Who are you? Tell us about your experience!
I’m Mathieu Aliche, I’m 34 years old (which makes me the oldest one in the team…) and I come from a financial background. Turning to a more meaningful job is kind of a Millennial cliché but it really is what I went through. After 2 years and a half years as a business controller for Hermès and a first retraining in communication at Publicis, I have decided to start over 4 years ago by turning a passion into my job : the bar.
What is your role at Maison Mère and more precisely at Hey Honey, the restaurant & cocktail bar?
At Maison Mere, I will be operating as Bar Manager. There are two sides to that role. The first one is everything that needs to be done prior to the opening : cocktail menu creation, glassware selection, ritual of services definition etc. Once our house is opened for the public, my role will obviously be greeting and giving our guests the best experience possible but also make sure that the service is consistent, stock level is okay, creating new recipes, setting up events.
What seduced you in the project of Maison Mère?
There is a real entrepreneurial dimension to the position that was offered me. I have started only a couple days ago but I have been able to make decisions without feeling constrained. Another thing that convinced me was the benevolence that emanated from the team. Being welcoming and positive with our guests is pretty much Hospitality 101 but often, we forget to be that way with our team as well. This is not the case at Maison Mère (for the moment anyway;)) Finally, the area where Maison Mère is located is also the area where I like to go out and therefore being able to contribute to its influence is extremely motivating in my eyes.
As a Bar Manager, what do you the like most about your job?
What initially drove me to this profession was the technical side. There was something really fun and interesting about discovering all these liquors and other spirits, as were the techniques for creating syrups, infusions etc. But what made me persevere in this path and what motivates me on a daily basis is definitely the hospitality part. Giving our guests a good time, interacting with them, seeing them return from one evening to the next, is a real source of pride.
In your opinion, how does the Bar Manager contribute to making Maison Mère a festive meeting place where everyone feels at home?
One of the trends in recent years has been to over-complicate the cocktail and in the end, even if the guests are more and more educated on the subject, I have the feeling that we have deviated a little from the job’s core. In my opinion, the role of the bar manager is precisely to make something simple and accessible which at first glance could turn out to be complex. With the great team around me, we're trying to come up with a menu that will be sharp, fun and easy to understand. All this may seem contradictory but it is a challenge that we have given ourselves and that we will achieve.
Give us two addresses that you would recommend to a friend visiting Paris? And the two best bars where you like to go?
One of my favorite parks in Paris and completely underrated because it is overshadowed by the Buttes-Chaumont, is the parc de la Butte-du-Chapeau-Rouge in the 19th district. It is quite small and very steep but so pleasant to have a picnic with friends and since we are in the nineteenth district, it is impossible not to recommend that you visit the Mouzaïa. It is a neighborhood made of tiny streets lined with small houses, you would think you were walking in a small country village when you are a stone's throw from the “periph ’”.
It's hard to limit yourself to two places but those that immediately come to mind are the CopperBay in Strasbourg-Saint Denis where Aurélie Panhelleux officiates, undoubtedly the most welcoming person in this environment in addition to knowing everything there is to know about booze and drinks. Divine, Rue de Paradis, a no-frills cocktail bar with an incredible food menu where all the bartenders go for Sunday’s brunch.
How would you describe the team of Maison Mère?
It won't change from what I said above: Young, strong-willed and caring. It is also very diverse in profiles and that’s why it is so strong. It allows us to have a global vision and to have varied points of view.
What is your definition of a House?
Home is where the heart is.