25 Mar Mizner Breaks Ground with First Female Executive Chef
Hannah Flora-Mihajlovic Scores Rave Reviews
As one of the nation’s first female private club Executive Chefs, Hannah Flora-Mihajlovic is paving a new path at one of Delray’s most popular country club communities. Mizner Country Club is buzzing about its new groundbreaking chef who is delighting its members with her innovative and creative style.
This Lincoln Culinary Institute graduate of West Palm Beach is bringing a unique flair to new menu items and showstopping plate presentations, taking Mizner’s classic comforts to the next level. Dishes such as Everything Crusted Salmon with silky cauliflower puree and marinated artichokes and Fresh Crab and Avocado Salad with confit grapefruit and preserved lemons are now instant favorites among Club members.
Hannah joined the Mizner culinary team in December 2018 as Sous Chef and was quickly promoted to Chef de cuisine and Executive Sous Chef after one short year. According to Larry Savvides, Mizner Country Club’s General Manager and Chief Operating Officer, “After reviewing nearly 100 resumes, we knew that Chef Hannah was the right fit as our Executive Chef. Her hard work, leadership, and exemplary knowledge of the kitchen, coupled with her superb culinary talents, made her the obvious choice. We are so pleased to have her lead our culinary team and look forward to the exciting concepts that she has planned for our membership.”
“My vision for the culinary department has not deviated from what I wanted when I first arrived at Mizner,” said Chef Hannah. She explains, “Structure, creativity and holding each employee accountable and responsible for their stations while giving them the freedom to showcase their heritage and talents is what makes us successful. Each member of our culinary team is an asset to the kitchen. Each team member is a note in the music of the culinary department. The unique qualities each one of them has, and the creative mind behind them is what will continue to make us exceptional.”
Chef Hannah points to the restrictions forced upon the Club because of Covid-19. She notes, “Throughout the pandemic, each one of us had time to reflect and hone our craft knowing that once we are in the clear, we will come out better and stronger than ever.” She continues, “We have been excited to incorporate more intimate events for the membership recently. Adjusting to the new restrictions has pushed us to create exquisite personal experiences in a safe environment for our members.”
Among her many ideas, Chef Hannah would like to add an outdoor kitchen. “We are fortunate to have beautiful weather year-round in Florida. The opportunities would be endless including holding starlit brick oven pizza nights by the fire pit to outdoor BBQs and pop-up happy hour stations,” she said.
“I have been cooking my entire life,” says Chef Hannah. “I started helping my grandmother and mother making fresh pasta and pastries at home. As my flavor palette grew, I learned new techniques and added modern cookery. It truly inspired my drive to step outside the box to make simple, yet unique dishes. I love to bring elements from all aspects of my life into one amazing, tantalizing work of art.
“I have always enjoyed pushing the envelope. My obsession with the culinary world goes back to my childhood. I would often fall asleep on school nights watching the Food Network.”
Discussing her cooking style, Chef Hannah simply says, “My style of cooking is ‘creative’.” For example, I like melding complete polar opposites of flavors into a memorable dish. I dream in colors, and my way of thinking is in shapes. My inspiration for dishes is usually brought to me by an object or a feeling. How do I re-create the feeling of calm, excitement, or passion through food?
“Sometimes something as simple as a single smell can send my mind spinning into eight component dishes. Food should be fun yet familiar. We eat with our eyes first. Having an art and dance background, I’ve trained my body and mind to use those skills to involve food and how to improve the movement of a kitchen. Working on the line should be an elegant dance. Each person has a role and a rhythm. When we all work in harmony, it’s a beautiful ballet.”
Previous Experience includes Down Island, Oak Bluffs MA, Sous Chef; Vineyard Golf Club, Edgartown MA, Sous Chef; The Everglades Club, Palm Beach Island, Lead Line Cook. Among the awards she’s earned are:
- Best of Boston at Down Island
- American Culinary Federation “ACF” Student FL State Competition Silver Medal
- ACF Palm Beach Culinary Salon, First Place
- Vita Nova “Tempt Your Senses” Gala, First Place
- Vita Nova “Tempt your Senses” Gala, First Place Appetizer
Another of Chef Hannah’s claims to fame is that she personally cooked for former President Barak Obama and his family.
For more information about membership, please contact our Director of Membership, Marie Mitchalk at [email protected] or call 561-288-3300.