Get to know Le Hibou’s new bar manager Martin David. We have found out what got him interested in food, and what he did to get where he is today. Read more about Le Hibou’s new drink menu, and what makes the rooftop terrace so unique.
Hi Martin, how nice that we get to hang out with you! You are Le Hibou’s new bar manager, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hello! My name is Martin David and I am 24 years old. I was born and raised here in Stockholm and thrive like a fish in water, except when the weather turns to slush of course. It’s no surprise that the focus remains on food and drinks even when I’m not running around at Le Hibou, but also on a lot of sports! Unfortunately more sports on TV than by my own practice though, haha!
How and why did you start working in the bar industry?
It all started in the first year of high school with an internship at the hotel where my brother worked. I was only 17, so I didn’t get to taste any cocktails, but his dedication and funny stories about the craft got me hooked. When I turned 18, I had to do a few shifts as a barback and I quickly realized that the evening shifts suited me better than the breakfast shifts.
What have you done before, to get to where you are today?
It has been a winding road with one foot in the university hall and the other in the bar. Since the beginning, I have always worked very hard and I was taught early on that accuracy is of the utmost importance, so those have been two important qualities. I think it all started with an immense interest in spirits and cocktails. Books about bars and classic cocktails have been gathering in stacks at home, while those about micro and macroeconomics mostly lie around and get dusty. With time I have realized that meeting new people is just as fun as making cocktails, which is the core of what I bring to table as a host and what I love about Le Hibou!
For the fall you had a new drink menu at Le Hibou, it looks really nice! How did your thoughts go when you produced it, and where does the inspiration come from?
The whole point of the menu is that there should be something for everyone! Whether you’re looking for something bubbly and refreshing or boozy and spicy. We work with ingredients that are in season as well as preserved ingredients from previous seasons. Flavors or flavor combinations that are a little newer get a more “straightforward approach”, while those that we are a little more familiar with may be interpreted a little differently.
Which drink on the menu is your favorite?
That’s a hard question! I would say it totally depends on my mood. For example, on slightly grayer and darker days like this, I like to sip a Café au Lait on one of the sofas. I am also childishly fond of the Fig Tree Fizz, which is light and refreshing yet has a beautiful complexity.
Tell us, what news can we expect from you this winter?
We will have a rolling change of cocktails rather than a brand new menu release. The idea is to use mostly Swedish and seasonal ingredients. When the winter’s raw materials are in a meager supply, we will use some of the stored goodies from the autumn. We will also present some hot drinks to enjoy during the cold days, including one with Punch and sea buckthorn which is really tasty!
What makes Le Hibou unique?
Le Hibou is unique for the experience we create for our guests. We are constantly working with our concept – high precision and high service, and that the hosting should feel inviting. Although the environment is inspired by an exclusive Parisian penthouse, we want it to feel fun and personal to visit the bar. The view is, of course. worth mentioning, but our guests come back for the luxurious and ethereal atmosphere.
We have heard that you are very interested in food and drinks, where did that interest come from?
My family has always had a great interest in food and drinks. My parents have also always liked to invite friends and family to dinners, which I think has rubbed off on me a little. Especially my dad who oddly enough comes from a small island called Mauritius, he loves to share the goodies of the island. When he brings out all the rum, then you can count on a serious hangover, haha!
If we came to your house for dinner, what would you serve? And what would we have in our glass?
There is always a Dry Martini in the freezer as a pre-drink. Then I would probably have served a Mauritian curry! Fun, good, and hard to judge, so even if I missed something, it could have gone unnoticed, haha. To that there will be some crisp light beer, no fuss.
Rumor has it that you play football, tell us more about that?
Football has actually been my great passion since childhood. Living in my own little lie that I would have gone pro if I hadn’t injured my knee, but I was probably never good enough unfortunately. Nice to be able to follow old teammates in Europe though! Now I mostly play for fun in slightly lower divisions. Perfect way to clear your mind!