Maxime Hoerth : French Best Craftman Mixologist
- First Best Craftman Barman
- Mixologist of several Palaces
- Owner on his own place in Toronto
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First of all, no success will resist Maxime Hoerth. From Best French apprentice, as solo and team mate, Second best French barman in 2006 and winner of the title in 2008, Best Craftman France in 2011. And that’s for the most representative titles he’s gained… Most of all, he has now moved to Canada to start again out his comfort zone, opening his own concept.
Back then, after working at the Hotel Royal in Luxembourg, the Sofitel Strasbourg, the Grand Hotel Bellevue in Gstaad, the Lausanne Palace & Spa, and the Four Seasons George V, Paris, Maxime Hoerth was welcomed to Le Bristol. There, Maxime Hoerth worked his way up to become head barman. Through his accumulated mastery, succeeded in transforming Le Bar du Bristol into an exclusive destination for conversation and conviviality.
Furthermore, Maxime Hoerth shares his passion for his métier with Le Bar’s guests. Indeed, by introducing cocktails made with rare and exceptional ingredients and a stellar list of wines and champagnes. According to Didier Le Calvez, Le Bristol’s President and CEO, “Le Bristol Paris is extremely proud to count among its ranks Best Craftsman of France Maxime Hoerth, who conveys his passion to our guests every day and embodies the kind of French know-how so essential to Le Bristol Paris.
First, how did you come about to this profession?
« No one in my family is in the hotel or catering business. As a child, I made a decisive encounter with a barman in a hotel where we were spending our vacation. I was fascinated to see how this man evolved in this environment, how he was able to say something welcoming to every person around, give a glass of water to a small child while preparing a client’s favourite cocktail. His personality, his warm contact, the way he was able to take care of everyone at the bar, I immediately knew I wanted to do the same thing later on… When the time came to make choices, my mother supported my decision. I then entered catering school in Strasbourg, where I met great people : the place was good, the time was good and the people too, all passionate and motivated. »
Indeed, your path is really impressive. Can you explain that to us?
« All along my studies, I worked and perfectionned my instruction with professionals. From my first internship at « Les Flots », a gastronomical restaurant in La Rochelle, I learned about the highest degree of requirements needed in this profession, and it convinced me. Being fluent in German I was able to enter other establiments in Alsace, Luxemburg or Switzerland with their calm but precise culture. Christelle Anglade gave me my first chance behind a bar during a summer intership. This way, when summer break was over, I had good grounds to build on. My other decisive encounters were with Fabrice Schmidt at Sofitel Strasbourg and with my professor Jacques Wirmann. They always pushed me to give the best of myself. »
Back in 2007 you entered the Four Seasons George V, and in June you were promoted Chief Barman, How would you describe your environment of creation in this Palace?
« We just did the summer menu with over 17 references around the theme of freshness. And that’s without taking into account our famous « George Fizz » or « Chocolate Martini » which have made the establishment’s reputation. My personal favourites are cocktails dating from the Prohibition period. Those short drinks with intensity and power that show the ingredients character. I will use roots, herbs and fruits such as ginger, basil, sage, rosemary, lemongrass associated with berries, exotic fruits or from the orchard. Dried fruits are particularly interesting to work with because they drain the ether of alcohol which allows a rounder and more subtil creation. By strokes, a hazelnut paste in a Japanese whisky will enhance its turf flavours, or in a rum and raisin infusion, the aromatic intensity will give it a preserved taste while maintaining a hint of acidity. »