Gabriele knew that there was only one place that could provide with what he was looking for, that was New York City. Read on to find out how this experienced bartender took his skills to the next level with EBS New York.
Gabriele Varrasi has been bartending for the past three years, despite his experience, he felt that his bartending skill set was lacking something, so he decided to take a bartending course.
Why did you pick EBS New York?
I chose the EBS bartending course, and specifically New York, because I wanted to develop my skills and expand my bartending knowledge in a more international way. I also knew that it would be the perfect opportunity for me to improve my English as well. What made the decision even easier was that the person who introduced me to the world of bartending was also working in New York!
What’s the school like?
The school is fantastic: it has very modern facilities, state-of-the-art materials, and a large terrace where you can relax. The school walls are decorated with incredible bartending murals which fit in perfectly with the style of the school’s neighbourhood, Williamsburg.
And what about the EBS bartending course?
The course is simply amazing. Honestly, I was expecting it to be a piece of cake, but I slowly realised that despite having previous experience, it still requires a lot of commitment and hard work. My favourite part was the theory; I’m really interested in the ingredients and the spirits that make up a cocktail.
However, the most important part of the course was the bar training, which despite my previous experience, helped me learn how to craft a lot of new cocktails and how to work effectively. Last but not least, we learnt how to perform awesome flair moves, which was completely new to me and very entertaining.
What was it like to win the cocktail competition during your course?
Winning the bartending course competition was fantastic! Competing was a unique and very useful experience as the event was open to the public! We worked in teams of two to prepare and present a signature cocktail, which was then judged by both the public and a selected jury.
Interestingly enough, the contest taught me how to craft a cocktail using a good dose of creativity, while keeping in mind the importance of its commercial appeal as the drinkability was one of the main evaluation criteria.
How do you feel now that you have completed your bartending course?
I feel much more prepared when it comes to techniques. I learned a great deal about the relationship with the clientele and the differences between the Italian and the American customers. In the US, there is a lot more interaction between the customer and the bartender. It also appears that bartending is taken more seriously as a profession in the US thanks to its deep and rich history.
New York is the ultimate place to take a bartending course, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced bartender like me. It offers all types of bars, from local dive bars to literally the best bar in the world. You can learn so much from the bartenders in the city and of course, from the instructors at EBS New York.
My goal now is to apply my new international knowledge and skills that I picked up during my bartending course with EBS New York to the Italian bar industry, and ultimately work amongst Italy’s elite bartenders.