Crystelle Cordero, Media & Communications Manager, ANZ Stadium

In this month’s edition of In Profile we sat down with WSEC Catering Manager Mark Buzacott to discover what they’re serving up in the Illawarra, his favourite places to travel and his top tips for catching a wave or two.

Name: Mark Timothy Buzacott

Title: Catering Manager at WIN Sports & Entertainment Centre

Time at VenuesLive: 9 months

Favourite footy team: St George Illawarra Dragons & Adelaide Crows

Tell us a bit about your role at WSEC?

I oversee all aspects of Food & Beverage from small conferences and birthdays, sit down events of 900pax, NRL International Tests of 20,000 guests across both retail and corporate and everything between. I’m looking forward to driving some positive change with our small team of full timers and casual employees.

What kind of events are you hosting at WSEC?

With both WIN Stadium and the Entertainment Centre I’ve already seen a diverse range of events including a rodeo… (yes as in bull riding!!), The Wiggles, Jimmy Barnes in concert, Illawarra Hawks NBL Basketball, Super Cross Motorbikes and Southern Stars School Spectacular of over 5000 kids for 3 days straight.

What’s been your favourite event and why?

I love Basketball so would have to say seeing LaMelo Ball play early in the Illawarra Hawks NBL Season! He has some amazing talent and I’m sure will go far in the NBA! Also a really nice guy.  

We heard you’re originally from South Australia? What did you do down there?

I am, Adelaide in fact. Grew up there, finished my schooling then move to work at Palazzo Versace on the Gold Coast for 3 years. From there move to London, UK for 3 years working at Hilton Hotels across a range of departments then I picked up a Food & Beverage Supervisor role at the Westin Resort British Colombia, Canada for 2.5 years. In 2010 I moved back to Adelaide where I worked as Food & Beverage Manager for 9 years with the Morphettville Race Course… Very similar to Rose Hill RC in Sydney.

What a list! Where has been your favourite place to travel?

Canada so far. I moved for the wintertime but fell in love with the summers as the weather is very similar to Adelaide with HOT summers and there’s sooo much to do! Hiking, surfing, mountain biking, wake boarding, golf, the courses are amazingly beautiful, the wildlife in Canada is one to watch out for too, the moose, bears and cougars are all  pretty intimidating! Vancouver is a great city but I enjoyed the more remote towns like Kelowna, Revelstoke, Kamloops and across to Vancouver Island which all have amazing skiing and snowboarding mountains!

Why did you decide to make a sea change?

After 9 years in the same role I was looking for a new challenge, my CEO at Morphettville worked all over Sydney and pushed me to the east coast with lots of opportunity and amazing venues. It wasn’t hard to jump at an opportunity in Wollongong, great city and the beaches are amazing…. just a lot more crowded than what I’m used to in Adelaide, still beautiful all the same!

What’s your number one tip for people considering making a big move?

Visit first, and make sure there are hobbies that suit you outside of work. Work/life balance is very important.

Speaking of that… Where can we find you in your free time?

At the beach surfing.

Have you got any top tips for someone looking to take it up?

If you’re really keen, get a lesson early and don’t give up after a couple tries. It will take a few sessions to get the hang of it but once you’re hooked there’s no looking back!

What’s the best bit about living in the Illawarra?

The beaches and surf. Also the Escarpment really took me by surprise, there are so many great hikes and waterfalls to find!!

What’s your favourite food item at WSEC and why?

I was lucky enough to sit at the Chef’s Table for our Illawarra Business Chamber Awards menu tasting. The roasted lamb rump, spring vegetables, white wine and thyme jus was incredible! The event was in September 2019 and the IBC organisers are still talking about it!