Carmine’s and Virgil’s Founding Chef Michael Ronis Dies at 60

Photo: Courtesy of Macmillan

It’s the rule of three: To the recent passings of Hallo Berlin founder Rolf Babiel and Sonic founder Troy Smith, we can now add the death of Michael Ronis, founding chef of the Carmine’s chain and Virgil’s Real Barbecue in Times Square. It’s unclear why Ronis (onetime chef at the Connaught Hotel in London and Harry’s Bar in Italy) died in the hospital at the age of 60, but this note from his obituary in the Daily Journal might be a clue: “Mr. Ronis always loved food and enjoyed going with friends to try all the new restaurants. He would sometimes hit five or six places a night, sampling everything on the menu that interested him.”