2 weeks ago

Slipstream - September 2018

The monthly newsletter of the Maverick Region of the Porsche Club of America

Kruder’s Cars &

Kruder’s Cars & Conversation By Bill Kruder photos courtesy of Victor Rojas You guessed it! Once again it’s all about coffee and who you meet. Several months ago, Bill Bradley started this Friday coffee meet up at Trio Craft Coffee in Flower Mound. I finally decided to join the fun one Friday and I think we had eight to ten guys there. As it turns out, three of them, including this month’s interviewee, had never been out with us before. Apparently he had read on Facebook that we were meeting and thought he might stop to check it out on his way to work. Well, we struck up a conversation about all things coffee and Porsches and he has been out with us more times than I can count. So here is the next in my series of “conversations” I would like to share with you: Victor Rojas, Member since 2017, Owner 2007 Speed Yellow Cayman Bill Kruder: So I know you are not originally from here; where again? 12 September Victor Rojas: Oh no for some reason people always think I’m from the Northeast but I am from Dallas, specifically Grand Prairie. My Dad was from Mexico and moved here when he was fourteen; my mom was born and raised in Dallas. BK: Where do you live now? VR: We live in Flower Mound; we moved there for the schools. Our son just graduated High School. However, we are moving shortly back to Dallas, to the Design District. BK: Where did you go to school? VR: I went to Jesuit High School in north Dallas. My Dad worked in Dallas so he would take my brother and me to school and my uncle would pick us up. That is, until my brother was able to drive; then he would take us. BK: And how about college? RA: I graduated from El Centro College with a degree in Culinary Arts. BK: How did you get interested in Culinary Arts? VR: Well I have a large extended family; my Dad is one of nine and my mom is one of five. We were always having these big family gatherings that of course revolved around food and drink. BK: Was someone in the business that inspired you? VR: Matter of fact my grandfather started out in the restaurant and hotel business. He started at the bottom and worked his way up, so think that was my inspiration. Plus Mom I think - back in the 80’s we would watch this show called “Great Chefs of the West,” and I remember Stephen Pyles was on it, and my mom said “why don’t you be like him?” BK: What was your first experience in “fine dining”? VR: That would be at the old Dallas Stouffer Hotel. I had experience already as a waiter, so when I joined them, that was what I considered fine dining at its best. BK: So did you start out in the fine dining arena? VR: Heck no! Going to school I waited tables at Bennigan’s. My first “chef” job was at a little place called Mustang Café in Los Colinas. It was nice but no five star experience (laughing). BK: When we first met you were opening up a new restaurant as GM, but I recently hear you are somewhere new now? VR: Yes that’s right. I was working on the opening of Bullion, a Bruno Davaillon concept. We got that open, and recently a friend told me about a new opportunity, which ended up being the reopening of the French Room at the Adolphus. They had gone thru a 16-month

$11 million renovation to bring the fine dining experience back to what it was in 1912. BK: I’ve met your wife Michelle at a couple things - how did you guys meet? VR: She was dating a mutual friend of ours and I’d see her out at times. Then somehow I got invited out with her group. Something good happened we have been married for 22 years now, and we have our son Evan (smiling). BK: Let’s talk cars: what was your first memorable Porsche moment? VR: When I was a kid someone who lived down the street had a 914, and I’d see it and I just thought that was the coolest car. BK: And what was your first car? VR: That was a ‘72 Super Beetle, a BAJA; it was out of character for me. It was yellow, had this big exhaust and exposed engine - truly some else’s car (laughing). BK: So how did the Cayman come about? VR: We were both driving Hondas and I had “secretly” been looking at Porsches on Hemmings. Both the Hondas were getting old so we decided it was time to get something newer. I was looking and looking and decided the Cayman was what I wanted. It sounds funny, but I like the “speed racer” look of them (laughing). So finally Michelle said “stop talking about it and buy one.” Think I test drove nearly a dozen. I drove three the day I bought this one. BK: So it’s Michelle’s fault? VR: Well I never thought about it but yes (laughing), but she loves the car as much as I do, so not sure there is blame. Every month as I write these interviews I think the same thing: what if . . . ? What if I had not gone to Flower Mound, what if I had not had the chance to strike up that conversation with the “new” guy? So if and when you meet someone new don’t miss out on “Driving Friendships”! 13

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