12 Jul Interview with Kévin Pastant⎪The Ritz Carlton, Geneva
Continuing our journey of getting to know the bartenders creating magic with FAIR products, we would like to introduce you to Kévin Pastant, Head Bartender at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. Kevin has worked all over the world and been working with FAIR for four years. But how about we stop telling you random facts about him and let you read for yourself, hey? Good idea.
FAIR: Tell us about yourself and the Ritz Carlton: what you do there, what it’s known for?
Kevin Pastant: The Ritz Carlton Geneva opened in September 2016 after two years of renovations on the two-hundred-year-old building. We have two food and beverage outlets, the Living Room and Kitchen, with a focus on local products, inspired by Italian and French cuisine, and The Fiskebar, which has a focus on sustainability and Nordic cuisine. I’m taking care of both of their beverage lists, with the exception of wines (Mr Lelievre, a famous wine connoisseur and our Restaurant Director looks after the wine list). During crazy times, I’m also behind the stick of the Fiskebar.
F: What brought you to this industry, and why do you stay?
KP: I arrived in this industry kind of randomly! I studied history and geopolitics but after finishing my degree, I became a little bored, so I decided to start travelling by myself. I passed through Paris as a sommelier, by Switzerland as a lounge and banqueting manager, by Shanghai as a restaurant and bar manager, by London as a bar supervisor for the London Edition, where I focused on the Punch room (in the top four best hotel bars in the world, five times in a row from Tales of the Cocktail). It’s now been 10 years since my beginning in this industry, and I’m in love with this business – I will never leave for anything else!
F: You’ve worked all around the world, France, China, the UK, and many other places; what are some of the similarities and differences in the industry across all of these places?
KP: All of the countries I have worked in have been very different and they each came at the perfect time for me. All of the people I’ve met have been super nice and very open minded. In the bar industry, everyone is different, but it’s not about the country you live in or where you come from, more about your story, your travel, and your experience.
F: Why do you choose to work with FAIR?
KP: My first experience with FAIR was four years ago when I was working in Shanghai. I fell in love with the inspiration and their products. In January 2017 I first got to meet Paul, my mentor. We decided to collaborate on covering events and masterclasses. After a few months, with the approval of Alexandre, I became a global consultant for FAIR.
F: What is the connection between you, FAIR, the Ritz Carlton and a more sustainable world? How do the four come together?
KP: This is an easy one! All of us have the same interest in and belief for Fairtrade and a more sustainable world. FAIR uses raw materials, is a Fairtrade organisation, and hosts green events, and the Ritz Carlton, with the inclusion of the Marriott company, want to become green, use eco energy, and we don’t use plastic. For my part, it’s a real interest about saving our legacy; our ancestors took care to give us a happy planet. To play our part in that, we are not using plastic straws, we reuse fruits after dehydration, and don’t mix cardboard, plastic, glass, or food.
F: What do you think is next for the industry, where can we expect it to be in five or ten years’ time?
KP: The next focus of the people should be taking care of people and ourselves by having a healthy and balanced lifestyle without using extra unnecessary materials that we don’t need! I really see the industry behaving well, becoming closer to the earth, sustainability, and the farmers and artisans.
These inspirations have already been embraced by some of the famous chefs, which helps start the movement for the beverages industry.
F: Finally, do you have a fav cocktail you make with FAIR?
KP: This isn’t a fair question because I’m creating cocktails mostly from FAIR products ^^ haha. If I have to pick one, let’s go with a twist on a daiquiri, made with the Rum XO from Belize, lime juice, and FAIR Acai. It’s super tasty and refreshing!