Flavio Angiolillo, born in '84, is one of the most famous barmen in Italy. Roman by birth but with a French mother, he is currently stationed in Milan, a destination he reached after traveling around the world. He started working in clubs at the age of sixteen, in France, starting as a dishwasher: he wanted to buy a scooter. Afterwards he was an apprentice chef for two years, before moving on to waiter service in Monte Carlo in Alain Ducasse's restaurant and later in London at the court of Gordon Ramsay. The gray of London pushed him to spend a year in the Caribbean, where he made his debut behind the bar. He hasn't stopped since then.
He arrived in Milan in 2007 and opened the elegant and sophisticated MAG café. He is now a member of 4 other venues: 1930 Cocktail Bar, Backdoor43, Barba, Iter. Creator with his staff of Farmily Spirits, a line of botanical spirits that he uses for his mixology creations, he is now about to debut with a book: "The Little Barman".
The inspiration came to him while rereading The Little Prince by Saint Exupery, except that this story is the opposite version: here it is not the prince who sets off to discover the Universe, but the barman who meets the Universe - the people - in his small world, the bar.
To put down on paper the story he wanted to tell, Angiolillo relied on the expert pen of Claudio Gallone, a writer and journalist with a past as a special correspondent and photojournalist in war zones and humanitarian missions, as well as a philosophical consultant and former director of national newspapers and international.
The result is a book full of anecdotes, which the barman explains like this in the introduction:
“Sometimes the smallest dreams turn into something big. Don't be fooled by the apparent simplicity and lightness of this book: it is much more than it seems and, like all the best things, it hides its most precious beauties between the lines. It was born like this, simply, from reflections and some anecdotes about my profession exchanged with Claudio Gallone (...). It is the celebration of a world that is made of knowledge of the subject, listening to the customer and awareness in knowing how to identify needs. Which sometimes means putting aside creativity, ego and ability and serving the glass of wine that the person on the other side of the counter perhaps really wants.”
The book resembles The Little Prince also in its graphic aspect, thanks to the beautiful illustrations by Serena Conti, and will be available in Giunti bookshops from 20 February.