It’s fucking awesome that’s what. You probably want more details than that though.
It’s a virtual learning hub featuring courses taught by industry leaders from around the world. More? Jeez.
Some of you may remember the constantly smiley face of Valentino Longo from his time working bar in
London. We drank many of his drinks both in bar and in competitions, we were even lucky enough to spend a week with him out in Mexicoafter victory in the Centinela comp which was a whole lot of fun (and driving).
A few years ago he buggered off to the US and ended up in Miami, where he no doubt rollerblades around with his top off on a daily basis. It appears he hasn’t lost his knack for impressing competition judging panels with his drinks and banter though as he took out Bombay Sapphire’s Most Imaginative Bartender at the start of the year (ahhhh January, happy days).
As part of this competition he had to present an ‘innovative business project’, this was Shoshin Art Club and winning the competition gave him a grant to turn the project into a reality. Now, having seen the result, we are not surprised at all that he took out the title.
In essence Shoshin is a series of training videos but that doesn’t do justice to what Valentino has created. These videos are a step up from the ‘How to make an Old Fashioned’ (although there are some cocktail making vids as well). What they are is a series of beautifully shot videos with major players in our industry talking about the heart of hospitality.
For example you have Julio Bermejo, the creator of the Tommy’s Margarita, tequila ambassador and, in his words, ‘bartender at Tommy’s in San Francisco who squeezes limes for a living’. So you’d expect a video about making a Tommy’s (and perhaps how to squeeze a lime) but instead you get 8 episodes totalling over an hour in which he discusses the art of simplicity, covering topics such as Mexican Hospitality, Less Is More and Tips For The Young Bartender (plus plenty of tequila stuff).
Then you have Cuban-born American bartender Julio Cabrera delivering videos on the Cantinero culture. Erik Lorincz is there talking about the journey to becoming a bartender. Declan McGurk looking dapper discusses mentorship. There are also things like photography, ice carving, category training, the list of topics and names delivering them is just superb.
Shōshin is a Japanese word that means “beginner’s mind.” This is the mindset of the true beginner who is free of any preconceptions or expectations during the learning process. Instead, they are filled with curiosity and open to unlimited possibilities.
If you are curious this is certainly the place to head.
For Valentino it is this simple “I’ve always believed that knowledge is something that should be shared and widely available to those who are interested in expanding their minds and continuing to educate themselves on their craft”
There are a few packages for signing up including a free one giving you access to several of the sessions and there is currently a ‘launch promo’ for the premium pass (there will be a discount for our Patreon members coming soon as well).