Interview with Hyacinthe Lescoët, bartender and co-owner of the award-winning bar (Le Fooding) The Cambridge Public House in Paris.
Inspired by learning the English language, Hyacinthe decides to move to London after his studies in advertising strategy. In the English city, he worked in a cocktail bar where he met Greg, his partner, with whom he has been working since the beginning. After several experiences, as a bar back on a rooftop in central London, and bartender at 69 Colebrooke Row and the Drink Factory, he continued his career in two bars in Paris: at Mary Céleste and Les Grands Verres, before preparing emblematic cocktails at the back of the bar at The Cambridge Public House.
Spirits Hunters: what was the trigger moment when you thought: I’m going to open a bar I want to be a bartender.
Hyacinthe Lescoët: I don’t know if there was a moment exactly, but I’d rather say a series of opportunities that presented themselves, doors that opened. As time went by I saw that this job as a bartender combined everything I love. It’s more like a series of steps.
Mixologist, bartender or Bartender?
I prefer bartender. I think it’s a word that’s more ingrained in our French language.
And since the word bartender is open to everyone, your bar is open to everyone, too.
The bar is open to everyone, it’s not just cocktails. We have a rather wide offer, which was the purpose of this pub, a social and community place. We’d like to find a better schedule over time, the idea of finding a place where everyone can have a drink anytime.
At the Cambridge we find a bit of food pairing? We see on the menu as in the pubs, mushroom pie, beef pie, British cheese, sausage rolls…
No, not really. We don’t consider ourselves a restaurant, but rather a bar, with, as far as food is concerned, a snack menu and key elements reminiscent of a pub.
The cocktails at the bar are limited in ingredients, that is to say, three or four ingredients.
We use few ingredients, in the team we don’t like to work with many things. Instead, we prefer to work with the flavours or aromas linked to an ingredient. For example, we take inspiration from sesame, so we create a sesame cordial, with vodka, and Pineau des Charentes.
What do you like most about your job? And what do you hate?
There are two things: creativity and opportunities. Travel, discovery. I travel a lot for work, for all kinds of events, collaborations with brands. Sharing is very interesting.
And what I hate the most… for example, accounting is not my strong point at all! I’m less logistical!
But I love everything about my job!
Tell us about your association?
With Romain and Thibault, we made this association in Mexico because Romain has many contacts. He was inspired by educational problems, and it’s something we’ve wanted to do for a long time, really help the communities. Romain knows the local communities in Mexico, like the jimadores, and brands like Del Maguey, who have already created a virtual library. We’re bringing the tools back so they can follow their school curricula. There are students who can’t go to school for different reasons, so with a computer, a tablet, or a book they can achieve this goal.
What is zero waste for you?
It doesn’t really exist 100% in a bar, in gastronomy it is more feasible. But we are working on waste reduction, on being more responsible and thinking about what we do.
In the zero waste at Le Cambridge, there are several points, such as using kitchen waste that we can use in the bar. The choice of glasses for example, or washing glasses, think about the washing cycles. We also try to look for small producers nearby with ingredients, either perishable or in alcohols. Our producers are all French but with some exceptions for certain ingredients.
And your favorite cocktail of the moment?
The sesame cocktail!
Cordial made with sesame,
Pineau des Charentes.
The Cambridge Public House
Founded by three friends who lived and worked together in London, The Cambridge blends elements of Restaurants and Bars….
8 Rue de Poitou, 75003, Paris
Open 7/7 from 15h00 to 1h00
Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly.