Photo credit: Eric Martin - Le figaro Magazine
Djibril, a Senegalese-born baker, is an example of success in France. Since 2004 he is the manager of an artisan bakery in Paris, where he started working as an apprentice 22 years ago. He comes from a family of bakers from father to son.
“I’ve been immersed in this atmosphere since I was a young kid. I saw my father prepare the bread dough everyday while I was playing in his workplace. That’s why it seemed natural to me to become a baker.”
In 2010 and 2015, he won the prize awarded to the best artisan baker in Paris, a distinction that many envy.
“To bake a good baguette, patience and rigour are necessary. I feel challenged every day. What I like in bread making is that alchemy between ingredients as basic as flour, salt, water and yeast.
But the secret ingredient is passion. When you love your job, you want to do it as best as you can. As soon as I proved that I had what it takes to be a good baker, people trusted me and it made me want to surpass myself.
In addition, my father set the standards high. He had nothing when he left Senegal to come to France in 1981 and succeeded very well in this field. He’s a role model for me.
I only have a few memories of Senegal and what people told me about it but sooner or later, I'll go back there. I am 100% French and 100% Senegalese; these are two parts of myself that I can't separate.
To the ones who want to pursue this great occupation, I’d say ‘Work and persevere. It will pay off one day!’
There are no barriers nor discrimination for the ones who work hard and well in this field. It is so difficult to find a good baker that, with a good deal of effort, you can climb the ladder and become your own boss.”
The story is based on interviews given by Djibril to different media outlets.