Maeve O’Gorman Pesquera, the hostess with the mostess who’s been a fixture on Houston’s restaurant scene for two decades, quietly slipped out of town last week, to relocate to California.
Known for her drop-dead model looks as well as her involvement with the social scene, Pesquera began her foodie career at the Conrad N. Hilton School of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston in the early 1990s and worked as a front waiter for Tony Vallone’s Anthony’s.
At the tender age of 21, she became Vallone’s youngest general manager and became a fixture of the Vallone restaurant empire until she decamped to become managing partner of the first Houston Fleming’s Prime Wine Steakhouse & Wine Bar that opened in River Oaks in 2002.
Since then the location has been one of the highest grossing in the national chain, which may explain why they snagged her as the national wine manager. Hence the move to company headquarters in Newport Beach, Calif.
As of this posting neither Pesquera or her husband, Luis Pesquera the former chef/owner of Joyce’s Ocean Grills who gave up the biz to go into real estate, have returned phone calls about the move. But staff at the River Oaks Fleming’s confirmed the promotion and move. And, although she hasn’t posted anything on her Facebook page, there are a few congratulatory remarks from FB friends.
“It’s big news for Houston and great news for Maeve,” says a friend who also confirmed the move.
As for Fleming’s corporate PR, the only comment was “we haven’t formally announced it yet.”
Not even her former boss, whom she always referred to as Mr. Vallone, knew about the move.
“I haven’t spoken to her in a while,” Vallone said, “but I’m very happy for her.”
Happy for her yes, but Houston will certainly miss this sparkling feature on the local dining scene and charity functions.