Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel Athens
- 40 Apollonos Street, Vouliagmeni, Athens, 16671, Greece
Bar Manager at Avra
Four Seasons Tenure
- Since 2022
- First Four Seasons Assignment: Assistant Bar Manager at Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel Athens
- The Bold Type Hotel, Patras, Greece; NOPI and ROVI, London, UK; Untitled Bar, 69 Colebrooke Row & Drink Factory, London, UK; Gazelle, London, UK; The Connaught Bar, London, UK; The Zetter Townhouse, London, UK; Bar Termini, London, UK
- Bartender qualification, Hotel and Catering School Alexandre Dumas, Strasbourg, France; Higher National Degree, Art of Tables and Culinary Art, Hotel and Catering School Alexandre Dumas, Strasbourg, France; Baccalaureate Economic, Political and Social, Lycée Marcel Rudlof, Strasbourg, France
- Strasbourg, France
- Fluent in French and English, beginner in German and Greek
Manon Kapfer’s philosophy when it comes to bartending can be summed up in two words: flair and fragrance. Whether crafting alluring aromatic cocktails or a spirited atmosphere, Kapfer is an expert in conjuring potent sensory experiences.
Just like Proust’s famous madeleines, for Manon a good drink is one that both evokes and creates memories. Her mixology interweaves fragrant ingredients with a minimalist aesthetic, for concoctions that leave a lasting impression. Inspired by great perfumers such as Jean-Claude Ellena and Annick Goutal, she believes a good beverage showcases the stripped-back beauty of its ingredients. A modern-day alchemist, she loves to work with botanicals such as dandelion and orris root, dried flowers and herbs, combining their delicate scents and colours in innovative concoctions.
To Manon, ambience is just as essential as the flavours served. Raised in the cosmopolitan city of Strasbourg, her father ran a traditional French bistrot, immersing her from a young age in the buzzing world of fine gastronomy. She honed her affinity for flavour and hospitality through studies in the Art of Tables and Culinary Art, followed by a specialist bartending qualification. Stints at renowned London bars - Bar Termini, The Zetter Townhouse, The Connaught Bar and others - saw mixology maestros such as Tony Conigliaro and Matteo Malisan teach her the art of emotional storytelling through flavour, and the importance of bringing fun to the fore.
Manon’s natural dynamism and vision find a perfect fit in her role as Bar Manager at Avra at Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel Athens, where she has been instrumental in the hip bar’s creative evolution. “At Avra, we approach everything with love,” she says. “We love a good drink, and we love sharing a beautifully-crafted cocktail with other enthusiasts. We’re passionate about a perfectly paired dish, getting creative with new recipes, our amazing views and a collaborative sense of fun. We hope that’s the feeling our fellow bar-lovers will leave with – that we shared a great time together.”
Inspiration is quite literally in the air for the nature-loving Manon. “I love walking around the Hotel grounds, smelling the different fragrances of the herbs and botanicals and soaking up the sunlight,” she says. “I’m also inspired by the incredible fresh ingredients in the markets here, which evolve with the seasons and highlight the important concept of sustainability.”
Her dedication to the power of purity has seen her crafting a unique new seasonal cocktail menu at Avra that showcases four local ingredients, explored in their different forms throughout the year. It’s a personal passion that has rippled out to other areas of the Hotel, influencing how wider team members can take steps to positively impact the environment.
An avid traveller, Manon has explored numerous countries - visiting 29 Michelin-starred establishments (and counting) along the way. Her innate passion, curiosity and connoisseurship all find their way into her craft. “I’m excited to share my knowledge to create something truly new and unique,” she says. “There’s a real momentum in the bar scene here in Athens, and Avra has a role to play as the hotel bar trailblazer, offering a sensory and emotional experience unlike any other.”