Almost five years after the passing of Fonda San Miguel co-founder and chef Miguel Ravago, owner Tom Gilliland decided it was time to entrust the stewardship of his kitchen to a new leader. But he didn’t just hire one chef to fill the unfillable shoes of the beloved Ravago. Gilliland brought on two new chefs.

Late last year, Gilliland hired chefs Carlos Monroy and Blanca Zesati to continue Ravago’s legacy and point Austin’s longest-running interior Mexican food restaurant toward the future.

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“The need was to find leadership like Miguel, who was adored and respected,” Gilliland said.

Gilliland found that leadership in the team of Mexico City chef Monroy and Zesati, an eight-year veteran of the health-conscious Miraval Resort & Spa.

Chef Carlos Monroy says that he felt like he was back in Mexico City when he first entered Fonda San Migeul.

“As it turned out, Blanca and Carlos came for interviews at around the same time. I was impressed greatly with both, ”Gilliland said. “Each had special skills. Both had wonderful attitudes. So I hired both, trusting that they could be co-chefs and work together harmoniously and effectively. This has proven even better than I had hoped for. “

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