Fabio was one of the very first students to take bartending classes at EBS Milan. Inspired by his bartending experience, he moved to Ireland and landed a job behind the bar of the 5-star Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin.
We asked him about how he got into the craft and how taking bartending classes with EBS changed his life in more ways than he ever could have imagined.
I first saw a shaker when I was seven or eight years old (my older brother is a bartender too so it must be something that runs in the family) and I remember that I was curious and charmed at the same time.
That was the moment my passion began but I wasn’t fully aware of how great that passion would become. I got my first bartending job when I was only 15 years old.
I was bartending as a side job to get some extra money while I was studying, but four years passed and I was still behind the stick. Despite working in bars from such a young age, I’d always felt like there was something missing… I never felt like I was a professional bartender. That’s when I decided to look into bartending classes.
How did you get to EBS?
I knew it was the only bartending school that would fully prepare me for a professional career as a bartender. Another specific reason why I chose EBS was that I was interested in learning everything about flair, and I knew the instructors at EBS Milan were the best around.
I took the EBS course in August 2015 hoping that it would make me feel like a real bartender, and it did. Thanks to my bartending classes and EBS certificate, I now have the confidence to serve behind any bar in the world and I have proof of my bartending abilities as well.
What was your experience at EBS Milan like?
I loved the course. It consists of much more than just bartending classes, it teaches you everything you need to know in order to succeed as a professional bartender. You learn bartending theory, customer service, movements behind the bar and much more.
With the right balance of hard work and fun, I learned so much about being a career bartender. My favourite part was the coffee flair seminar with the inventor of coffee flair himself: Fabio Milani – a bartending legend and the owner of EBS Milan.
Every part of the course is taught to a very high standard and of course, there are the extra activities such as the visit to the Fratelli Branca distilleries which are added bonuses.
The special touch to the experience is the life with the other students. Within just a few days it becomes more than just attending bartending classes. You become a family: you go to school together, live together, study together and in my case, get a tattoo together! That’s a story for another time.
What happened after the bartending classes?
When I finished the course I went back to my hometown, but I realised I couldn’t fully utilise all the skills that I had learned. It was then that I decided to put all of my fears aside and buy a one-way ticket to Dublin.
While I was getting all the necessary paperwork to live in Ireland, I was working as a kitchen porter. I knew very little English, but even in that short amount of time, my knowledge improved.
I finally landed a job that was worthy of my EBS bartending classes at the 5-star Shelbourne Hotel in their horseshoe bar.
I have to say that the EBS certificate helped me a lot. Not only did it allow me to be considered amongst other great candidates, but it also gave me the confidence and knowledge to talk about bartending.
If I hadn’t had attended my bartending classes and graduated with an EBS certificate, I would have been extremely overwhelmed when I stood in the 135 different kinds of whiskey in the Shelbourne Hotel bar. The cherry on top of the cake? We regularly participate in mixology contests. It’s my dream job!
How has EBS changed your life?
I’m doing things I never thought I would because of EBS. In Italy, we are not used to speaking English, but because of my job, I now practise every day and have a passion for learning it.
Graduating from the EBS course has given me the confidence I needed to feel like a real bartender and thanks to their bartending classes, I’m qualified to work anywhere I want. Luckily, I managed to land my dream job in a great venue, but beware world: I am just getting started!