Culture // 4 min Read

Local Characters | Alejandra Jimenez Betanzos and Alejandro Gómez Morán

Written by Palmetto Bluff

Jun 22, 2023

Where are you from and how did you get to Palmetto Bluff?

Alejandro: I was born and raised in Mexico City. I really like to travel, and after college I moved to Spain for two years and worked in a Michelin star restaurant. I got a culinary degree in Spain as well. When I finished there, I went back to Mexico and met Alejandra. 

Alejandra: I was born and raised in Mexico City. Alejandro and I met in college, but we never talked to each other. I was still in college when he graduated and went to Spain. And then when I graduated, I went to Spain! When we got married, we decided to travel. The plan was to get experience and then go back to Mexico. We worked in Miami at the Four Seasons, but when we got back to Mexico, we wanted to travel more. Next, we went to Sea Island, Georgia. Then back to Mexico. But then we got the opportunity to work for Montage. We fell in love with South Carolina, and we decided to continue working here. 

 

What goes through your mind as you drive into Palmetto Bluff? 

Alejandro: We came from Mexico where there is a lot of traffic, too many people. Everything here is slowed down, and we really like it. We really love the nature—the wildlife, the trees.

Alejandra: When we lived in Mexico City, it was always a rush, traffic, pollution. Here, we have time to admire a sunset. Sometimes when we drive home, we stop the car at the stables and turn the car off and just look at the stars. 

Alejandro: When I have a bad day in the kitchen or I’m frustrated, this place makes me feel like we are a small part of the universe, like I am making something small so big. I had a bad day. When I see the stars—they are bigger than us. Why am I worried

Alejandra: We always look for the alligator when we drive in. We always have to look. It’s amazing. Sometimes we record videos of our drive to work to show to our family, to show them where we live and where we work. 

 

What do you think are your most marked characteristics?

Alejandra: I can say that I’m very organized. There are not too many women in this industry. So I think I work harder. The opportunity that [Executive Chef of Palmetto Bluff Club] Rhy has given me, to be in charge of a restaurant, and I’m the only woman chef, that is something I am very proud of. I consider myself a dependable and hard worker, and I enjoy what I do. I always push myself because I think I have to work harder in this industry. 

Alejandro: I think I’m the opposite of her. I’m not organized. But I really like what I do. I am always thinking about food, even if I’m taking a shower. I feel like that’s the best place for me to think on ideas like, What if I put this with this. I have a lot of mentors, great chefs, who taught me that way to think. And I believe because I traveled around the world, I have more ideas, and I’m not afraid to create something new. I always go beyond and go bigger. 

 

What is one thing that people don’t know about you? 

Alejandro: I used to fight before coming here. I really love MMA [mixed martial arts] and kickboxing. I never did it professionally, but I was a teacher in Mexico.

Alejandra: I used to dance. I started when I was little, like eight years old, with Arabic dance and then Polynesian. I danced for fifteen years. For a while, I didn’t know if I wanted to be a chef or a dancer.

 

What is your favorite place at Palmetto Bluff?

Alejandra: The Village Green at Wilson Village. And the tree house at Moreland.

Alejandro: When I come to Buffalos, right before the bridge [in Wilson Village]—that is my perfect view. 

 

What is the last book that you read? 

Alejandra: Well, last night I was reading a book about stocks. (laughs) But I like José Andrés’ books. He is a chef from Spain, and I have his book Vegetables Unleashed. Sometimes I get ideas from him.

Alejandro: The book I often use is The Flavor Bible. I have ideas on my mind and [refer] to the book when I want to know if something is a good pairing or not. 

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