12 months to become the king of cocktails!

12 months to become the king of cocktails!

The organizers of the first cocktail training course in France, based in Rennes, explain their project.
Last March, we broached the subject of the professionalization of the bartender's craft and described the differences from country to country. This month, we introduce you to a unique training course in France, developed for the past two years by the trades and crafts faculty of Ker Lann, near Rennes (France): the bartender's professional qualification certificate.

The organizers of the first cocktail training course in France, based in Rennes, explain their project.
Last March, we broached the subject of the professionalization of the bartender's craft and described the differences from country to country. This month, we introduce you to a unique training course in France, developed for the past two years by the trades and crafts faculty of Ker Lann, near Rennes (France): the bartender's professional qualification certificate.

The course ranges from the art of making cocktails — from the simplest to the most sophisticated — to in-depth knowledge of the world of bars and the night (communication, safety, etc.). This 12-month work-based learning course is fully subscribed and its graduates are practically guaranteed of finding a job. Louis Bohec, the founder of the course and Yoann Demeersseman, one of the teachers, are genuine pioneers. Just like Les vergers Boiron who was the first to introduce frozen fruit purees in 1970 and continue to innovate today.

The multitude of flavors and wide diversity of aromatic notes offered to professionals by Les vergers Boiron mean the teaching staff can associate the idea of sensory pleasure with in-depth knowledge of the world of plants, fruit and vegetables, together with spices and herbs, so as to hone their students’ palates with the highest quality products. And also to help them get to know all the different spirits available and show them how to deal with the difficulties of their profession (the problem of finding high quality fruit all year round, the convenience of ready-to-use purees, the best alcoholic or non-alcoholic combinations in cocktails, etc.). The two men offer us the keys to their success!

INTERVIEW

Louis Bohec, head of training at the trades and crafts faculty of Ker Lann, near Rennes in North West of France:

"The courses are held at Rennes University. 17 weeks are spent in the classroom; the rest of the time is spent working in a business. They are run by professionals. Students must be aged between 18 and 25 but, unlike many training courses, they require no prior qualifications, e.g. CAP, BEP or the Vocational Baccalaureate. Students need only to have the motivation, desire and passion to learn a real craft requiring real communication skills and know-how. Of course they are taught the most classic cocktail techniques, like the Side Car, for example. But they are also taught service, events, bartending style and flair, international cocktails and, above all, the basics — about the products, spirits, whiskies, and so on.

Yoann Demeersseman, who teaches the "bartender of the night world" course:

"France is one of the countries that has the largest number of high quality spirits, without forgetting the many cocktails that have been created using French products. The problem is that cocktails are not often drunk in our country! France should follow the example of London which has built its reputation as the world’s cocktail capital by developing cocktail bars and bars in luxury hotels. In the U.K., there is a real bar and cocktail culture and training courses are regularly held. Luckily, things are changing. Several bartenders have acquired their experience abroad like me and are coming back to France to teach in training courses, hotel schools, professional training, and competitions, etc. A bartending career is increasingly popular and increasingly recognized as equal in status to that of Chefs. The title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France Barman has just been created which is a great thing for the profession. In France, bartending style and flair have also evolved and many young bartenders are interested in acquiring the talent. A good thing as customers are increasingly looking for quality service, a warm welcome and bartenders capable of amazing them as much by the preparation as by the enjoyment of the cocktail."