The BBFB Training Team Brighton Roadshow

In a rare display of good timing, BarLifeUK picked Brighton as the Training Team roadshow to attend on what turned out to be the first warm day of the year.

Ian and Ben behind the stick

Cocktail training by the sea on a warm Spring day – What’s not to like?

Alex Turner, Leanne Davidson, Ian McLaren and Benjamin Carlotto, AKA the Training Team, have been racking up the miles recently, taking their training roadshow the length and breadth of the country.

Held over three days, the courses look after bartenders for days one and two, with bar managers getting some love on day three. The modules on offer included:

  • Around the World in 10 Drinks – Classic and Iconic drinks from all over the globe.
  • The Science of Intoxicology – Understanding Alcohol
  • The Perception of Taste – How we use the senses and how best to apply this to cocktail creation.
  • Lightning Fast and Super Slick – To quote Phillip Duff “The fine art of banging out drinks like a maniac!”

BarLifeUK joined the team at Brighton’s Madame Geisha and sat in on several of the modules. The group of students included bartenders who had experienced training before, as well as others from pubs and hotels who had not.

Students get hands-on

All of the modules were balanced to reflect the diverse audience, keeping things interesting for the novice and experienced alike, with a strong focus on practical application as opposed to dry ‘book learning’.

Of particular note was Ben Carlotto’s session on The Perception of Taste. Drops of essential oils were placed on slips of paper, and the audience encouraged to guess what they were by smell alone.

The session went on to illustrate that even the most familiar flavours can be broken down into constituent parts and the various elements identified – an essential skill for anyone wanting to create cocktails or pair complementary ingredients in mixed drinks.

Krister Greer from Hove’s Connaught Hotel told me: “I really enjoyed the session on speed – how to get drinks right without faffing about. It was a very useful session.”

The Brighton roadshow was the last in the current Training Team program, but the 2011 schedule will be announced in the coming weeks. We would encourage you to register for updates at as the sessions we attended were enjoyable and very useful, whatever the level of your experience.