Etienne Eksteen was born in Newcastle in 1983. He completed his Primary and Secondary School career at Amajuba High School. After matric, 2001, he continued to further his studies at The International Hotel School, Durban and Sandton Campuses. The practical part of the syllabus was completed at Alpine Heath Resort, Drakensberg and Irene Country Lodge, Centurion. His studies were mostly part time. He graduated in 2008.
He was employed as Resort Manager at Centurion Retirement Village in 2006. All aspects regarding resort management formed a part of his responsibility, including Personnel Management, Financial Management, Maintenance, and Transport.
Etienne expanded his horizons when he moved to the U.S.A in July 2008. He furthered his studies in Hotel Management through the American Hospitality Academy. He worked at Marco Beach Ocean Resort, Florida. Experience was gained in the Sale & Pepe Restaurant, where he worked under the Food & Beverage Manager. He was awarded a certificate, cum laude, after 12 months of training. Etienne returned to South Africa in 2010.
His most recent venture is to participate in the opening of the Tramonto Boutique Hotel. Newcastle in 2011. His main goal is to ensure that it is positioned amongst the top in its class in KwaZulu Natal.
Pedro Bezerra Neto is originally from Recife a Seaside city in the northwest region of Brazil, born from a family of hoteliers, which from his early memories was running between chefs, waiters and housekeepers, hospitality was in his blood and he could not escape from that. Just after starting an Economics Degree he decided to stop and go to Europe to see the old world, first Germany then England, after an invitation from a friend he started training as commi chef and this gave him his first contact with the British Culinary.
He moved on to work in traditional Pubs, then to Organics foods. He was part of the opening Crew of the famous Organic Café in South Kensington, London under guidance of French Senegalese Chef Issa Senghor. He then moved to Café des Ami in Covent Garden where he had contact with traditional French Cuisine.
Now hooked by flavors and textures he moved to Barcelona Spain which give to him a sample of Catalan Mediterranean dishes. Tapas and Rosso become his passion. He went back to London where met his South African wife and moved to South Africa, to work for an up market lodge as a head chef.
He was captivated by the ubuntu feeling ,and cultural diversity that reflect onto South African food. "I am driven to please my diners and thus myself and my team and never compromise quality, freshness and presentation".