Country Holidays

Ignacio Anaya Garcia

Ignacio Anaya (Ignacio Anaya García) Restaurateur

Ignacio “El Nacho” Anaya García was a Mexican maître d’ (restaurant manage) and restaurateur, who is credited as the inventor of nachos. His nickname was Nacho, derived from the Spanish name Ignacio, Ignacio Anaya Garciathe Spanish version of Ignatius. He was born on August 15, 1895 and died on November 9, 1975. Many people, especially Nacho enthusiasts, celebrate his birth anniversary each year, with Google even making a Doodle for him.

Profile Summary

  • Full name: Ignacio Anaya Garcia
  • Birthday: August 15, 1895
  • Birthplace: Manuel Benavides, Chihuahua, Mexico
  • Died: November 9, 1975
  • Age at death: 80 years old
  • Place of death: Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico
  • Occupation: Chef, restaurateur
  • Spouse: Marie Antoinette Salinas
  • Number of Children: 9

When is Ignacio Anaya Garcia’s Death Anniversary?

El Nacho’s death anniversary will happen on  November 9, On the other hand, his birth anniversary will happen on, August 15. This will be a celebration of his 126th birth anniversary.


Before Nachos became a hit snack on a global scale, it was invented by a restaurant manager named Ignacio Garcia who was at that time, working in Piedras Negras, Mexico. The term Nachos was derived from his name Ignacio (Eeg-na-sho). His proper first name was Ignacio but people tend to call him Nacho.

In 1943, Garcia made a dish that made him so popular. He was working in a popular restaurant named Club Victoria near the Texas-Mexico border. A group of soldiers’ wives from a nearby US Army base came for a snack in the restaurant. The chef was not there that time so Garcia temporarily went away from his port in order to make something up. He mixes tortilla chips with grated Wisconsin cheese and slices jalapenos. This was termed Nachos especiales.

This dish immediately became a hit that even neighboring restaurants made their own versions of the Nachos Especiales and added those to their many. In 1949, a recipe for Nachos appeared in an American cookbook. However, Garcia never actually claimed legal rights to the dish. Up until now, it remains in the public domain.

Within 17 years of serving this plater, Garcia opened his own restaurant called El Nacho.

Death and Legacy

Garcia died on November 9, 1975. He left his son Ignacio Anaya Jr. who ventured into banking and five other surviving children. He was posthumously awarded a bronze plaque in Piedras Negras. His death anniversary on October 21 was even declared International Nacho Day.

Although nachos didn’t become extremely popular during Garcia’s lifetime, the Smithsonian magazine ranked nachos as a sports stadium favorite in 1976 after the invention of a processed cheese sauce by Frank Liberto. This cheese sauce became a favorite dip for nachos. Currently, nachos are very popular snacks with a wide array of toppings. This couldn’t have happened if Ignacio Garcia didn’t invent them.

On August 15, Google honored Garcia with a Doodle celebrating what would have been his 124th birthday.

When is the International Nacho Day?

The International Nacho Day is always celebrated on the 21st of October each year. The upcoming celebration of this holiday will be held on  October 21.