May 2, 2023 - News

Screen Time with Texas Monthly's taco editor

Photo illustration of a grid of smartphone screens, the center one showing an image of José Ralat.

Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo: Courtesy of José Ralat

José Ralat has transformed the way the world sees tacos. In his book, "American Taco," and as Texas Monthly's first taco editor, Ralat has chronicled the history of Mexican food better than just about anyone.

Why it matters: Last year he won a James Beard award in the Columns and Newsletter category, and he was nominated again as a finalist in the same category this year.

How this works: Our Screen Time feature explores how some of the most interesting people in North Texas interact with technology.

Here’s how the taco editor clicks...

📱 Device of choice: iPhone (I’m an Apple acolyte).

👇 First tap of the day: Emails.

📰 Go-to news sources: Texas Monthly, of course; New York Times; Washington Post; Axios’ daily newsletters, including Axios Latino and Axios Dallas’ Tuesday newsletter for the taco spotlight; Los Angeles Times; L.A. Taco; and a variety of Texas media outlets. Almost anything on tacos and Mexican food.

🎶 On rotation: Pixies, Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam, Zoé, Magnetic Fields, Café Tacuba, Natalia Lafourcade, and a bunch of Americana.

🎧 Podcast of choice: "The Sporkful" for great food-focused audio storytelling and interviews; "Rebel Force Radio," a "Star Wars" fan podcast going on 15 years of production; and Texas Monthly’s podcasts. One of the latest, "White Hats," covered the complex history of the Texas Rangers without pulling punches.

🏨 Most used app: Marriott Bonvoy, followed by Google Maps. I travel a lot.

📚 Reading list: I read a lot of history and academic books for work at the sacrifice of reading for the pure enjoyment. So, I’ve got novels and memoirs piling up, including "Leviathan Wakes" by James S.A. Corey and "Life on Delay: Making Peace With a Stutter" by John Hendrickson.


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