Francesco Lombardi is the GM at Blue Boar Bar in London, and has been considering the importance of sign language during lockdown.
Words by: Francesco Lombardi, Blue Boar Bar
These are very tough times for the industry, it really makes you wonder about a lot of things - how we take our routine for granted, and also makes you understand how lucky we are to do what we like and be able to follow our passing, and our bartender community has come together to support each other.
Staying home can be very hard, and besides carrying on what is possible for work. I am at the moment the Bar GM, and beverage director at the Blue Boar Bar at Conrad Hotel (working on our new menu, GP and so on) This has given me the opportunity to develop and carry on many of the projects that I wanted to do that I could not focus on before.
I have finalized the recipe for the liquor I had worked on for the past few years, and this is very exciting for me. It is Mexican inspired, with herbs and spices that had never been used before. I am now on the cocktails designing part, and on the other hand I am learning all the "boring bits" on how to register my company, alcohol tax, warehouse, and how to develop a business plan. This is taking much of my time, but makes the quarantine go by in a great and productive way.
I am also trying to create a website, for both my Liquor and my consultancy projects, this is something very interesting, actually it really fascinates me, it is a very wide topic, as besides the mechanics, there is a great deal of marketing involved and itself is another massive and interesting area to explore, working on my Instagram account and so on.
It is actually during this that I came across this very interesting take. This person suggests to add a sign language section to your website, that immediately caught my attention, so I have actually decided to learn sign language, I am sure that I am not the only one that has tried watching TV to replicate some of it, but it has always been limited to that. I have been doing this for a few weeks now, and let me tell you it is not easy, but now I can say "thank you", "no", "Beer and Gin"!
This has took a lot of my days, but if there is one thing we have now is time, and besides the usual Netflix afternoon, I have decided to explore the cooking family traditions. I am lucky enough to have my grandmother alive and well, and one of them is surprisingly good with WhatsApp, so we cook together over the phone.
I have worked on creating our Lievito madre (made by the fermentation of dough using naturally occurring lactobacilli and yeast) some family and pizzeria have their own as much as 100 years.
I can say that I have mastered Ravioli by now, and we have moved on to the Focaccia Barese. Hopefully we will all be back to our life soon, but this time around I might offer you pasta alongside your cocktails.