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Media Rumblings

Tex-Mex food specialist takes on new role at Houstonia after landing "irresistible" book deals

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Houstonia Magazine cover
Houstonia's seen plenty of change and turmoil in its first year. Courtesy of Media News
robb walsh james beard
Robb Walsh is departing from his role as Houstonia Magazine's food editor to begin work on new books. Photo courtesy Katherine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt, Marcy de Luna, Lily Jang and Eric Sandler at RodeoHouston Gold Buckle Foodie Awards March 2014
Katharine Shilcutt, left, will take over for Walsh as food editor. Photo courtesy of Marcy de Luna
Houstonia Magazine Food Lovers Guide Cover
Walsh and Shilcutt collaborated on Houstonia's Food Lovers Guide for its March issue. Houstonia Magazine/Facebook
Houstonia Magazine cover
robb walsh james beard
Katharine Shilcutt, Marcy de Luna, Lily Jang and Eric Sandler at RodeoHouston Gold Buckle Foodie Awards March 2014
Houstonia Magazine Food Lovers Guide Cover

Clarification: It has come to CultureMap’s attention that some readers may have been confused as to Robb Walsh’s new role at Houstonia. Walsh has moved from the food editor position to contributing editor and food critic with plans to write cookbooks in his spare time.  The headline has been edited to rectify any confusion.

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As it approaches its first anniversary, Houstonia magazine is undergoing more changes to its editorial team. On the heels of its first ever Food Lovers Guide to Houston, much-ballyhooed food editor hire Robb Walsh is reducing his involvement in the magazine.

Walsh spent almost 10 years as the Houston Press food critic before departing to assist chef Bryan Caswell and business partner Bill Floyd in opening El Real Tex-Mex Cafe and write cookbooks. Joining Houstonia marked his return to full time restaurant writing. It turned out to be a brief one.

And it continues the fledging magazine's trend of quick and often abrupt departures. Original publisher Lou Delone abruptly left the magazine last April just weeks after its inaugural issue hit newsstands. John Wilburn — the magazine's heavily-promoted editor-in-chief — found himself out of a job after just three issues. In late January, a new publisher with no publishing experience — Diane Caplan, who previously worked as the eCommerce & marketing director for Momentum Jaguar Volvo Land Rover Porsche — was named.

Now, Houstonia's biggest writing name is leaving his full-time position and becoming a part-time contributing editor and food critic.

Houstonia editor-in-chief Scott Vogel provided CultureMap with the email he sent to the magazine's staff revealing the move. "Given his standing in the food world, and the concomitant ascendance of Tex-Mex onto the national stage . . .  it was inevitable that other offers would come Robb’s way, and sure enough, he has some book deals that have proved irresistible," Vogel wrote in the email.

"Happily, however, these commitments will not prevent him from writing either Houstonia’s dining reviews or making contributions to our food cover stories, and he will also be pitching us on Ice House stories and other non-food-related content as it arises."

 Now, Houstonia's biggest writing name is leaving his full-time position. 

In his response to Vogel's email, Walsh writes that he's "delighted that I'll be able to continue reviewing restaurants and contributing stories to the magazine while I take on some cool new cookbook projects."

Rather than adding staff to replace Walsh, current features editor Katharine Shilcutt will add supervising the food section to her responsibilities. As Shilcutt, like Walsh, is a former food critic for the Houston Press who has continued to write about food topics since joining Houstonia last year, the task seems solidly in her wheelhouse.

Houstonia was created by Scott Vogel and his sister Nicole. The Houston natives are co-owners of the magazine's parent company SagaCity Media, which also publishes city magazines in Seattle, Portland, Ore., Park City, Utah, and several Colorado cities.

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