From Dishwasher to Award-Winning Restaurateur
Aug 31, 2015
Hugo Ortega crossed over the Mexican border and arrived in Houston, Texas, without documents and without knowing any English. Over the next few years, he would become a citizen through President Reagan's amnesty program and go from washing dishes to owning multiple restaurants. Now, he and his wife, Tracy Vaught—whom he met while working as a dishwasher in her restaurant in the 80's—are the "reigning powerhouse couple of Houston's competitive restaurant scene." In this documentary produced by Katherine Wells for The Atlantic's American Dreams series, Ortega reflects on his journey within the industry. "I have a great responsibility to represent the Mexican cuisine in a proper way," he says. "It's a magnificent cuisine."
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author: The Editors
About This Series
Short documentaries about visions of success in the U.S.