Sunday, June 17, 2007

Tyson Blankemeyer and Cafe Xbox

I am a career changer. I was a "Vice President of International Operations" for Lasting Products Inc., a Family business from Dallas Texas, which expanded intro Monterrey Mexico the same year I graduated UT Austin in 1988. We had $20 million in sales and 1,500 emloyees. I married my one true love, Graciela Villarreal, and we hade three children (Elias, Milo and Marisol). In 2001 I decided to become a chef and persue a dream at The Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park New York. But first I wanted to find out if I had what it takes or if I would even like working in a commercial kitchen, so I asked CIA Chef Guillermo Gonzalez From Pangea (a nice new restaurant here in Monterrey) if I could stage. He grudgingly agreed and I worked every night for a year. Once I was accepted at the CIA, I quit my job and the five of us moved to Red Hook New York.
It was my wife's first time to live anywhere but Monterrey. She was quite home sick. We lived next door to some kids from Bard College. Sam Lucy was our favorite student next door, the night we arrived he was there. I saw his truck first, a 1977 chevy with cow horns wired to the front grill, then him. He was a smiling-round-faced-philly-boy-gardener who would have to help me unload a 48" wolf range I had brought from Austin. My wife "Cherry" became good friends with Clairice (from France), who roomed with Sam. Every day I went to school and she took care of the kids. We saw our first snow, shovelled our first snow, made snowmen, shovelled snow, made igloos, shovelled snow, I borrowed the neighbors snow shovelling machine.
Shortly after our first year there in Red Hook we moved to a smaller house around the corner and I started making pies from the local produce. Things went well. I became known as "The Pie Man". We catered events. Town and Country Magazine came to inerview me, I even hired CIA chefs to work for me. In 2003 my Step-Father had a stroke, I graduated, and we moved back to Blanco Texas to be close the my Mother and Step Father. He improved, so I took a cook's job at The Inn at Dos Brisas in Brenham Texas.
I could write a book about Brenham, it's people, The Inn, It's owner Doug Bosch, My friend and fellow Sous Chef Kevin Reinhold, and our Executive Chef Carl Rynicki, but I won't. After a year, we left Brenham to return to Monterrey, where we have a nice home in the mountains.
Cafe Xbox, a concept created by Me, is a place where you can go and eat great pizza, play great games, and drink great beer. We decided to put it right next to the hottest night spot in town, Sr.Tanaka. Before long we met Francisco Gonzalez. He is a very successful buusinessman in his late 60s (I think). He has this nice 50's house just down the street which hasn't rented in four years. He offered to partener up if we would put a restaurant in it, so we put together a presentation and things went from there.
Pancho sent his son-in-law, Goyo Martinez, for the first presentation. We hit it off. He's like this sharp looking surfer dude, not at all like the spoiled brat I expected. Goyo invited Jorge Urena from Sr.Tanaka to join up, so I presented again to them. They liked it, so they invited a guy named Luis de Casas from Nobu Las Vegas to join. I presented again to him and he liked it so he joined and things seem to be going well. Once we agreed to a fair split, things moved forward rather nicely.
We decided to bring in an advertising agency to prepare a package which we could show to Pancho (the owner of the house) and to possible investors. The add agency would hire architects to work with my wife (an architect as well) to come up with a floor plan that would: 1)always feel energetic; 2)seat plenty of guests 3)flow well 4)respect the integrity of the house. They would also come up with a name and a style.
I put my house up for sale, and began to solicit investors for my part. The investor group would be called "killer Unit SA", The name of the Restaurant would be "Residencia Montenegro". Killer Unit will have to raise $500,000, I've got ZIP.

7 comments:

Jeff said...

Tyson,
Good to hear about where you and Graciela and the kids have ended up. My daughter Emily still misses playing with your daughter from back in your Red Hook days. Good luck with your new restaurant!
Jeff Levine

tyson said...

WE MISS RED HOOK SOOOOO MUCH. It's good to hear from you. Are the cherries ready yet. We can't get sour cherries here for pies. Also no Northern Spy apple or Honeycrisps or rhubarb. I'll bet the heat is oppresive right now. How did you find the blog? I plan on posting all recipes with food pics on the site. Pics of the whole process for those interested in the process. Red Hook is really the best place in the Hudson Valley to live.

Elias said...

elias .......
tysons son me !!!!!!!!
i am 12

bye :)

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Anonymous said...

Guy
You have got to see this. Obama playing on XBox. Funniest video ever. http://bit.ly/bllhx1

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Anonymous said...

Mr Tyson... I got robbed today at your XBOX Cafe. Your employees charge my bank card a different amount for what I signed the voucher. I got proof! Called the manager Ruben by phone, offer to call me back & nothing!