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. 

Food & Wine / Fall Recipes From Buffalos

Your Pine-ness Cocktail Recipe Before delving into the ingredients and recipe for Buffalos’ delectable Ricotta Meatballs and Sauce, it is imperative that the chef has an excellent cocktail for cooking. Pairing the sweetness of pineapple with the woody flavo...

Sep 2023
palmetto bluff neighborhoods

Real Estate / Waterfront Neighborhoods in Palmetto Bluff

Coastal Palmetto Bluff Neighborhoods Palmetto Bluff, a private community nestled along the South Carolina coastline, presents a harmonious blend of luxurious living, recreational spaces, and a vibrant atmosphere. The meticulously designed Palmetto Bluff neigh...

Sep 2023
wilson landing

Waterways / Behind the Bluff with Marina Captain: Thomas Shanahan

Meet Captain Tom of Palmetto Bluff’s Wilson Landing  In the tranquil embrace of Bluffton's Lowcountry, where rivers wind their way through nature's masterpiece, an extraordinary tale unfolds at Wilson Landing of Palmetto Bluff. The story belongs to Captain Th...

Sep 2023
luxury kitchen design

Architecture & Design / Designing the Southern Kitchen of Your Dreams

Your Guide to a Luxury Kitchen Design The kitchen has long been the heart of the home, where cherished memories are cooked up and shared. When it comes to Lowcountry living, a well-designed kitchen is not just a place to prepare meals but a space that encapsu...

Sep 2023
summer bucket list

Culture / Summer Activities to Check Off Your List Before the Fall

10 Activities You Have to Cross Off Your Summer Bucket List While the days are long and the sun hangs high in the sky, summer offers a golden opportunity to create lasting memories and partake in a variety of thrilling activities. Before the cooler breeze of ...

Sep 2023

Conservation / Water Way

Palmetto Bluff is an ecological wonderland, with its maritime forest and tidal rivers, its salt marsh and abundant wildlife. But perhaps one of the most unique features of this wedge of Lowcountry is the impressive inland waterway that wends through the landsc...

Aug 2023

Artist in Residence / Places Around Palmetto Bluff to Paint Plein Air

Plein Air Painting and Our August Artist in Residence Palmetto Bluff is a paradise for art enthusiasts and nature lovers alike with its breathtaking landscapes, diverse ecosystems, and serene atmosphere. With that being said, the Bluff is the perfect canvas f...

Aug 2023
coastal living

Waterways / Experience Health and Happiness By Living on the Coast

5 Health Benefits of Coastal Living Did you know that life by the coast is not only the most idyllic way to live, but it also improves your health? All in all, coastal living is a rejuvenating experience for the mind, body, and soul. From the cool, salty bree...

Aug 2023
south carolina lowcountry

Culture / 9 Enticing Facts About the Lowcountry

Discover the Charm of the South Carolina Lowcountry Where history and nature intertwine with effortless grace, the South Carolina Lowcountry is a region that allures visitors and residents alike with its timeless beauty, enchanting landscapes, and diverse cul...

Aug 2023

Conservation / Behind the Bluff with Palmetto Bluff Conservancy Educator: Aaron Palmieri

Aaron’s Journey to the Palmetto Bluff Conservancy   In the heart of the Lowcountry, where lush landscapes and diverse ecosystems flourish, lies a hidden gem known as Palmetto Bluff. This breathtaking sanctuary serves as a haven for an array of wildlife, offer...

Aug 2023
Community Villages
Palmetto Bluff Club
On The Water
The Arts Initiative
About Us