While there are many bakeries in Condesa, Panadería García Madero is without a doubt one of the best. Apart from the smell of fresh bread lingering on the sidewalk, the first thing you notice upon arriving is the wide smile of Ismael, the owner and head baker. As your eyes begin to wander, you see the open kitchen with standing metal racks filled with loaves of bread, pain au chocolates, conchas, and other guilty pleasures fresh out of the oven. The customers lined up vary from the nearby ramen restaurant waiter to the Ibero professor with a book in hand.
The tiny bakery on Vicente Suárez
This tiny bakery was originally located in Tlalpan. But in 2012, as reads on the old-timey sign outside, Ismael moved the bakery to its current Condesa location as part of a joint venture with friends; however, nowadays, he is the sole individual in charge. While the small locale appears modest, the owner disclosed how it came to be what it is today using anecdotes from his life story. His poetic twist made the neighborhood go-to spot feel profound… and anything but modest.
A profession by accident
Ismael is not your average baker; in fact, for him, baking became a profession by accident, a profession by circumstance, but it is also his second job. He studied law in university and today, apart from baking, also works as a lawyer. But when his sister became pregnant while he was still studying, Ismael became more involved at her bakery and slowly but surely it became his surprise passion.
Ismael recalls having zero knowledge about baking. He spoke about the beginnings of his time as a baker, recalling arriving to his workshop from parties in the early morning to experiment with recipes. This newfound past time slowly began to be a constant in his life no matter where he found himself at the moment.
The baker then went on to compare learning the art to his best class in university, Judicial Argumentation. He matter-of-factly stated, “In order to derive the perfect line of arguments, you must first dissect the different parts of the overall picture.” Ismael claims it is the same for bread. To arrive at a mouth-watering creation, it is primordial to understand the ingredients: their composition, how they are baked, their origins, and so on.
Ode to Bread
One bite into a chocolate concha straight out of the oven (15 pesos well spent) will have you hooked for good. Our attention was further captivated by Ismael’s love for the world of baking and gastronomy. He specifically mentioned the poem “ Ode to Bread” by Pablo Neruda, which reads: “How simple you are, bread, and how profound!” According to the baker, understanding the famous Chilean’s verses allow you to appreciate the greater significance of this staple food.
It quickly became evident that part of what makes the breads at García Madero so delicious is the dedication and vision of its baker. His secret seems to be his manner of interconnecting the ways of life with his profession. Make your way to Condesa one morning (as early as 6-7am) to sample the selection, but be sure to ask when a fresh batch will come out of the oven. It is worth the wait.
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