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06/12/2010

Egon Ronay, who produced English restaurant guides, dies at 94

June 12, 2010 |  3:53 pm

Ronay Food critic Egon Ronay, whose eponymous restaurant guides helped Britain embrace fine dining after years of postwar austerity, died Saturday. He was 94.

Ronay died at his home near in England after a short illness, said family friend Nick Ross.

Born in Budapest in 1915, Ronay was the son of a prosperous restaurant owner whose business was ruined by World War II and the subsequent Soviet occupation. Ronay left communist Hungary for Britain in 1946.

He began writing about food for the Daily Telegraph newspaper, and in 1957 produced the first Egon Ronay Guide to British restaurants, modeled on France's Michelin guides. The annual guides, researched with the help of a team of anonymous reviewers, became immensely popular, and restaurants displayed the blue Egon Ronay label as a seal of approval.

Ronay later said that in Britain until the 1960s, "food was not a polite topic for conversation."

More later at latimes.com/obituaries.

-- Associated Press

Photo: Egon Ronay in 2006.

Credit: Associated Press

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