Also this year, for the second consecutive time, Simone Molè from Modica will be part of the group of a select few who will compete for the title of “World Class Italian Bartender of the year”. The competition counts the best 50 bartenders of the boot who will present their #Beepositive project.
Who are you ?
Simone Molé, born in 1990, born in Modica and raised for the world. I left school at 14 to start working in my uncles’ bar. The desire to take the path behind a counter was strong and so I started a long journey, made up of bars, cocktails, waves, music and friends. I was lucky enough to travel all over Italy, I was in Australia for two years, I toured Asia for three months with a backpack. These were the stages that shaped my spirit and my mentality. Today I am 31 years old and after 17 years I can say that as a simple and humble dishwasher, I became Bar Supervisor of Freni e Frizioni, Rome. The year 2019 was incredible with the fulfillment of two dreams, the inclusion at Lyaness in London, one of the leading bars in the international scene, and then a “Best 8” final at World Class Italy. Today, after 12 years, I am back in Sicily and I am the director of NEO. NEO is a brand new bar, located in Cefalù. The “Food & Drinks” menu of the restaurant gives complete attention to the ingredients and their producers, true protagonists of our drinks and tapas. Neo also represents the simple style I believe in. Drinks and food are just the bridge between us, operators, and the real protagonists of our industry, our Guests.
Tell us something about World Class.
World Class is the competition of competitions, the Champions League of bartenders. For me there has never been any other stage, if you want to compete on a personal level, other than World Class, the rest matters little. I have seen the finals of the past years in which I did not participate and I remember the attraction I felt towards the finalist bartenders, now friends, who attended. In 2018 I was a spectator and I said to myself “next year I want to be there”. I was lucky enough to put into practice the promise made the year before and in 2019 I arrived among the best 8 in Italy, with the possibility of playing for the title of best. It was a fantastic experience, it didn’t go well, but I made myself another promise and I can’t reveal this yet …
What is #Beepositive?
It is the challenge that the best 50 are facing and unfortunately or fortunately on March 3rd only the best 25 will go on.
The aim of the challenge is to create a drink with Ketel One, using two local ingredients, a derivative of bees and another of our choice. That’s not all, because the request stems from a problem that afflicts the world, namely the risk of extinction of bees.
Therefore, to create a drink with local ingredients that gives life to a project implemented by the local community with the spirit of cooperation of bees. Creating your own hive in essence.
What did you decide to present?
From the awareness of having the possibility of making the world a better place, the project was born that focuses on a problem that afflicts all living beings: stress. Literally translated as “effort”, it is one of the major causes of death for bees. The causes that cause bee stress are global warming and products that alter natural cycles. We are therefore the trigger of their stress. A paradox to tell the truth since they give us vitally important products that help us fight it.
This project is therefore a drink, a community and a day against stress.
How was #NoStress born?
From the fact that I wanted to make a drink what it should be, a reason to be all together, especially in this period of restrictions that keeps us away. The philosophy with which it was created is the same that characterizes the realization of the project. I wanted to help my city and I am satisfied to have involved so many professionals, involving all citizens who wanted to be part of it. Thanks to the union of several bodies, it was possible to plan a program that would fight not only the stress of bees, but also other types of stress that are connected between them. We recreated the hour of the aperitif and the bar chat through live in Google Meet, where we drank the drink and discussed various stress problems and how to deal with them. The three aperitifs were held at 19.00, with this program that gave life to the Sustainable Ape-ritivo:
• Psychophysical Stress: osteopath Gianluca Moncada, kinesiologist Simone Pluchino.
• Citizen and environmental stress: environmental association Iambiente, food and environmental bursar Davide Fede.
• Stress in the food industry: Doctor of Agriculture Enrico Russino, beekeeper Dalma Cultrera.
For each person who participated in the live shows, 120 in total, Gli Aromi della Famiglia Russino donated a lavender plant to the organization. Thanks to the administration of the Municipality of Modica and the delegate for youth policies Samuele Cannizzaro, these 120 maps were assigned to the association “We are here too”. The association, created in collaboration with the mental health department of the ASP of Modica, has created an urban social garden, where young people with difficulty and frailty have the opportunity to commit to work and sell products, thus creating a solidarity fund for themselves. The social garden will thus become a sanctuary for bees since, in addition to lavender, other aromatic herbs will be planted thus favoring the return of bees to the city and their refreshment. Their stay will also be facilitated by a hive that Dalma donated to the association. The beauty of the initiative lies in having spent a day all together in which everyone has done the cleaning of the ground, the placement of the plants and a waste collection organized by the environment. It was great to be able to help our city. Also not to be excluded is the glance, which will be wonderful, in the city center. The children will be able to grow lavender and enjoy the honey that will be produced through its flowering and the work of bees.
And the drink?
The drink aims to be the protagonist of a relaxing moment for my guests and to be a message with immediate effect. Simple, low alcohol, with super local ingredients that tend to relax the body and mind. Also conceived from a chromo-therapeutic point of view with violet, the relaxing color and lavender of Gli Aromi di Russino, and yellow, the color of creativity and of Dalma Cultrera Millefiori honey, here are the two main local ingredients. Choosing certain techniques and matching ingredients depended on my desire to be able to give my guests a completely relaxing sensation. Inside it we find Ketel One, No stress aperitif based on lavender and honey, a toasted hay soda and a meringue-sandwich based on lavender and whipped honey.
There is more?
Well clear, because finally, but not least, a #Nostress day was organized, in which the same professionals will take us around some of the beautiful quarries of Modica, discussing topics such as biodiversity, respect for nature and alleviation of psychophysical stress. The #NoStress day will be held every year in Modica, in the hope of being able to respect the initial project, that is to create an entire day where people will have the opportunity to participate in the talks, taste the best products of the selected companies, contribute with donations , to help the associations that will participate, and to take part in the #NoStress walk.
A huge thank you to those who made my initiative possible and in particular to:
The director of the psychiatry department of Modica Onofrio Faletta.
The sociologist of the psychiatry department of Modica Alessandra Barone.
The ASP of the province of Ragusa and the association “We are here too”.
The delegate for youth policies of Modica Samuele Cannizzaro.
The Aromas of the Russino family.
The beekeeper Dalma Cutrera.
The osteopath Gianluca Moncada.
The kinesiologist Simone Pluchino.
The non-profit association Iambiente.
The botanist Dario Modica.
The environmental and food economist Davide Fede.
My graphic designer Stefano Agosta.
Ciokkarrua for the magnificent cocoa butter.
The Municipality of Modica for sponsoring our project.
My ubiquitous shoulder Fabio Pluchino.
Last but not least my grandfather, Gabriele Camiolo, the photographer Giuseppe Minardi and my partners in Neo Jalel Ben Saad and Salvo Guccione.