We had the good fortune of connecting with Valentino Longo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Valentino, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Last January I participated a National cocktail competition called ” The most imaginative bartender”. During this cocktail competition you have to present a personal project and explain how you’ll use the winning money. I presented an idea of opening a member club where the bar industry can meet, have classes from other bartenders, share ideas and participate at events. Obviously 2 months later Covid happened and I decided to translate the original idea into an online platform. this is how Shoshin Art Club was born, an online platform where the bar industry can watch and get inspired videos from award winning bartenders such as Erik Lorincz from London, Julio Cabrera from Miami, Kevin Diedrich from San Francisco. Classes that can inspire bartenders, barracks, but also managers or just cocktail aficionados. As there are also more technical classes such as Tea production, Honey, Food photography etc etc.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Is now 10 years that I’m part of the bar industry, I started to work in Rome in one of the best hotel bar in Italy and I consider myself lucky to have the chance to work there. I then moved to London and after 3 years moved back in Rome where I opened a cocktail bar that eventually let me move to Miami. I’m now the head bartender at The Four Seasons Surfside for the last 4 years where thanks to the team and the hard work we have been recognized with great awards such as : Best Hotel bar virtuoso 2019, Best Cocktail Menu and Best Cocktail Bar Pineapple Awards 2019, Bartender of the Year Pineapple Awards 2020, Tales of The Cocktail top 10 Best Hotel Bar & Best Bar Team 2020. Was defineltey not easy to achieve all this goals, but learning to work with your team understand them and make them believe in your project is definitely the key here. Is also extremely important to understand ourself and to give ourself the right time to achieve goals. Goals needs time, we need time but is also important to give space to ourself.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
In Miami there are the best bars in whole America: I’ll definitely start with an aperitivo at the Champagne bar where I work, then dinner with music at Cafe La Trova by Julio Cabrera ( the best live music, Daiquiris, and Cigar in Miami) and then I’ll finish my night with a night cup at Sweet Liberty !
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Shoshin Art Club was launched after winning a National Cocktail Competition Called Most Imaginative Bartender sponsored by Bombay Sapphire. So a Big thank definitely goes to Ryan Wainwright which is the National Brand Ambassador for Bombay, to my wife Giorgia Crea which has always believed and helped to develop this project and the Shoshin Team Marco Todoerti and Ladislav Piljar. the core of the project.
first pict : Andris Dzeguze 2nd Pict: 52 Chef.