STEVE AND NICKY FITZGERALD : HAIL CAESAR
Hartford House Restaurant
(Photo : Cooked in Africa)
"Steve was lyrical about Jackie Cameron's food"
There are no more recognisable faces in the hospitality trade, than Steve and Nicky Fitzgerald, past bosses of And Beyond (or CC Africa, as it was previously known). Their tenure at And Beyond saw them build that business into the biggest and most innovative safari and wilderness operator in the world. In our own encounters with Nicky, (head of marketing), through our mutual affiliations with the Land Of Legends (www.landoflegends.co.za), a visit to "headquarters" in Johannesburg was like spending a semester at Harvard.
This past weekend, we were privileged to host them at Hartford, together with their dynamic young daughter, Kate. Unsurprisingly, they were their usual ebullient selves; enterprising, interesting and wildly enthusiastic.
The one thing you know about the Fitzgeralds, is that they are forthright and constructive, and so when they say you are doing something right, you should know the size of the compliment. Steve was lyrical about Jackie Cameron's food, and they were generously complimentary about Hartford and its atmosphere. While you'd expect them to notice these things, coming from whence they do, they were quick to remark on the vibrancy of our guests, and especially on the demographic. They couldn't get over the fact that Hartford was packed with young visitors from the corporate, professional and financial sectors, all about "twenty years younger than us!".
By their standards, the "Fitzes" have been quiet of late, but it's a sure bet they're not done yet. Steve loves nothing more than a good deal, and Nicky loves to make it work.