Chef and co-founder of Fonda San Miguel dies

Miguel Ravago, the chef and co-founder of Fonda San Miguel, has passed away at the age of 72. 

The native of Pheonix, Arizona passed away on Saturday, June 24, 2017. 

Miguel Ravago had been diagnosed with lung cancer earlier in 2017.

Ravago, who moved to Austin in 1968, co-founded Fonda San Miguel with Tom Gilland in 1975. 

Fonda San Miguel was the first restaurant in Texas to focus exclusively on true regional Mexican cuisine. 

Over the next few years, the reputation of Fonda San Miguel grew. Among the regular customers were members of the families of United States presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and George W. Bush.

Fonda’s reputation grew so exponentially, Ravago began working on his first cookbook, a collaboration with culinary writer Marilyn Tausend. Together, Ravago and Tausend collected recipes from across Mexico and the United States and published them as Cocina de la Familia in 1997.

In 2005, Ravago published a second cookbook, Fonda San Miguel: Thirty Years of Food and Art

Fonda San Miguel: Thirty Years of Food and Art was published on the restaurant's thirtieth anniversary. 

Although Ravago eventually moved abroad, he would still travel to and from Austin every few months. 

Ravago is survived by his spouse Phillipe Mercier, his and Phillipe’s beloved chow chows’ Dita and Digby, his wonderful sister Betty, his business partner Tom Gilliland and the staff and families of Fonda San Miguel.

A celebration of Ravago’s life will be held at Fonda San Miguel July 2nd at 5:30 pm.

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