Fonda San Miguel
Thirty Years of Food and Art

By Tom Gilliland and Miguel Ravago
Text by Virginia B. Wood

Fonda San Miguel

Fonda San Miguel: Thirty Years of Food and Art—the cookbook for the home cook that focuses on Mexico's diverse regional cuisines—is now available. Commemorating the thirtieth anniversary of one of the Southwest's top eateries, Fonda San Miguel, this beautiful volume showcases many of the Austin restaurant's signature recipes, as well as much of its stunning Mexican art.

Compiled and written by restaurant founders Tom Gilliland and Miguel Ravago, and Austin Chronicle Food Editor, Virginia B. Wood, the book features more than one hundred recipes. Culled from Fonda San Miguel menus over the years, many of the recipes have been expertly enhanced by the inspiration and consultation of the legendary Diana Kennedy, the woman responsible for documenting hundreds of authentic interior Mexican dishes in her seminal books about Mexican cuisine.

As the restaurant's co-founder and chef, Miguel Ravago adapted many of Mrs. Kennedy's recipes for inclusion at Fonda San Miguel, as well as in the cookbook. Additionally enriching Fonda San Miguel: Thirty Years of Food and Art are family heirloom tidbits from Miguel's mother and grandmother, as well as recipes shared by Patricia Quintana, Maria Dolores Torres Yzabal, Shirley King, Susanna Trilling, Philippe Mercier, Lucinda Hutson, and Roberto Santibanez.

Full color photographs illustrate special dishes such as a classic tortilla soup, a mouth watering chicken mole—Puebla style, cochinita pibil (pork cooked in a pit), and flawless almond flan. Also featured are recipes from Fonda San Miguel's wildly popular Hacienda Buffet, consistently rated the best brunch in Austin. Traditional Mexican fare such as huevos rancheros, chilaquiles, carne guisada (stewed beef), and the ever-popular budin de elote (corn pudding) are described in colorful detail.

Fonda San Miguel: Thirty Years of Food and Art is divided into various sections such that the home cook can dabble in everything from appetizers and beverages to entrees and desserts. Supplementary chapters contain tips on buying and cooking with the diverse ingredients, as well as information on basic recipe components, cooking equipment, and mail order sources.

As its title implies, the book captures the magic of both Fonda San Miguel's food and its art. Many works from Fonda San Miguel's impressive art collection are displayed in the book with notes about each artist. "Today Fonda San Miguel displays the works of some of Mexico's best and most intriguing artists, past and present—and probably future," says co-founder Tom Gilliland, who oversees the restaurant's interior design and art collection. "Distinctive Mexican art and decor is the best complement to authentic Mexican food!"

Fonda San Miguel: Thirty Years of Food and Art is a true tour de force, inviting its reader on a colorful culinary journey across Mexico. At the same time, the book provides a firsthand look at the evolution of a remarkable eatery. As a result of the creative risks that Tom, Miguel, and the whole Fonda San Miguel team have taken over the last thirty years, the Austin landmark continues to have an impact on Mexican-inspired menus across Texas and beyond.

About The Authors

Tom Gilliland is a graduate of the University of Nebraska and the Law School of the University of Texas at Austin. He also studied law at the Universidad National Autónoma de México in Mexico City as well as at the American Institute of Foreign Trade (now the Garvin School of International Management) in Glendale, Arizona. A co-founder of two restaurants, San Angel Inn in Houston and Fonda San Miguel in Austin, he is an active member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals and a generous supporter of many Austin organizations. At Fonda San Miguel, Tom has hired the "front of the house" staff for many years and directs the interior design and art collection.

Miguel Ravago first learned to cook from his grandmother, a native of Sonora, Mexico. A co-founder of San Angel Inn and Fonda San Miguel, he has been a pioneer of regional Mexican cooking for more than thirty years. Miguel co-authored Cocina de la Familia with Marilyn Tausend in 1997, which won a Julia Child cookbook award in 1998 and has also been published in Spanish. He is a longtime member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals.

Virginia B. Wood, a native Texan and a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, began her professional cooking career as the first pastry chef at Fonda San Miguel restaurant in 1977. She went on to operate her own wholesale dessert and catering company for many years before becoming a food journalist. She is now the food editor at the Austin Chronicle and is also a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals and the Southern Foodways Alliance.


Buy the Book


Fonda San Miguel:
Thirty Years of Food and Art

by Tom Gilliland and Miguel Ravago
Text by Virginia B. Wood
Shearer Publishing
Pages: 240; Color Photos: 140
$34.95; Hardcover
ISBN: 094067277-4
Information provided by the publisher.


Fonda San Miguel:
Thirty Years of Food and Art



This page modified February 2007

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