From the Inside Flap
In 1975, when Miguel Ravago and Tom Gilliland opened Fonda San Miguel in Austin, a restaurant featuring authentic Mexican cuisine was a daring idea in a city where Tex-Mex food reigned supreme. As they overcame the challenges of importing ingredients from Mexico in 55-gallon drums, and attracting customers who expected a No. 1 Enchilada Dinner on the menu, a loyal clientele of adventuresome eaters began to develop. Food critics discovered the restaurant and printed rave reviews of the fresh-lime margaritas and Chef Miguel's subtle and complex dishes. Tom, a longtime aficionado of Mexican art and culture, brought furnishings and fine art from Mexico to give diners the experience of being transported to Mexico while they ate. Today Fonda San Miguel consistently ranks as one of the Southwest's top restaurants for both food and ambience.
Published to celebrate the restaurants's three decades of success, Fonda San Miguel: Thirty Years of Food and Art presents more than one hundred recipes from the restaurant's menus over the years. The selections include many of Fonda San Miguel's signature dishes -- Ceviche Veracruzano; Enchiladas Suizas, an old favorite from Sanborn's department store in Mexico City; Cochinita Pibil and Pescado Tikin Xik, both Yucatan specialities; and Carne Asada, steak sliced and grilled in the traditional Tampico style. From appetizers like mouth-watering Chihuahua-style chile con queso to the cajeta crepes and other delicacies, the home cook can now prepare a delicious assortment of the restaurant's most popular dishes from Mexico's diverse regional cuisines. Supplementary sections contain tips on buying and cooking with the various chiles and other ingredients, like huitlacoche and nopal cactus, as well as information on basic preparation techniques, equipment, and mail order sources.
Full-color photographs illustrate special dishes as well as capture the romantic hacienda-style decor of the restaurant's lush tropical courtyard, custom-made punched-tin light fixtures, and hand-painted stuccoed walls. representative works from the impressive Fonda San Miguel art collection are also pictured with notes on the artists.
About the Author
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 Autonoma de Mexico 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 (IACP) 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 IACP.
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 IACP and the Southern Foodways Alliance.