Armando Rayo, taco journalist with Tacos of Texas and Taco Journalism
How he got the job: I got my job because of my taco radar and a lot of taco sense -- knowing the difference between assembly-line tacos and really good authentic tacos, from breakfast tacos to street tacos, brisket, carnitas, al pastor, y mas (and more)! Back in the day, way before Yelp, a friend of mine asked me to write up some of my taco recommendations in Austin, which I did, and man, did it get people hungry. Then my amigo El Jarod told me about this blog Taco Journalism. He told me to come write with them because the blog was just a couple of white boys talking about tacos. Of course, I accepted and pretty much gave them the street cred they desperately needed. Since then I've been hitting the streets eating tacos, talking about the culture and history of the taqueros, recipes, and discovering anything that fits in a corn or flour tortilla. Eventually, we wrote the book Austin Breakfast Tacos: The Story of the Most Important Taco of the Day. The book gained a lot of attention in Austin and it lead to our latest book, The Tacos of Texas, which is coming out later this year via University of Texas Press.
What he does: I'm a taco journalist, author, and a bit of a culture freak. I love exploring people, their stories, food, and the culture that brings us all together. I get to eat tacos from all over including gas stations, trailers, taco stands, high end, low end, and anything in between. Beyond the food are people's stories and learning about family traditions as well as recipes that are passed from one generation to the next. For me, tacos represent the culture of Mexicans and Texans and some white people that we adopt. That's the most rewarding part, understanding people through the food they make, eat, and ultimately how they break, or, in this case, tear a tortilla and make friends.