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Before you begin turning the pages of this July/August issue, coming out tomorrow in select newspaper subscriptions and various locations throughout the Golden Crescent, I want to introduce myself. My name is Jessica Rodrigo and I have been with the Victoria Advocate for just over a year. That being said, I was happy to take the reins from reporter Trysta Eakin, as this magazine has given me the opportunity to discover what makes this region such a great place to live, raise a family or build a career.

This particular issue marks a few different milestones for GC. First off, this is the magazine’s one-year anniversary issue. We’ve officially published a year’s worth of content including the area’s top 5 businesswomen, boosters, philanthropists, bachelors/bachelorettes, doctors and now chefs. I have a growing list of places to visit, people to interview and things to experience from festivals to wine-tasting and more. There is much to be explored and written about.

Second, we’ve seen a lot of changes on the editorial side of things here at the Advocate. We had a change in hands in the design department earlier this year, and now we have a change in reporters. As I take over for this issue. I hope that I can fill Trysta’s shoes accordingly, and that you’ll be there to join me. I wanted this issue to reflect a little bit about who I am, so I dubbed this issue’s category, Top 5 chefs. To those that know me, and those that will get to know me as this magazines publishes, I am a lover of all things food. My favorite thing to tell people is that I am a “fat-kid at heart.”

Growing up, food was always a big part of our family. We always had big gatherings with family and friends with spreads of traditional Filipino food and other favorites. I can remember insisting that I was old enough, and big enough to help in the kitchen by washing dishes when I was in third grade. With the help of a chair propped against the counter, I was able to tackle the task of cleaning up after my siblings, and from then on I was always eager to help out, taste-test or just watch as my dad would transform simple ingredients into memories. Hopefully, this issue will serve as an introduction to who I am and leaves you hungry for more.

Lastly, this issue kicks off the start of a second year of content. Let me know what you want to read about. I love hearing from readers, it’s the best way to learn about an area that is new to you. I mean sure I can pick up a book or search for ideas on the Internet, but who better to consult than those people who already have generations of family and friends in the Golden Crescent. I encourage everyone to shoot me an email, call or comment on our Facebook page, facebook.com/gcmagazine, and let me know if you have ideas of places to write about or people to meet. This is the magazine of the Golden Crescent, so let's make it yours.

I do hope you enjoy reading this issue of the GC Magazine and the issues to come. I know I have enjoyed talking to everyone in the stories and getting to know some of the faces of those in the community. Until next issue, I look forward to hearing from you.

Be good, eat well. Jessica Rodrigo