Created by Valentino Longo, Shōshin Art Club takes the Japanese concept of “a beginner’s mind” and merges it with an acknowledgment of the bar industry’s role in culture and art.

Longo launched the idea while presenting in the final round of Bombay Sapphire’s Most Imaginative Bartender Competition, which he won.

Since his win, Longo has made his dream a reality with the launch of the digital learning program perfect for both amateur and advanced bartenders. With classes from award winning and recognized bartenders from around the world, the platform is a unique chance for industry professionals to learn from the best.

In our June/July issue we had the chance to catch up with some of the educators who share their time and experience at Shōshin Art Club. Today, we’re sharing their answers in full. To learn more about the program, head to our digital issue or subscribe to get your free print copy!

Ago Perrone, Director of Mixology at The Connaught Hotel

Ago Perrone – Director of Mixology at The Connaught Hotel

Ago Perrone

Director of Mixology at The Connaught Hotel

Talk to us a bit about your background in the industry.

My bartending journey started in my hometown by Lake Como but London is where I built and brought my vision to life. When I started bartending I initially did it with the intention of funding my lifetime passion for photography, however, I quickly identified and fell for the creative opportunities and human aspect that I found in the hospitality sector. In London, I had the opportunity to meet legends of the industry who encouraged me to develop my own creative process, from Salvador & Amanda, to Dusk, Montgomery Place and finally the Connaught Bar, which I have been leading since its relaunch in 2008. It is at the Connaught that I have truly established my mixology style, starting from the classics in respect of the hotel tradition but adding an innovative and forward-looking spin to revolutionize the environment of hotel bars and putting a real emphasis on the guest experience.

What is your specialty/your expertise—what do you teach at Shoshin? 

I do not like to refer to myself as a teacher, I simply and truly enjoy sharing my passion and experience to inspire other bartenders just as I continuously am inspired by the people around me. I hope that my stories and my journey will represent food for thought for many colleagues — in the bar industry and beyond – to build their own personal and professional path. For my class on Shoshin, I have focused on topics such as self-mentoring and developing one’s own vision and authentic style in whichever profession they undertake, topics that are particularly important for me.

What are your thoughts about Shoshin Art Club? What do you like about it?

It is a great platform that reflects Valentino’s inspiring concept of creating a hub for bar professionals all over the world while highlighting artistry and talent. It’s truly a global network to connect anyone who might be after constructive and educational content with aspirational leaders in their own different fields.

Why do you think other bartenders should subscribe to Shoshin?

To access content that motivates, helps personal and professional growth, and tailor their learning experience with different types of content that are easy to navigate and digest.

What can bartenders expect to get out of joining/a membership?

The different membership tiers allow you to tailor your experience based on your needs. In addition, the Scholarship program is a testament to the core vision of Shoshin and to the rewards one can get from being part of this platform and network.

What is your biggest takeaway from your experience with Shoshin Art Club?

Shoshin was a great opportunity and platform to talk and to learn about the fact that our job is not just about cocktail creation. All that we do in the bar industry is a showcase of the passion and respect that we put in our work, of the inspiration and creativity that it takes to launch new concepts, of the ambition and will to create experiences and memories for people.

Shoshin means beginners mind — what advice do you have for beginner bartenders starting out on their journey?

If you have a dream, believe in it and stick to it while you develop your own plan to achieve it. Don’t be afraid to reach out to other people, to seek advice and inspiration — but always remember to follow your inner belief, despite all the mistakes that you might make on the journey. Finally, remember that kindness always pays back, in life and work — give it straight up and with style, and don’t forget the smile.


Michele Mariotti, Head of Mixology, The Gleneagles, Scotland 

Michele Mariotti – Head of Mixology, The Gleneagles, Scotland

Michele Mariotti

Head of Mixology, The Gleneagles, Scotland 

Talk to us a bit about your background in the industry.

My Name is Michele Mariotti, and I am the current Head of Mixology at The Gleneagles in Scotland. Over the course of my career, I had the chance to live in Italy, the United Kingdom, and Singapore, spending time in Michelin-starred restaurants and five-star hotels such as The American Bar at the Savoy, The Berkeley and Mandarin Oriental, Singapore. I also run a bartending podcast called Unjiggered, where we talk to industry leaders about their careers, goals, and passion for Bartending.

What is your specialty/your expertise—what do you teach at Shoshin? 

In Shoshin, I talk about the challenges of relocating and performing in different countries, managing your social media persona and developing menu concepts and structured teams. Pretty much an overview of my career and what I’ve learned along the way.

What are your thoughts about Shoshin Art Club? What do you like about it?

Shoshin is a great platform that allows industry professionals to showcase what they spent years mastering to younger bartenders and other like-minded individuals. The content is broad and allows people in-depth “insider” knowledge on topics that take a lifetime to master.

Why do you think other bartenders should subscribe to Shoshin?

I think bartenders should use Shoshin as an opportunity to grow their skills by listening to their peers who may have become “experts” in specific fields of Bartending. Even as experts, what is great about Shoshin is that it even provides us a platform to grow too.  If I had the chance to have a similar platform in my junior years my career would have moved way faster!

What can bartenders expect to get out of joining/a membership?

Bartenders can expect a slick, easy-to-access and gorgeous platform with a selection of the very best our industry has to offer.

What is your biggest takeaway from your experience with Shoshin Art Club?

I loved how I could take a deep look at some of my bartending colleagues from all over the world, how their minds work and what is their unique approach to bartending. This kind of content was only available through global bartending events, and to have it all in one place is a unique opportunity.

Shoshin means beginners mind — what advice do you have for beginner bartenders starting out on their journey?

Keep an open mind. Our industry is global, has a lot of regional differences and the people who really succeed are the ones that apply time and dedication. Shoshin is a great tool that will guide you with knowledge from all four corners of the world, and in our ever-changing and evolving industry, a different point of view will give you an edge against the competition.


Anna Sebastian, Bar Manager, Artesian Bar, The Langham, London 

Anna Sebastian – Bar Manager, Artesian Bar, The Langham, London

Anna Sebastian

Bar Manager, Artesian Bar, The Langham, London 

Talk to us a bit about your background in the industry.

I started working in nightclubs and spit and sawdust bars years ago, which I loved. It was fast paced and interesting and I loved the buzz you got from working in clubs. I mainly worked at the door but made my fair share of vodka cranberries over the years. I transitioned to the more proper cocktail bar when I joined The Savoy in 2010 for the reopening of the American Bar which was an amazing experience from the people I worked with to the guests and stories that happened.

What is your specialty/your expertise—what do you teach at Shoshin? 

I have been talking about leadership and management and how to lead a team — a big passion of mine!

What are your thoughts about Shoshin Art Club? What do you like about it?

I love the fact that it’s one of the positive things to come out of the pandemic.  It is all about creating a community of people who want to share their knowledge and educate

Why do you think other bartenders should subscribe to Shoshin?

It is a great portal of information and resources to use for yourself and your team.  So many amazing and talented people to connect with.

What can bartenders expect to get out of joining/a membership?

Lots of information, sense of community and connections to some amazing people in the industry. 

What is your biggest takeaway from your experience with Shoshin Art Club?

It was an amazing experience as the team were so great to work with and to be asked to participate in this was a huge honor.

Shoshin means beginners mind — what advice do you have for beginner bartenders starting out on their journey?

Never attach yourself to a person or a place but attach to a purpose or a cause; that way you will always be able to continue to grow and develop without being held back.


Kevin Diedrich – Bartender/Owner, Pacific Cocktail Haven (PCH)

Kevin Diedrich, Bartender-Owner, Pacific Cocktail Haven (PCH)

Talk to us a bit about your background in the industry

I was raised in Northern Virginia, and started my hospitality career in 2002 as bartender at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, D.C. before assuming the role as lead bartender for the hotel group’s San Francisco property in 2005. Inspired by the Bay Area’s cocktail community, I later went on to work at local restaurants and bars including Michael Mina’s Clock Bar, as well as CASK and Bourbon & Branch, where I spent the next two and a half years honing my craft behind the bar.

I returned to the Bay Area in 2010 to openThe Burritt Room, and was named one of San Francisco Chronicle’s “Bar Stars” in 2011. In 2016, I partnered up with local restaurateurs Andy Chun & Jan Wigniton to open one of San Francisco’s hottest cocktail bars, Pacific Cocktail Haven. PCH has already solidified itself with recognition in Esquire’s Best Bar’s in America, Timeout’s Cocktail Bar of the Year 2018, GGRA Saucy Award for Cocktail Bar of the Year 2019, Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards “Best American Cocktail Bar 2020” and more.

In addition, I was honored as Thrillist’s 2016 bartender of the year and was nominated for “Best American Bartender” at Tales of the Cocktail for three consecutive years (2017, 2018, 2019), the country’s most prestigious industry award.

What is your specialty/your expertise—what do you teach at Shoshin? 

Translating your Heritage into cocktails.

What are your thoughts about Shoshin Art Club? What do you like about it?

Shoshin Art Club is a great platform for all industries alike. For young bartenders, and even veterans like myself that still are pushing to learn more from our peers around the globe, it has something for everyone

Why do you think other bartenders should subscribe to Shoshin?

Shoshin has a diverse offering of classes for bartenders at any level. The videos are captivating and keep your attention all throughout.

What can bartenders expect to get out of joining/a membership?

Bartender’s can expect to get a wide variety of knowledge from some of the top bartenders around the globe, each sharing a skill that they are passionate about.

What is your biggest takeaway from your experience with Shoshin Art Club?

My biggest take away was feeling like I met some mentors that I’ve looked up to all my years bartending. I can go back to videos I’ve watched in the past and still learn more.

Shoshin means beginners mind — what advice do you have for beginner bartenders starting out on their journey?

Have patience, surround yourself with people that are like minded, and be humble.