… Once upon evening, back in 2017, one unknown for me bartender left a comment under the post with my cocktail! We had a short, but very interesting conversation. It was a first time I met Diego, a polite, open and not arrogant person, texted me with pleasure answering my questions. That evening I set myself the goal to meet Diego personally.
After not much time, already in 2018, the Barometer Bar Show announced its speakers and Diego was among them, I was extremely happy about it, we can finally meet and talk face to face! There we met in person! When I visited Diego’s lecture and talked to him I’ve started to admire him even more. And already there, I knew that I would introduce him to Odessa and to the guests of SlowPiggy. Regardless Diego’s heavy schedule, master classes, trainings, guest shift around the world, I still managed to implement the plan!
In 2019, we discussed at the same Barometer Bar Show and agreed that Diego would still fly to our southern capital, where he would hold his master class and guest shift for bartenders in our region, as well as make his mixed drinks for guests of SlowPiggy!
And on January 24, 2020 in the evening I looked forward to meet Diego at the airport of Odessa … I worried and under pressure, because there were two important and interesting days ahead! Of course, these two days passed instantly, but it was very cool, informative and unforgettable !!! Interesting master class for Odessa bartenders, a small tour of wintry but warm Odessa, and in the evening we stood at the same counter in SlowPiggy and made cocktails with my team, these are not transmitted emotions and buzz. The goal was fulfilled, cheers.
I was also lucky that I personally could take an interview with Diego, asking him some interesting questions. Vlad Romanishin and Konstantin Gutnik helped me with great pleasure.
Mikhailo Safoniuk: Firstly, I would like to ask you about recent guest shift. What is your impression and what emotions remained after the evening?
Diego Ferrari: It is not easy to bring a lot of people during one masterclass or guest independently from where you are…Ukraine, London, Milano! But you did it and with great result!! I loved the feedback from your customers.
Vlad Romanishin: You talked about non-waste production, at the master class, what are some of the most striking examples of non-waste production in a bar you have seen in the world?
Diego Ferrari: In Mezzanine at the Stratford London Enrico Gonzato use the No-Waste concept in different way! From fruit to the Ice.
Mikhailo Safoniuk: If the bartender cannot afford to gain international experience, what options would you recommend for further training?
Diego Ferrari: To invite mixologist from abroad but specialized in different topics! This approach will give you a touch of the international trends and techniques!
Mikhailo Safoniuk: What prompted you to write your book “Low alcohol cocktails — a new frontier in mixology”?
Diego Ferrari: There is no reason for do something…we just understood the time was perfect to speak about this trend and we arrived in perfect time because this topic is so popular and I have been one of the precursors of the Low Abv!
Kostia Hutnyk: What is your favorite low alcohol classic cocktail?
Diego Ferrari: Dark’n Stormy!
Kostia Hutnyk: What do you think about current trends? And which trends will firmly go down in the history of cocktail culture, and which are just temporary innovations?
Diego Ferrari: I think molecular cocktail will go little bit down as trend and in the opposite side fermentations, re-distillations, Low abv will be the new trends! About spirits I think Gin growth will be more in control now and the new trends will be Rum and No Alcohol products as Seedlip!
Kostia Hutnyk: What is your advice, is it worth to delve deeply into the complexity of taste and simplify the delivery of a cocktail or create understandable tastes and an interesting presentation? What is more relevant for you?
Diego Ferrari: Sometimes we forget what is the final destination of our cocktails…. we create something for our guests and we have to make them comfortable in our bar! Often we propose a lot of recipes created for our ego as mixologist and the guests may feel lost in front our cocktail list! Sometimes we have to be more democratic with our recipes and maybe to present the cocktail in great and beautiful glass with cool presentation! Because we eat with the eyes firstly, atfer we taste…
Mikhailo Safoniuk: How do you deal with a creative crisis? And how do you get inspired?
Diego Ferrari: I have the lucky to visit different bars during the year and see a lot of creations in cocktail art so for me is easy!
Mikhailo Safoniuk: What are the principles in the work through which you would not step over?
Diego Ferrari: Respect! To be a gentleman! To be a kind person! We are lucky and we have to be proud of our job.
Vlad Romanishin: What is your impression of Ukraine and Ukrainian bar culture? What advice would you give to Ukrainian bartending and Ukrainian bartenders in order to enter the world stage?
Diego Ferrari: I think Ukrainian bar scene still growing fast and in few years I think you can be in great level of mixology! The suggestion is travel, visit, learn, and study every day!
Mikhailo Safoniuk: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Diego Ferrari: I never planned my life more than 1 year! Life is beautiful and sometimes surprises you by giving you a different approach!
Mikhailo Safoniuk: What advice would you give to novice bartenders?
Diego Ferrari: Never stop to learn……and be humble
I would like to say thanks to @vinfort for their direct participation in organizing this event. Guys with great pleasure responded to the cooperation, provided everything needed, including alcohol for conducting Guestbartending.
Editor’s note: Diego Ferrari is a bar manager of Rotonda restaurant in Milano and author of Cocktail Low Alcohol-The new Frontier of Mixology book. He also famous as a creator of Facebook group named Diego Ferrari Cocktail Art. You can truly call this Facebook page biggest photo store of the world wide cocktails. In 2015 Diego created a tour called Cocktail Art & Max 21 abv, The Cocktail “Under”, writhing which he travels the world and shares his experience of low abv cocktail creation, max 21%.
Photos by author
Author Mikhailo Safoniuk
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