From one of the world’s busiest capitals, London, and the pressures of providing pizzas, perhaps the fastest of the fast foods, at a national level in this country’s major centres, to the more reﬁned and gentle environment of a top class country hotel in South Africa, Pecanwood’s new catering ‘team’ has just about seen it all.
Alexandra (Alex) Mouritzos has all the experience of the pressures of an ‘open all hours’ venue having worked in London’s suburb of Chelsea for VQ’s, which has London’s only 24 hour liquor licence. Not put oﬀ by this type of challenge she then managed a key phase in the development of Roman’s Pizzas throughout this region and then through ﬁrst managing and subsequently owning one of the country’s favourite watering hole brands – Rhapsody’s.
Alan O’ Leary’s background is more hotel orientated, with spells as a hotel GM in the UK in Blackpool (the UK’s Riviera) and then London, although his latter involvement in the UK with Fullers and its ‘Inn’ venues will make him no stranger to good food, served hot, at the right price and on time. He is now a director of one of South Africa’s best country hotels (Kievits Kroon country estate was voted best ‘Large Country Hotel’ in Africa 2014 and South Africa in 2015), which will bring the experience and feel for the level of reﬁnement and style which is the expectation in the management of the F&B facilities at modern residential estates.
This combined and eclectic background will prepare them both well for the equally extensive needs and tastes of the patrons of the multi-use modern day estate clubhouse facility, which is required to be open virtually around the clock and to cater for a broad audience comprised of a mix of residents, families, golfers, club members and guests.
The patrons’ tastes will vary enormously, but Alan and Alex have the hands-on experience to manage the grab & go style requirements of the modern golfer on the move, to the more exacting demands of a corporate function, golf prize-giving dinner or that very special occasion. The varied nature of the task that they face at Pecanwood is well illustrated by the fact that they will be managing two quite separate venues, in both the clubhouse and the boat club, which are diﬀerent both in location and operational style.
The duo also have the academic credentials to back up their work experience with Alan, as the CEO, having qualiﬁed at the Shannon College of Hotel Management in Ireland, which he then supplemented with an MBA from the Henley School of Business. Alex, as the operation’s F&B manager, attended the Wine & Spirit Education Trust in London and then the Steins Culinary School in South Africa where she obtained a certiﬁcate in culinary arts. She also has a B.Com business management degree from UNISA.
Alex’s avowed passion is food, and the fact that she is looking forward to ‘creating a word class food and beverage experience at Pecanwood’ augurs very well for all of Pecanwood’s guests and residents, especially the ‘foodies’!
When all is said and done, no matter who the guest might be, one consistent expectation, whether you are a gourmet or a gourmand, will be for the provision of a varied menu of good quality food, which is well presented and which provides value for money and we are conﬁdent that Alex and Alan will be able to achieve at all these levels.
It is therefore with great pleasure that we look forward to welcoming Alan and Alex to Pecanwood on 1st May 2017 and we would like to wish them a long and happy association with the estate.