Bruno Vanzan

Cold as a tool through which to express talent, expertise and excellence. We met a new dynamic partner of CIAM, Bruno Vanzan, and with him we went to discover a fascinating world in which technique and technology are protagonists.

He is considered one of the best bartenders in the world, it is no coincidence then, that in almost 15 years of his career Bruno Vanzan, has collected a considerable number of prestigious awards all over the world, including Bartender of the years, in 2016; Best alcoholic product with IOVEM, in 2019; Excellence of Italy Award, Bacardi and Martini World Champion, in 2008; Vice World Champion WFA (World Flair Association), in 2015. A talent and passion that is the result of a work that has always been nourished by stubbornness, tenacity and training.

In flipping through your résumé, one easily notices how many professional fields you are in: is the world of beverage so complex today, or is Bruno Vanzan always wanting more?

Definitely the latter. My aspiration is to be able to serve and treat as a 360-degree experience the world of beverages in which I was born professionally, and doing so means operating both in terms of professional training and in terms of the services offered to customers: BV Holding was born with this very purpose. After years and years of experience as a bartender, that role started to not suit me anymore and began to think of additional activities and services on which I could focus my energies and aspirations. From here, I took my first steps into the world of itinerant catering, the first real activity from which my entrepreneurial experience started, an experience that today is culminating in the Academy that has just opened. Not only a school, but also a permanent physical place where we can carry out and offer all the services that represent us such as Consulting, which embraces the backstage of the creations of famous alcoholic products on the market, but also consultations of a more technical nature involving, for example, the production of new supplies or equipment in our industry. But what I am most proud of is undoubtedly having been able to shape and give life to a place where one can learn through the excellence of the tools at one’s disposal and, above all, where one can learn how to offer excellence to one’s clients, for me the absolute distinctive value.

The Academy was also the opportunity that brought you to CIAM.

The creation of the Academy was the result of a team effort that was able to shape an idea by giving it concreteness, a school that currently represents an absolute novelty for the world of beverages, and it is precisely because it aims to excellence, and since we are talking about excellence, I find the connection with CIAM more than appropriate. I got to know them through my architect, Fabiano Zucconi, who introduced me to this Umbrian reality as a company capable of meeting the highest demands of the Academy project, and there is no doubt that thanks to their technological innovations they have succeeded in guaranteeing the results to which my work aspires. For our world, the cold element is fundamental, so when we talk about technology and temperatures having innovative tools and working with products that allow us to achieve excellence in the services we offer is indispensable. In the Academy, for example in CIAM showcases we directly hold glasses, and I find this wonderful.

Innovation, research, technology, sustainability: what is the biggest source of inspiration for Bruno Vanzan?

I would say that all these words are the basis of my work, although I find that today with the term sustainability we indicate an extremely inflated theme that is little rooted in the DNA of many companies and realities, which instead make use of it in their communication. In our company we are attentive to respecting nature, a fundamental ingredient of our creations, just as we are attentive to energy conservation, sustainable production, and the search for details that make a difference, even in this sense. Because to be honest, my greatest source of inspiration is precisely the details, the element that makes the difference and leads to excellence. For example, my role models are people who do not belong to my world: some come from fashion, where detail is undoubtedly still a distinctive element, and others from the world of haute cuisine, one above all is Gualtiero Marchesi, a great professional and a great man with whom I had the good fortune to be able to work and from whom I learned a great deal in this sense. Personally, I appreciate the stories, projects and people who start from a small world and come to gain authority and success through the fruit of their own commitment, passion, strength and talent.

Imagine that a bar counter is a prime location for investigating people and the relationships between them. What has this work taught you from a more human perspective?

Extraordinary things happen in front of a bar counter; people and their emotions are the undisputed stars. I have spent a lifetime there, and I can confirm that the cross-section of humanity you see from that station has something very intimate about it. People open up in front of a drink, just as they open up in front of a bartender, celebrating their successes, trying to deceive their despair. Today, I personally have come to the realization that my role is no longer the star of the bar, and this stems partly from the expectations that my presence back there creates, which often no longer allows me to work psychologically as I used to, and partly because I find much more enthusiasm in dealing with new projects that always include people and the human side anyway. I find it extraordinary, for example, to design the bar stations for my clients and to do it together with them, sometimes it almost seems as if I am the birthday boy, the groom or the guest of honor because of how much passion I put into their projects, but then I let the services be carried out by my team of young professionals still inflamed with the right enthusiasm for the bartender’s work. Today, I find it exciting to create cocktails rather than to serve them, I am convinced, in short, that everything has its own course, and if I have learned anything from that bar, it is that today my place is behind the scenes, where I can put my experience at the service of my clients or projects that aspire to an evolution of my industry.

Can you give us an example in the latter case?

One in particular looks like a dream. It’s a project that has been going around in my head for a little over a year and that I’ve also started talking about with CIAM, an idea that is linked to the ambition to change the way our work has been done for decades now: I’m talking about the stations, but also about the barrier that is created and that prevents us from showing the whole evolution of our work itself-because today creating a cocktail is something very experiential and it’s right that the customer is part of it-but I’m also talking about something else. I imagine new heights, I imagine a counter without stools, I imagine that in the future even a guy in a wheelchair can do my job and not be deprived of a dream or a professional opportunity because the bars are not yet designed in such a way to accommodate him, just as the counters are not accessible to customers with the same wheelchair. This, too, is sustainability, a sustainability that I would call social or simply a dream that feeds on civility. A value that carries within it evolution, and that is why I wish we could make this station that I like to call the station of the future.