How do you get this job?
On September 10, Texas Monthly announced the hiring of its first-ever taco editor, a new position dedicated to all things crammed into a tortilla. José R. Ralat will join the staff of the Austin-based publication later this month. According to Texas Monthly, Ralat will "cover all things taco, from reviews and profiles to trends and Tex-Mex traditions."
Based in Dallas, Ralat's resume includes bylines for publications including Dallas Observer and Cowboys & Indians. In 2017, he contributed a decidedly brave piece to Texas Monthly, arguing in defense of flautas as tacos.
“José is one of the foremost experts on tacos in the state and the country,” says Texas Monthly executive editor Kathy Blackwell. “We are thrilled to have him join our growing editorial team."
Of course, this isn't the first time Texas Monthly has made headlines with their editorial choices. (And this has made headlines; the New York Times has already penned a piece about Ralat's hiring.) In 2013, the magazine hired Daniel Vaughn to be the magazine's first barbecue editor.
Ralat's appointment is among four high-profile, though perhaps not as glamorous, additions to the masthead. Later this month, Anna Walsh, former multiplatform editor for the Washington Post, will take over as managing editor. TM has also named three contributors — Cat Cardenas, Leif Reigstad, and Amal Ahmed — as full-time hires.
The changes at Texas Monthly come amid a regime change following a rocky few years on both the editorial and publishing sides. In June, Randa Duncan Williams, a Houston-based billionaire, purchased the stalwart magazine, making her the third owner in as many years. In January, Dan Goodgame, a longtime journalist turned tech-firm VP, was announced as the magazine's new editor in chief.
No word yet on what Ralat will tackle first as taco editor or if he and Vaughn will team up for some taco-barbecue extravaganza. But, in the interest of furthering journalism, perhaps Texas Monthly will consider adding a margarita editor to its masthead next. We'll bring the limes.