He is the author of Barbecue Crossroads (2012) from the University of Texas Press and the best-selling Legends of Texas Barbecue Cookbook (Chronicle, June 2002), which was nominated for the James Beard Award in the Americana category. The second edition of Legends of Texas Barbecue was released in 2016.
His other books include The Tex-Mex Cookbook (Broadway 2004), which was nominated for the IACP Cookbook Award in the American Category, Sex, Death & Oysters (Counterpoint Press 2009) which was voted one of the best food books of 2009 by Amazon.com, Texas Eats (2010) and The Hot Sauce Cookbook (2012) and The Chili Cookbook (2016) from Ten Speed Press. Walsh’s writings appear in several anthologies including: Best Food Writing 2000 through 2010 and Cornbread Nation, Best Southern Food Writing volumes I, II, & IV from the Southern Foodways Alliance.
Walsh has devoted his career to exploring and interpreting folk foodways. His newspaper articles, magazine pieces, radio broadcasts and cookbooks has been nominated for fourteen James Beard Awards. He was the restaurant critic at the Houston Press from 2000 until 2010 and has also served as the editor in chief of Chile Pepper Magazine and as the food columnist for Natural History magazine.
In July of 2010, along with other veterans of the Southern Foodways Alliance, Walsh founded a non-profit organization called Foodways Texas to preserve and promote Texas food culture. Foodways Texas is headquartered at the University of Texas at Austin.
Walsh splits his time between Galway Bay, Ireland and Galveston Bay, Texas.