Andrea Valdez

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Andrea Valdez, a Houstonian, received a BA in English from the University of Texas at Austin in 2005 and received her MSJ from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in 2006. Two days after graduating from Medill, she began working at Texas Monthly as a fact-checker. In addition to dutifully guarding the magazine's integrity, she wrote more than forty columns in a series titled "The Manual," a short lesson on activities every Texan should know how to do. The column has since been turned into a book, How to Be a Texan: The Manual.

Valdez moved to the digital side of editorial in 2011, and in 2014 she became the editor of During her tenure, the site's traffic has increased more than 250 percent and Texas Monthly's social media audiences have more than quintupled. She also helped launch two verticals—TM Daily Post and—and had a hand in a major redesign of in 2013.

She lives in Austin.

Articles by Andrea Valdez

Perry Report Card: Criminal Justice

Jun 10, 2014 By andrea valdez

Yesterday, when we unveiled the cover of our July issue featuring Rick Perry, we also told you about “The Perry Report Card,” an upcoming magazine feature where, as the title suggests, we graded the tenure of the governor on eight areas of public policy. We invited you to weigh…

How Long Will This Shale Boom Last?

Dec 3, 2013 By andrea valdez

We asked three experts in the oil field to come together to discuss that very question and to debate whether this latest boom will treat Texas, and the nation, any better than the last two.

Texas Business Report: Dell Finally Goes Private

Oct 4, 2013 By andrea valdez

A Done Dell After months of delays and deliberations, Dell Inc. shareholders voted Thursday to take the company private in a $24.8 billion buyout from CEO Michael Dell and the Silver Lake Partners investment group. The deal, which is expected to go through by November 1, comes after a…

A BBQ Road Trip Soundtrack

Jun 13, 2013 By andrea valdez

Senior editor Katy Vine, author of the Greatest Barbecue Story Ever Told, put together a BBQ Road Trip soundtrack. It features fourteen songs with a variation of the word “barbecue” in the title, six tracks called “Salt and Pepper,” three boogies, an ode to white bread, and one…

Barbecue Editor Featured Down Under

Jun 10, 2013 By andrea valdez

Our barbecue editor was recently interviewed by Sunrise, Australia’s self-described “number one breakfast show.” The hosts ask him about Texas-style barbecue (and the difference between an Aussie sear and our preferred smoking method), if he is “the Simon Cowell of the brisket,” and his favorite places in Texas. Watch the…

We Have a Barbecue Editor

Mar 21, 2013 By andrea valdez

(Photograph by Chris Wilkins | Texas BBQ Posse) In a move that seems long overdue, today we named Daniel Vaughn as Texas Monthly‘s first barbecue editor. Before people start stamping their feet and cursing that they weren’t hired for this highly coveted position, let me assure you that Vaughn is…

7 Food Trailers You Want to Visit

Mar 12, 2013 By andrea valdez

Austin's food truck scene has exploded in both numbers (hundreds of trucks are parked across the city at any given time) and popularity (waits can last up to an hour). With so many choices, it's hard to know which trailers are worth it, so here's our list of seven trucks to hit up during SXSW.

How to Make Texas Caviar

Jan 20, 2013 By Andrea Valdez

On New Year’s Day superstitious Texans take out a symbolic insurance policy by helping themselves to a heap of black-eyed peas—a practice that, according to tradition, guarantees one lucky day for each pea consumed. No one knows for certain how this ritual started, but one theory is rooted in horticulture:…

How to Dove Hunt

Jan 20, 2013 By Andrea Valdez

The Season For many hunters, Labor Day weekend is synonymous with the soft coos of the mourning dove. Every year, roughly 350,000 people in Texas are seduced by this avian siren song and harvest about five million of the four-ounce birds—that’s about 30 percent of the total number shot in…

How to Shoot a .22

Jan 20, 2013 By Andrea Valdez

Rites of passage dot the path to becoming a true Texan—riding a horse, having your picture taken with Big Tex—but few are as iconic as learning to fire a rifle. Although there are a variety of types, beginners often train with a .22-caliber. “That’s because there’s minimal recoil, and the…

How to Ride a Bull

Jan 20, 2013 By Andrea Valdez

The rules for riding a one-ton bucking bull are deceptively simple. A cowboy must stay on the animal for eight seconds. If he’s thrown off before the time elapses or if he touches the bull, himself, or the equipment with his free hand, he’s disqualified. The maximum score is 100…

How to Deep-Fry a Turkey

Jan 20, 2013 By Andrea Valdez

Equipment 1 turkey cooker with a propane burner (also called a catfish cooker or crawfish boiler) 1 36- to 40-quart stockpot and basket 1 large turkey injector with needle 1 deep-fryer thermometer or candy thermometer elbow-length oven mitts Cinnamon-Chile Rub 1/2 cup cinnamon 1/2 cup pasilla or…

How to Do Big Hair

Jan 20, 2013 By Andrea Valdez

Texas women may not have invented big hair, but they realized long ago the allure of the coiffed crown. Just consider Ann Richards, who made it her trademark and once declared an official Big Hair Day, in 1993. The style is powerful yet elegant, bold but surprisingly down-home. As Gail…