Slow Food

Bartenders at the Salone del Gusto

Italy - 15 Sep 10

A new feature of the Salone del Gusto 2010 is the Cocktail Bar in Pavilion 1, managed by a team of professional barmen. World-renowned bartenders will display their creative prowess and hold courses on the history and trends of the most popular mixed drinks. Some of them will also lead Taste Workshops (see www. for the complete program). Here an introduction to the protagonists: Salvatore Calabrese, known as “The Maestro” is one of the world’s best-known bartenders. His arena is the FiFty bar in London. Calabrese developed his talent at an early age while working in a bar in Maiori, a small village on the Amalfi coast. After this apprenticeship he went to London where he opened a shop specializing in Cognac. From there he moved to the illustrious Lanesborough Hotel, where he developed his unique style. From the start he was driven by a passion for the great classic cocktails, then the Maestro began to experiment with new liqueurs and fresh juices, culminating in exotic cocktails that have now become classics themselves. He has received numerous awards. In 1992 he was awarded the Chevalier du Champagne and in 1993 the prestigious Chevalier du Cognac. His most recent awards include Class Awards 2005 - Best New Bar, Class Awards 2006 - Bar of the Year, Class Awards 2006 - Best Cocktail Offering. Theme magazine presented him with the Outstanding Achievement Award 2006, and the Italian Bartenders Association (Aibes) gave him its Outstanding Achievement Award in 2006. In 2009 he was made International Cognac Personality of the Year by the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac and in 2009 elected Spirits Personality of the Year. After serving as President of the United Kingdom Bartenders’ Guild, Calabrese is now active as a consultant for select brands as well as appearing at competitions as a judge. Agostino Perrone of the Connaught Hotel in London is one of the leading representatives of the new generation of Italian bartenders in the British capital. In 2006 he was named Best Bartender of the Year by the British magazine Class, while the Connaught bar was recently recognized as the best hotel bar in Britain. Agostino’s style is based on Italian spirits and vermouth mixed after the classic cocktail recipes. His name is Dom Costa, or rather: Domenico Costanzo. He was born in New York, or rather: in Vibo Valentia, Calabria. He works as a barman, or rather: he also works as a barman. It is hard to believe anything, as you lose yourself in the little game of (false) biographical notes on the website of his bar, the Liquid in Alassio, Liguria. What matters is his long experience on cruise ships: the Caribbean, Alaska... And then the Ritz and Hilton when they were still only accessible to a select few. In 2007 he won the Bacardi Martini Grand Prix in both the national and international categories. At the Rimini Barfestival, the Liquid won the Diamond Award for Best Cocktail List, with the following justification: \"An excellent distinctive cocktail list designed with particular care and international taste.\" Chris McMillian’s long career is firmly tied to New Orleans. Many are the bars in the city where Chris has honed his skills: from the early days at Chateau Sonesta to the historic Richelieu Bar of Arnaud’s Restaurant, founded in 1918. Another stepping stone was the Ritz Carlton Library Lounge. Chris is a legendary figure of the cocktail world, and his style is reminiscent of the classic barmen of the past. His passion for historical research has led him to become a co-founder of the Museum of the American Cocktail, which was inaugurated in 2008 in the Southern Food and Beverage Museum of New Orleans. Chris now works at the Bar UnCommon, a modern cocktail lounge in the 1925 Renaissance Père Marquette Hotel, near the French Quarter. His specialties: Mint Julep, Ramos Gin Fizz, Sazerac. Julio Bermejo is the king of tequila. Originally from San Francisco, he has traveled the world teaching and revolutionizing people’s appreciation for this agave-based drink, raising awareness about cheap, poor quality products. The San Francisco Chronicle called him one of the major barmen to watch. In his bar-restaurant (Tommy\'s Mexican) he serves more than 300 different 100%-agave tequilas. Bermejo also organizes training courses, tastings and tours abroad so members of Tommy\'s Blu Agave Club can meet producers personally. His most important award? Obviously Tequila Ambassador to the United States.