In January 2014, I organized and led the Club Chefs of Connecticut and New York on a culinary educational tour through Barcelona, San Sadurni d'Anoia (Cava country), Valencia, Alicante and Madrid.
The following week, I organized and led John Sconzo (Docsconz: Musings on Food and Life http://docsconz.com/2014/02/a-master-cortador-makes-his-mark-in-avila/) and his son L. J. on a week-long trip through Segovia, Ávila, Segovia, Cáceres, Mérida, Jabugo, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, the Sierra Morenas north of Córdoba, Chinchón and Toledo. With more posts to come on his blog, John Sconzo wrote this in one of his first entries about the trip:
"Nights like this are ones that just need to be appreciated for the something special that they are. It is no exaggeration that Gerry Dawes, my friend, traveling companion and guide “knows and appreciates Spain more than all but a few Spaniards” let alone people from other countries. That statement came from our host for the evening, Benjamin Rodriguez Rodriguez, the proprietor of the humble appearing, but fully sensational El Rincon de Jabugo situated in the equally humble, but comfortable Gran Hostal San Segundo located just outside the historic walls of Avila near the San Vicente gate."
Teléfono movíl (during stays in España): (011 34) 670 67 39 34
"Chiarello embarked on a crash course by traveling to Spain for 10 days in 2011 with Food Artscontributing authority Gerry Dawes, a noted expert on Spanish food and wine. Coqueta's (Chiarello's new restaurant at Pier Five, San Francisco) chef de cuisine, Ryan McIlwraith, later joined Dawes for his own two week excursion, as well. Sampling both old and new, they visited wineries and marketplaces, as well as some of Spain's most revered dining establishments, including the Michelin three-star Arzak, Etxebarri, the temple to live fire-grilling; Tickets, the playful Barcelona tapas bar run by Ferran Adrià and his brother, Albert; and ABaC, where Catalan cooking goes avant-garde." - - Carolyn Jung, Food Arts, May 2013.
Janet Van Aken, Charlie Trotter, Norman Van Aken. Photo: Don Alfonso Iaccarino.
EO Agency Pilot Video of Proposed 7 Days, 7 Nights Television Series
"As with most culinary adventures, for Terrance Brennan (Chef-owner of New York City's Picholine and Artisanal restaurants; Founder of Artisanal Premium Cheese Center) it began as an occasional whisper. Then it became a persistent drone. And, finally a repetitive shout: 'Spain! Go to Spain! . . . Spain is the new France!' It was hard to ignore, so when his long-time friend Gerry Dawes suggested a whirlwind gastronomic tour of Spain, Terrance leapt at the idea. Dawes often referred to as 'Mr. Spain' (in culinary and wine circles), is an expert on that country's food, wine, and culture, and was the ideal person with whom to make the pilgrimage. Reigning in Spain: Blazing Through a Culinary Tour, The Artisanal Table, Summer 2008.