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Chef Chat: Tom Gilliland On 40 Years of Mexican Food in Austin

Forty years ago, Tom Gilliland and Miguel Ravago started Fonda San Miguel, an interior-Mexican food restaurant in Austin that quickly rose to popularity. Before Fonda, "Mexican" food in Texas meant Tex-Mex. Gilliland and Ravago redefined it to mean authentic sauces bursting with flavor, slow-simmered meat, and flavors previously unknown outside of the Mexican state of Guanajuato — not to mention handcrafted metal lampshades, painted tiles and colorful artwork in the dining room.

Ten years ago, the pair published a Fonda San Miguel cookbook that won the IACP Cookbook Award and the Independent Publisher Awards; in November, they released an updated and reissued edition, Fonda San Miguel: Forty Years of Food and Art. We spoke with Gilliland about what's new in the reissue, how Fonda has survived for so long among Austin's swiftly changing food scene, and his favorite recipes.

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