We had the good fortune of connecting with roger Melchor and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi roger, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
When my grandfather passed away a couple years ago he left me some money to do my own thing. He always knew that eventually i wanted to own my own restaurant. He always wanted to invest in me and i just was never ready. I still needed to grow and still had so much to learn, However with him passing away was the real catalyst in me owning my place. I couldn’t wait any longer and life is too short. I had to start and i had to do something, I couldn’t let another opportunity pass me by. I had the knowledge the drive and the financial ability so the only think left to do was jump off the cliff. So i started the next month with his and my name in mind for the name of the restaurant “The Jolly Roger”.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
In having my own restaurant/food truck im mainly excited about being able to express myself through my food. I get to be creative and do my own thing. I can literally put whatever I want on my menu. Which is a reason why i try not to call myself a taco truck. I want to do more than just tacos, Tacos are what brings people in and makes them feel safe but occasionally get them to try new things without them realizing it. Most of the things on my menu have slight twists to them, As i get more well known i do plan on adding stranger ingredients.

Getting to the point of being creative with food takes a lot of work. You really have to know your canvas and what your working with in order to make a good product. I always liked to put myself into the toughest restaurants to work for or the toughest spots that i thought i could possibly fail at. I thought that it was the best way to learn what i needed to. There were many times where i didn’t believe that i could do it. There was a point in my life that I would literally cry every day after work on my way home. The restaurant i was working for was so demanding and intense. There was always a couple sayings that i would say to myself that kept me going, “your not dead yet”, and “they haven’t fired you so you must be doing something right”. Also at times during a rush when i had 45 dishes on the rail that you alone needed to cook i would say to myself that, “nobody is going to die if they don’t get their food on time.” Sure the chef might yell at you a bit or throw a plate or two but in the end everything is going to be fine.

Ive learned so much about myself by putting myself through those situations. That i can really overcome anything and the only thing thats stopping me is myself.

I guess what I would want people to know about me and my brand is that I want people to be able to feel and taste the hard work that i put in for years to get get to where i am today. I just want them to eat good food and experience it the way i do.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This is a funny question because I’m literally having some one coming to visit for a week from out of town. There are so many things to do in Houston that people just don’t know about. Ive been all over the country and lived in France for a couple years and still believe Houston has one of the best food scenes around.

I would first probably take them to my friends restaurants, Eat at Kokoro or Handies Duozo, which will have some of the best sushi in town. Also get some delivery service from Click dinning hall. Go to some of my favorite spots like Xochi, Nancy’s hustle, Mala Sichuan, Theodore Rex, possible go see Yoshi at Soto. Go eat at a random spot in Bellaire, get some dim sum. I could go on with a list of places to eat in Houston for days.

For drinks probably lei low, anvil for some good old fashions, maybe a dive bar in Montrose just to get a feel for the town, toasted coconut, and better luck tomorrow.

Go see an exhibit at the museum maybe, and a picnic at the centennial gardens.

Possibly a late night rave as well.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The real people that taught me so much were the people that i have worked with over the years. Every shingle person I have worked with taught me something, either about myself or something culinary. I guess the main people that stand out though would be Brandon Silva and Gabriel Medina. Brandon was the first person who put me thru the ringer. Taught me a lot and was patient with me when I was really green. Its pretty tough teaching some one who who has no idea what they are doing especially in a restaurant that’s so specific with everything. Gabe was another chef I worked for who has just always been there. He taught me more about myself by him just being himself.

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