On 15th December, Debrecen’s newest bakery, Panificio il Basilico Debrecen, opened its doors to great interest. The shop opened on the corner of Piac utca and Rózsa utca, in the Old Town Hall building, and is the brainchild of Szabolcs Szabadfi, better known as Szabi the Baker, who has mastered the craft over many years of working abroad.
According to Szabi, it was in Italy that he discovered the true craft and knowledge, where he also got acquainted with the matured sourdough, which he brought home from his Master. He and Giovanni worked day and night: baking at night, selling at the market during the day, and then shopping at the market for ingredients to make pizzas in the evening in a wood-fired oven. That’s when he realised that success doesn’t require a huge factory and huge machines, but rather an expertise, enthusiasm, and creative ideas.
The freedom he had there when their mood determined what they baked, is very close to him. Surprisingly, their customers did not mind not knowing the exact offer, because they could be sure that they would be welcomed and offered very tasty food. These Italian experiences are still with him today and he wants to pass on this mentality, attitude, and professionalism to his customers all over the country, including in the new shop he has just opened in Debrecen.
These are the words he uses to introduce himself on his website:
“I always thought that it’s okay if I’m not a scientist, I might look eccentric in the eyes of others, but I don’t give in to one thing about myself and my colleagues: when we start cooking for others, we have to strive for perfection every moment! Sourdough, pasta, is constantly changing, it requires a huge amount of attention from whoever is working with it. You can’t do it without commitment.
I want to spread the idea that you can make good food with good ingredients. Most of the time they are not from the most distant or expensive sources, but from careful local producers. I think that in recent years we have made rapid progress in our country in the field of food, but it is a long road and there is a lot we can learn from each other.”