Italy’s bread of life for Devizes
Devizes baker Giovanni Campanella showed a nationwide audience his passion and skills for making bread and cakes.
Mr Campanella, owner of Dolcipani bakery and coffee shop in Old Swan Yard, Devizes, and employee Rafal Mozal, won the Wiltshire and Hampshire heat in ITV’s Britain’s Best Bakery programme.
They wowed the judges with their famous Napoli sourdough bread, baked using yeast from a 25-year culture Mr Campanella brought with him from his native Italy.
Judge Mich Turner said the bread was “very memorable, superb” while fellow judge Peter Sidwell admired the technical ability that went into baking the bread and said the flavour was “amazing”.
The judges also remarked on Mr Campanella’s creativity and vision for the other dishes he created.
Mr Campanella baked with ingredients he had not used before in two tasks, including gooseberries and coffee in cakes. While his gooseberry sponge wowed the judges his coffee cake, which he baked in the regional final, was not as successful and The Cottage Kitchen in Kingsbridge, Devon, were crowned the regional winners.
Mr Campanella said he was proud of his and Mr Mozal’s efforts in the competition.
He said: “I went there to enjoy myself and I did it. I had a great time. Passion is 80 per cent of what you do, 20 per cent is knowledge.
"What I liked most is that my Napoli bread, which we have been baking for 20-odd years, is out in the open.
“It would be my dream to have this bread in 100 years’ time to be known as the bread of Devizes.”
Dolcipani already had loyal customers but since their appearance on the programme it has gained new ones.
Dolcipani was revamped in December and the number of covers has doubled to about 40. It is now open on Sundays.
As well as bread it serves freshly cooked pasta, meat dishes, fish and salads.
Mr Campanella opened Dolcipani in 1993, three years after he opened Franco’s restaurant, also in Old Swan Yard.
The family ran the Isola Bella restaurant in High Street, Devizes for eight years, until their lease ended which led to the refurbishment of Dolcipani.