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One Man's Journey From Dishwasher To Restaurateur

Oct 8, 2015 By John-Michael Bond

When Hugo Ortega arrived in Houston after crossing the Mexican border he had neither a Green Card or the ability to speak English. He found a job washing dishes, slowly building a relationship with his boss Tracy Vaught and moving up the ranks in the restaurant he worked at. One day while eating together Ortega exclaimed that the Mexican food he found in Houston was nothing like the food he ate at home. Vaught encouraged authentic Mexican food at their restaurant to set it apart from the other Tex-Mex places in town. The gamble paid off. Over the next few years the couple, now husband and wife, would expand their cooking empire into multiple restaurants throughout Houston.

Ortega is now a citizen thanks to President Reagan's amnesty program and continues to work in the Houston area. He and Tracy Vaught are still married after all these years. 

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