covering the world of tacos for the Dallas Observer in 2010. He launched his own website, the nationally renowned Taco Trail blog (www.thetacotrail.com), which led him to explore hundreds of taquerias, trucks, stalls, and restaurants. He has written for a variety of national and regional print and online media outlets, including VICE’s Munchies, Texas Highways, D Magazine, Eater, and more. He was most recently food & drink editor for Cowboys & Indians magazine. He also cofounded and curated the Taco Libre taco and music festival in Dallas.

Ralat has contributed to Texas Monthly’s food coverage for several years, including serving as co-editor for the December 2015 cover package, “The 120 Tacos You Must Eat Before You Die.” The New York Times has called Ralat “an expert on the folklore of tacos.” Alejandro Escalante, author of La Tacopedia: Enciclopedia Del Taco, considers him “one of the best investigators of Mexican food in the United States and of its growing phenomenon in the United States: ¡Tacos!”

The University of Texas Press will publish Ralat’s book, the first national survey of regional tacos in the United States, American Tacos: A History and Guide, in April 2020. He lives in Dallas with his wife, their son, and their two dogs, Beans and Cheese.

Texas Monthly is growing in audience and revenue, and has appointed nine additional full-time team members to the editorial staff in the last six months: Amal Ahmed, assistant editor; Arielle Avila, editorial coordinator; Cat Cardenas, associate editor; Paula Mejía, culture editor; Doyin Oyeniyi, assistant editor; Leif Reigstad, associate editor; Dan Solomon, associate editor; Anna Walsh, managing editor; and Forrest Wilder, politics and policy editor. The magazine has job openings posted on its website and expects to post others in the coming months.

Find the magazine online at TexasMonthly.com. Follow Texas Monthly on Facebook @texas.monthly.magazine, Twitter @TexasMonthly, and Instagram @texasmonthly.

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