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11/24/2010

San Sebastián Gastronomika Dinner at Elkano, "the Best Fish Restaurant in the World," (Yes!!) Getaria, Guipuzkoa, Euskadi. 11-23-2010


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Gerry Dawes's Persistence of Memory* (Salvador Dalí)  Melting Watch Awards.


Barcelona journalist Xavi Agullo, moderator and at organizer at San Sebastián Gastronomika 2010 told the crowd of 130 invitees that Pedro and Aitor Arregui's Elkano restaurant was "the best fish restaurant in the world."  By the end of the evening, Agullo had made believers out of the likes of Drew Nieporent, Daniel Boulud, David Chang, Wylie Dufresne and many more. Here is the story of that remarkable dinner in photos.


Double click on the photos to see the slide show enlarged.


Gerry Dawes can be reached at gerrydawes@aol.com; Alternate e-mail (use only if your e-mail to AOL is rejected): gerrydawes@gmail.com

11/22/2010

San Sebastian Gastronomika Opening Reception 11-21-2010


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All photographs copyright 2010 by Gerry Dawes.

10/18/2010

Iberia Airlines Adds New U.S. - Spain Routes


* * * * *

Madrid's Terminal IV
 
Press release from Iberia Airlines:

The United States will be the principal focus of Iberia's long-haul growth strategy in 2011, as it launches two new routes, one between Los Angeles and Madrid, and another between Miami and Barcelona. 

Starting in March 28th, the Spanish company will operate three non-stop flights weekly from Los Angeles–on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays–with an additional Thursday flight in July-September. 

 Iberia expects to carry some 68,000 passengers on the Los Angeles route in the first year of operation. The flights will depart Los Angeles at 17:55 h. and arrive in Madrid at 14:15 h. the following day. In Madrid passengers can continue to another 36 destinations in Spain, 38 in Europe, 10 in Africa and one in the Middle East (Tel Aviv). The return flight will depart the Spanish capital at 12:35 h. and arrive in Los Angeles at 16:15 h.

 The new Miami-Barcelona service begins next March 29th, with flights on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, departing Miami at 18:45 h. and arriving in Barcelona at 10:35 h. the following day. The return flight will leave at 13:30 h. to reach Miami at 17:10 h. From Barcelona, passengers from Miami can continue to another 16 destinations in Spain and 27 in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, all operated by Vueling, in which Iberia holds a 45% share. 

These flights to Barcelona are in addition to Iberia's daily Miami-Madrid flights, and brings the total to 10 weekly flights connecting Miami with Spain and, thanks to the numerous connections available in Madrid and Barcelona, with many destinations in the rest of Spain, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. In the first year of operation, Iberia expects to transport some 64,000 passengers between Miami and Barcelona.


Barcelona airport (BCN)

The aircraft used on the routes will be 254-seat Airbus A-340/300s, with a 36-seat Business Plus section, recently redesigned, with 2.20 meters of space for each passenger and seats that unfold into flat beds. 

With these two new routes, the United States is consolidated as Iberia's most important long-haul market. In 2011 Iberia will offer a total of 1,164,000 seats between the United States and Spain, representing a 13% increase from 2010. 

There will be seat offer increases in Chicago and Boston: larger aircraft (Airbus A-340/600s with 342 seats) will be used in the Chicago-Madrid route and more frequencies will be added to the Boston-Madrid route – six from May to October next year.   Iberia will also operate three more weekly flights from New York to Madrid in July and August 2011, up to 17 flights a week during the summer time.  

These new routes and the increase of seat offer in New York, Chicago and Boston are part of the "joint business agreement" launched on October 1st between Iberia, American Airlines, and British Airways for routes over the North Atlantic, which increase the travel options available to clients of all three airlines, with more frequencies and more destinations, as well as better connections across all three networks. Thanks to this agreement, Iberia has added its code to an increased number of American Airlines flights from Iberia gateways in U.S. to other U.S. cities.

10/16/2010

Ferran: The Inside Story of El Bulli and the Man Who Reinvented Food by Colman Andrews, a book review

* * * * *
Ferran Adrià  and Tim Zagat at the book launch at the International Culinary Center in NYC on Oct. 12, 2010.   Photo by Gerry Dawes©2010.

Ferran: The Inside Story of El Bulli and the Man Who Reinvented Food by Colman Andrews, a book review excerpted from my article on Ferran Adrià in the October issue of Food Arts. 

(All photographs by Gerry Dawes copyright 2010.)


Colman Andrews, author ofFerran: The Inside Story of El Bulli and the Man Who Reinvented Food.   Photo by Gerry Dawes©2010.

"Colman Andrews first began thinking about writing a book about Ferran Adrià at the historic Culinary Institute at Greystone's "Spain and the World Table," conference in November, 2006. At that conference there was a particular poignant moment that was the climax of what Andrew's calls "a hugely ambitious, highly successful . . . program," when The French Laundry's Thomas Keller introduced Ferran Adríà to tumultuous applause. 

Thomas Keller at the Culinary Institute of America - Greystone
during his introduction of Ferran and the Spanish chefs during
the 2006 Worlds of Flavor Conference dedicated to Spain.
Photo by Gerry Dawes©2010.

Ferran Adríà and the all-star lineup of Spanish chefs 
at the CIA Worlds of Flavor Conference 2006. 
Photo by Gerry Dawes©2010.

Coming after the 2003 The New York Times Sunday Magazine article, Arthur Lubow article that posed the question, "Is Spain the New France?", the French-trained, Francophile Keller's introduction was something very much like the passing of the torch to Spain and to Adrià, who for nearly a decade now has been called "the world's greatest chef" and his restaurant, elbulli, "the world's greatest restaurant." That moment at the CIA-Greystone well may have been the greatest event in Spain's long culinary history.


Ferran Adrià and Arthur Lubow at the book launch 
at International Culinary Center in New York. 
Photo by Gerry Dawes©2010.

Andrews-with the help of elBulli (the official name of the restaurant) alumni, Ferran Adrià confidant and chef-restaurateur José Andrés "kept after" Ferran for nearly a year. At one point, Andrés told Andrews, "If he thinks this is my idea or your idea, he will maybe not be so eager to say yes. He has to think it is his idea." They both persisted until Ferran told Andrews, "the next time you are Barcelona, we'll talk." Andrews quickly booked a flight to Barcelona, where he long felt at home since he spent a lot of time there two decades ago writing his seminal book on the food of Catalunya, Catalan Cuisine: Europe's Last Great Culinary Secret (Atheneum, 1988).



Ferran Adrià at Inopia. 
Photo by Gerry Dawes©2010.


Andrews managed to pin Ferran down over dinner at Inopia, Ferran's brother Albert's happening tapas bar (he just sold it; see accompanying article). At the end of a meal that featured traditional Spanish tapas-white asparagus , five kinds of olives, jamón Ibérico from Salamanca, esquiexada (Catalan shredded raw salt cod salad), fried artichokes, fried boquerones (anchovies), pa amb tomaquet (Catalan grilled bred rubbed with tomato and garlic) and small grilled shrimp, washed down with a crisp Catalan white wine, Andrews asks himself about whether he had the green light to do this book, "Was this (Ferran's) capitulation?"



Boquerones en vinagre with olives and raf tomatoes, Inopia.
Photo by Gerry Dawes©2010.

All those who needed a book on Ferran-I am one of them, even though I have known him for nearly fifteen years-that tells you everything you need to know, but were always afraid to ask, about the man, his restaurant, his dimension-bursting food, his partner Juli Soler and the truth and mythology that surrounds elBulli, this fine, eminently readable treatment is a blessing. Colman Andrews has done a brilliant job with this nearly 300-page book, despite what the misguided review in The New York Times claimed.


Ferran Adrià at the International Culinary Center in NYC on Oct. 12, 2010.     
Photo by Gerry Dawes©2010.

Readers will come away from Ferran: The Inside Story of El Bulli and the Man Who Reinvented Food with an infinitely greater understanding of the "world's greatest chef," who indeed reinvented (and continues to reinvent) food in the 21st Century. The only negative in the American edition is that there are no photographs; the European edition apparently has them." 
 


10/15/2010

Insider’s Taste of Northern Spain Gastronomic Tour of Bilbao - San Sebastián - Navarra - Barcelona Nov. 27 - Dec. 5, 2010


*  *  *  *  *


Tour Organized and Led by
Writer-Photographer & Spain Expert

Gerry Dawes
 
Premio Nacional de Gastronómía 2003
  
Food Arts Silver Spoon Award
(Award profile written by José Andrés - Dec. 2009


Gerry Dawes has been traveling the Food and Wine Roads of Spain for more than 40 years and is personally acquainted with hundreds of restaurateurs, chefs, winemakers and food-and-wine personalities.  We will eat great food, meet a slew of great Basque and Catalan chefs and food personalities, taste wines with a winemaker or two, take lots of great photographs and develop a camaraderie on this trip that will ripen in recounting into vintage nostalgia.




Ferran Adrià and Gerry Dawes at Bar Basque,  NYC, Oct. 13, 2010. 
Photograph by John Sconzo©2010.

Tour accompanied by Dr. John Sconzo,
food aficionado & photographer extraordinarío.


Author & photographer of
Doc Sconz - The Blog: Musing on Food and Life
 (All photographs copyright by Gerry Dawes 2010.)

 Prices quoted are without airfare from the U.S. to Bilbao and return from Barcelona and include five and four star hotels, all designated restaurant meals with wines selected by Gerry Dawes and bus transportation within Spain.  Pricing depends on how many travelers will be joining the tour.

2 travelers:  $7,000.00
4 travelers:  $5,000.00
6-8 travelers:   $4,500.00
10-16 travelers:  $4,000.00


Itinerary: 


Day 00 USA-Madrid-Bilbao Evening Flight
 
Evening departure from the U.S. with each guest arranging own their flights.
Day 01 Saturday, Nov 27 Arrive Madrid, transfer to flight to Bilbao

Gerry Dawes will meet guests at the Bilbao airport.  We will take a short trip into Bilbao and see the Guggenheim Museum from the outside and have some tapas in the old quarter.




Guggenheim, Bilbao.  Photograph by Gerry Dawes©2010.

Leaving Bilbao, we will make another short trip to have lunch at Extebarri, where chef-owner Victor Arguinzoniz has taken the  art of  grilling to a new level.  Some experts consider Etxeberri to be among the top restaurants in Spain.

After lunch, we will drive an hour to San Sebastián, where we will check into the magnificent turn-of-the-19th century Hotel Maria Cristina by 5 p.m.

Siesta time until dinner at 9:30 p.m. at either Restaurante Arzak, Juan Mari Arzak and daughter Elena’s three-star temple of gastronomy, or Martín Berasategui’s superb three-star Restaurante Martín Berasategui in nearby Lasarte.  All three chefs are long-time personal friends of our tour organizer. 

Day 02  Sunday, Nov 28 San Sebastián

Hotel Maria Cristina, San Sebastián

Sunday morning will be free to explore the old quarter and walk the magnificent la Concha beach and esplanade.

Lunch will be a short ride outside San Sebastián at Mugaritz, where Chef Andoni Aduriz is considered one of the most innovative young chefs in the Spanish cocina de vanguardia movement.

Pintxos of mushrooms with ham and txangurro (crab) in a pastry shell 
with a rosado from Navarra at Bar-Restaurante Gandarias.

We will return to San Sebastián after lunch and the afternoon will be free until evening when we will go on a optional tapas-hopping tour of San Sebastián’s best pintxos bars and restaurants, with optional gin-tonics, etc. at one of the city’s greatest bars. 



Joaquín Fernández, owner and champion barman of Dickens 
in San Sebastián, making his classic Gin Tonic.

Day 03  Monday, Nov 29 San Sebastián

Hotel Maria Cristina, San Sebastian

In the morning, we will visit the colorful La Bretxa, Basque caserío farmers' market and San Martín market, then have some tapas in the bars surrounding the markets, some of which may have as many as 50 pintxos lined up along the bar.

For lunch, we will take a drive west along the Cantabrian Sea coast of the Bay of Biscay to the wonderful Basque fishing village of Getaria, hometown of Elkano, the first man to circumnavigate the globe; Balenciaga, the famous fashion designer; and Placido Domingo’s mother.  


First we will have several exceptional seafood appetizers at Elkano, one of the greatest fish and seafood restaurants in the world, then walk down the hill to Kaia (in the same family as Elkano), which has spectacular views of the fishing port from its perch on the hill and offers whole turbot grilled outdoors over a wood fire, accompanied by wines from one of the most enticing wine cellars in nothern Spain.  Gerry Dawes has had multiple experiences in both restaurants and we will get special insights into Basque seafood cooking.

  Turbot grilling at Kaia.

After some post-prandial patxaran (Basque liquor), we will explore a little more of the coast, then return to San Sebastián where guests will be have free time until dinner.




Dinner will be at Rekondo, a game specialist and one of the few restaurants open on  Mondays.  First, we drive past Rekondo up Monte Igeldo for spectacular Ipanema-like night views of San Sebastián.   Txomín Rekondo is a friend of Gerry’s and will show us his phenomenal wine cellar, which is one of the best in Europe.
    
Day 04  Tues, Nov 30  San Sebastián - Navarra - Barcelona
       
Hotel Duquesa de Cardona, Barcelona

In the morning, we will drive south about an hour and a half to visit the wonderful storybook castle-village of Olite in Navarra.
 

A short drive from Olite, we will stop for an early (for Spain) lunch with a Navarra winemaker near Tudela at a restaurant in southern Navarra specializing in the famous vegetables of the Ribera de Navarra region.

Wine lunch in southern Navarra.

After lunch, we will head for Barcelona, arriving in the early evening, and check into our hotel, La Duquesa de Cardona, which is conveniently located between the Port Vell (the yacht basin) and the beach and the lively Las Ramblas area, which we will visit often during our time in Barcelona.

We will check into our hotel and have time to relax before we head for dinner at a restaurant facing the Port Vell, El Suquet de L'Almirall, where chef Quím Marquéz turns out some exceptional interpretations of modern dishes based on traditional Catalan recipes.  Marquéz worked at El Bulli and is a very good friend of José Andrés.

Day 05 Weds, Dec 01 Barcelona

La Boquería

Hotel Duquesa de Cardona, Barcelona
 

We will have breakfast/lunch at the fabulous Mercat de San Josep, La Boquería, where we will sample the cooking of two of the legendary market bars, Pinotxo and Quím de la Boquería, and explore the market, where Gerry will introduce us to several of the key players that make this market one of the greatest in the world. 

Quím de la Boquería

For dinner, we will sample Ramón Freixa's  superb food at El Raco d'en Freixa, Barcelona's top-rated restaurant.  Afterwards, we will either go to the OMM hotel, one of the sexiest restaurant-watering holes in Barcelona, then our guests will have the option of  drinks in the muy movida bar or visiting one of Barcelona's legendary night clubs. 

 Day 06  Thurs, Dec 02 Barcelona - Manresa - Barcelona

 Hotel Duquesa de Cardona, Barcelona

We will try to get our group into Ferran Adrià’s elBulli Taller workshop, but we can’t promise that yet.  However, Ferran and his brother Albert are opening an upscale tapas restaurant in Barcelona in November and the bar should be open by the time of our visit, so we stop there for a drink at some point during our stay in Barcelona.


Albert Adrià, José Andrés and friend at Inopia, the tapas bar in Barcelona that Albert recently sold. All photographs by Gerry Dawes©2010.


By 11 a.m., we will head from Manresa to visit the Alicia Foundation, which Ferran helped to found.  This institution that explores the connection between Alimentacion (food) y Sciencia (science) is more about exploring the science and healthful aspects of food.  It is not a laboratory for creating the innovative new dishes that Ferran and the other vanguardia chefs are famous for, but it is a fascinating place that is not to be missed.


Chef Jordi Cruz, Angle Restaurant, and 
Toni Massenes, head of the Alicia Foundation.

Right next to the Alicia Foundation is the Angle Restaurant, where one of the best young chefs in Catalunya (and all of Spain) cooks.  Gerry had an exceptional lunch there in March. 

After lunch, we will return to Barcelona, where the rest of the afternoon will be free to visit this amazing city.

In the evening, we go on a tapas tour of Barcelona.  Later, we will have the option of having drinks at El Velodromo, a Barcelona classic that was renovated and revived last year, after many years of being closed, by Carlos Abellan, one of Ferran Adrià’s best known disciples.

Day 07  Fri, Dec 03 Barcelona

Hotel Duquesa de Cardona, Barcelona

The morning and afternoon will be free to tour Barcelona.

In the evening, in la Barceloneta, at Can Majo, we will have our farewell dinner on such wonderful dishes as first-rate traditionally prepared mariscos (shellfish), paella and arros negre (black rice) cooked with squid and colored with squid ink, along with some local Catalan wines.

Portions of arros negre, black rice with squid, and 
paella de mariscos, shellfish paella, at Can Majó in La Barceloneta.

Day 08, Sat, Dec 04 Barcelona - USA


Late morning flight to the U. S.  Option to spend more days in Barcelona.

__________________________________________________________________________
About Gerry Dawes


Gerry Dawes was awarded Spain's prestigious Premio Nacional de Gastronomía (National Gastronomy Award) in 2003. He writes and speaks frequently on Spanish wine and gastronomy and leads gastronomy, wine and cultural tours to Spain. He was a finalist for the 2001 James Beard Foundation's Journalism Award for Best Magazine Writing on Wine, won The Cava Institute's First Prize for Journalism for his article on cava in 2004, was awarded the CineGourLand “Cinéfilos y Gourmets” (Cinephiles & Gourmets) prize in 2009 in Getxo (Vizcaya) and received the 2009 Association of Food Journalists Second Prize for Best Food Feature in a Magazine for his Food Arts article, a retrospective piece about Catalan star chef, Ferran Adrià.

In December, 2009, Dawes was awarded the Food Arts Silver Spoon Award in a profile written by José Andrés.

". . .That we were the first to introduce American readers to Ferran Adrià in 1997 and have ever since continued to bring you a blow-by-blow narrative of Spain's riveting ferment is chiefly due to our Spanish correspondent, Gerry "Mr. Spain" Dawes, the messianic wine and food journalist raised in Southern Illinois and possessor of a self-accumulated doctorate in the Spanish table. Gerry once again brings us up to the very minute. . ." - - Michael & Ariane Batterberry, Editor-in-Chief/Publisher and Founding Editor/Publisher, Food Arts, October 2009. 

video
Mr. Dawes is currently working on a reality television series
on wine, gastronomy, culture and travel in Spain.

8/02/2010

The Passing of Michael Batterberry, The Culinary Grandee Who Co-Founder & Editor of Food Arts Magazine


* * * * *

Michael Batterberry receiving a Madrid Fusion award 
from Alberto Ruiz-Galladón, Mayor of Madrid, as Ariane Batterberry looks on.

I am very sad to report on the passing of one of the giants of the world of gastronomy and one of the greatest, most elegant men I have ever known, Michael Batterberry, who with his wife, Ariane (who survives him), Food & Wine magazine and then went on to found Food Arts, perhaps, because it is read avidly by chefs and restaurateurs, the most influential food magazine in America. 

Michael Batterberry receiving a Madrid Fusion award in 2006 from 
Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, Mayor of Madrid, as Ariane Batterberry looks on.

I am privileged to have known Michael Batterberry, to have shared experiences with him in New York, in Spain and in Napa Valley; to have written for Food Arts for nearly fifteen years under his direction; and to have been able to call him a friend. I, like many others, will miss him very, very much, now and into the future.

Michael Batterberry seriously contemplating his next culinary move 
at the Food Arts holiday party at Merle Evans's apartment, January 2010.

In any visual encyclopedia, under the definition of "gentleman," my first candidate would be a photograph of Michael in one of his impeccably tailored suits or blazers.  !Adios, Don Miguel, Vaya Usted con Dios!



Obituary, Food Arts 

7/27/2010

Estatuas Humanas (Living Statues) - The lovely Karen from Argentina, Winged Victory on Les Rambles, Barcelona

* * * * *
For the past several years, I have been photographing the Estatuas Humanas, the living statue performers that I encounter in Spain.  I have captured the large majority of them in Barcelona on Les Rambles, the city's raffish pedestrian mall cum communal outdoor parlor.  Each time I go, I encounter new statues, but many endure for several years, like Karen, from Argentina, who performs as a golden Winged Victory and is one of my favorites.  I usually talk to her every time I go the Ramblas and, on a couple of occasions, I have managed to capture her lovely image out of costume--sort of!

The lovely Karen (Argentina), Winged Victory. Les Rambles, Barcelona. 
Photo by Gerry Dawes ©2008.


Photographs featuring Karen as Winged Victory on Les Rambles.
(Double click to see enlarged view, click F11 for full screen.)
_________________________________________________________________________________ 

Pimientos de piquillo (piquillo peppers)



* * * * *

Pimientos de piquillo, small "pico," or beak-shaped [literally like a bird beak],
red triangular-shaped piquillo peppers.


Pimientos de piquillo rellenos de mariscos (piquillo peppers with a shellfish filling),
Restaurante Ducay, Olite (Navarra).


Pimiento de piquillo rellenos de bacalao (piquillo peppers with a salt cod filling)
and a red pepper sauce. Restaurante San Ignacio, Pamplona (Navarra).


Pimientos de piquillo stuffed with bonito tuna.
Conservas Camporel, Cintruenigo, Navarra.


Slide show of pimientos de piquillo rellenos 
at Conservas Camporel in Cintruenigo, Navarra. 
(Double click on image to see enlarged version.)


7/15/2010

Rusos de Álfaro: An exquisite, ethereal dessert from southeastern La Rioja that is little known outside its home region, but is one of the great desserts of Spain.


* * * * *
(A Work in Progress by Gerry Dawes. Text & Photographs©2010.)

* * * * *

First served to me at El Crucero restaurant, Corella (Navarra), rusos de Álfaro (literally, Russians from Álfaro) is an exquisite dessert that originated at Pastelería Malumbres in the late 19th Century in Álfaro, the main town of the La Rioja Baja winemaking district.   

Rusos de Álfaro, made with meringue, butter and sugar, sometimes flavored with almond or coffee cream, are world-class, ethereal, melt-in-your-mouth pastries that are delightful way to end a meal in southern Rioja or La Ribera de Navarra.  A dozen of these "rusos" weigh only 200 grams or about 7 ounces.

Marcos Malumbres of the founding family of Pastelería Malumbres showed Martín Orlando, the current owner since 1998 of what is now known as Confitería Marcos, how to make rusos de Álfaro and other desserts.   

Orlando told larioja.com, "In three generations, the way of making these pastries has not changed, but they had to change their ideas about how to achieve the ethereal texture (of the Rusos de Álfaro) using modern means (i. e., kitchen equipment and ovens)."
 
Rusos de Álfaro was voted the most preferred dessert of la Rioja at La Rioja.com. 
 
Rusos de Álfaro.

Rusos de Álfaro

La Receta (Recipe)

Recipe as published in Spanish on larioja.com and attributed to Martín Orlando of Confitería Marcos.

Ingredientes. Tal como aparecen en el etiquetado del producto, en orden decreciente:
Ingredients.  As they appear on the label of the product, en descending order.


Azúcar (Sugar)
Huevo (Egg)
Mantequilla (Butter)

Elaboración (How to make rusos):
 

Se prepara el merengue con clara de huevo y azúcar.
Make a meringue with egg whites and sugar.

Se escudilla para darle la presentación que deseamos.
(Se utilizan planchas cuadradas para los rusos y redondas para las tartas).
Use a baking pan for the prestentation desired, square tins for the Rusos, round ones for tarts.

Se hornea.              
Bake the meringue.

Por otro lado, se prepara la crema de mantequilla con huevo, azúcar y mantequilla.
While the meringue is baking, make a butter cream with eggs, sugar and butter.

Cuando se tiene todo preparado y atemperado se procede al montaje.
When the meringue has been baked and the butter cream is ready, you can put the whole thing together.

Se van montando las sucesivas capas de merengue y crema de mantequilla.
Alternate succesive layers of merengue and butter cream.

Los rusos de Confitería Marcos se realizan con tres capas de merengue y dos de mantequilla.
At Confitería Marcos three layers of merengue and two of butter cream are used.

Después se corta en la presentación que se desee.
Cut the pastries into the sizes and shapes desired.  They are also lightly dusted with confectioner’s sugar.

Opciones para postres caseros:
  Options for Rusos de Álfaro made at home.

En Confitería Marcos se comercializan migas de pastel de ruso, las cuáles se pueden combinar de diferentes formas para hacer postres.
  At Confitería Marcos, they sell “migas de pastel de ruso” (crumbs or smaller pieces), which can be combined in different ways to make desserts.
 

Martín Orlando sugiere mezclarlas con productos ácidos como los frutos del bosque o ponerles una cobertura de chocolate por encima.
Martín Orlando suggests mixing the migas with berries or putting chocolate over them.
 

Otros productos que tienen como base el pastel ruso: 
Other preparations that have “ruso” pastry as their base:

Tarta de ruso suprema (en la que se enriquece la crema de mantequilla con praliné de almendra).

Ruso supreme tart (in which the butter cream is enriched with almond praline).
 

Tarta de café: Enriquecida con pasas al ron y fideos de chocolate
Coffee tart: Enriched with rum-soaked raisins and strands of chocolate.
 

Cuadradito de chocolate: Inspirado en un bombón italiano, se trata de una mantequilla de chocolate enriquecida con un licor de cacao.

Little chocolate ruso squares: Inspired by an Italian “bombon”, they are made with a chocolate butter cream laced with chocolate liquer. 


To make this pastry “more than the percentage of ingredients, the most important thing is the way of making it.  You have to achieve a perfect baking temperature and time and an optimum assembly of the tart (the proportion of filling to meringue,” Martín Orlando told larioja.com, without revealing the proportions that he with the help of Señor Malumbre managed to perfect.

Like the article says, a maestro taught him how to do it, so they may not turn out exactly like those marvelous, ethereal rusos I had in Corella.

__________________________________________________________________________________

About Gerry Dawes  


Gerry Dawes was awarded Spain's prestigious Premio Nacional de Gastronomía (National Gastronomy Award) in 2003. He writes and speaks frequently on Spanish wine and gastronomy and leads gastronomy, wine and cultural tours to Spain. He was a finalist for the 2001 James Beard Foundation's Journalism Award for Best Magazine Writing on Wine, won The Cava Institute's First Prize for Journalism for his article on cava in 2004, was awarded the CineGourLand “Cinéfilos y Gourmets” (Cinephiles & Gourmets) prize in 2009 in Getxo (Vizcaya) and received the 2009 Association of Food Journalists Second Prize for Best Food Feature in a Magazine for his Food Arts article, a retrospective piece about Catalan star chef, Ferran Adrià. 


". . .That we were the first to introduce American readers to Ferran Adrià in 1997 and have ever since continued to bring you a blow-by-blow narrative of Spain's riveting ferment is chiefly due to our Spanish correspondent, Gerry "Mr. Spain" Dawes, the messianic wine and food journalist raised in Southern Illinois and possessor of a self-accumulated doctorate in the Spanish table. Gerry once again brings us up to the very minute. . ." - - Michael & Ariane Batterberry, Editor-in-Chief/Publisher and Founding Editor/Publisher, Food Arts, October 2009. 
 


video
Mr. Dawes is currently working on a reality television series 
on wine, gastronomy, culture and travel in Spain.



7/14/2010

A Homage to Culinary Adventures with Juan Suárez, One of the Great Non-professional Cooks in Spain: Teaching Famous Culinarians How to Fry an Egg, Cocido Madrileño, Cooking in Napa Valley at Cindy Pawlcyn's, Cooking at Home for the Madrid Fusión Mejicano Contingent and a Magical Adventure at Kaia near San Sebastián


* * * * *

Gerry Dawes's Persistence of Memory* (Salvador Dalí)  Melting Watch Awards.

* * * * *
Text & Photographs by Gerry Dawes©2010
gerrydawes@aol.com

Juan Suárez and his grandson, Borja, in a photo in Juan's kitchen in Madrid.

Juan Suárez, husband of Esmeralda Capel, one of the Directors of the  annual Madrid Fusión Gastronomy Summit, is one of the most accomplished non-professional cooks in Spain.  For several years, I have been following the cooking exploits of Suárez, a retired lawyer, avid golfer, one Hell of a culinarian and one of my great friends.  Even calling Suárez “non-professional” chef is stretching the point.  Technically, he does not get paid for cooking, but he is so well thought of by the great Chef Juan Mari Arzak that he has been invited to spend a week cooking in Arzak’s kitchen on several occasions.

Juan Suárez and Juan Mari Arzak at Arzak, where Juan has spent whole weeks cooking.

Once, back in 2004, on the spur of the moment in Napa valley, he cooked dinner at Chef-restaurateur Cindy Pawlcyn’s home in St. Helena, Napa Valley at a private party that including seven of the top winery principals in the valley, including Shafer, Duckhorn, Frog’s Leap, Spottswoode and Silverado.  

Juan and Cindy Pawlcyn in Cindy's home kitchen.

During Madrid Fusión 2006, Juan held high court in his kitchen, showing Mark Miller, Norman and Janet Van Aken, José Andrés, Harold McGee and me how to properly fry on egg in olive oil, Suárez style. 


And during Madrid Fusión 2010, his wife Esmeralda Capel called me to come over to their Madrid apartment “for a dinner we are doing for the Mexican contingent at Madrid Fusión.”  Cocktail star, mixologist Junior Merino wowed us all with a series of Latin inspired cocktail and Juan served us a stupendous dinner.


Slide show of Junior Merino making cocktails at the 
Juan Suarez-Esmeralda Capel dinner party at the beginning of Madrid Fusion 2010.
(Double click on image, go to Picasa web albums, click on slideshow and the F11 for full screen view.)

A few weeks later in Madrid, I had been on the road and had come back to Madrid and was laid up for a few days in Juan’s and Esmeralda’s apartment on calle O’Donnell.  I was really under the weather, but nothing could have kept me in bed, because that Sunday, Juan was cooking a full-blown Cocido Madrileño for some 20 people at his friends’ home in northwestern Madrid and there was no way I was going to miss either eating or photographing Juan’s cocido technique.  

Juan Suárez Makes a Cocido Madrileño in Madrid Feb. 8, 2010. 

Add to all this, dinners at his txoko, or gastronomic society clubhouse; shopping trips for food with Juan in Zarautz, near San Sebastián; in Biarritz, France; and in his Madrid neighborhood, numerous luncheons and dinners while I have been staying at Juan’s and Esmeralda’s apartment. 


Shopping at the Mercado in Zarautz.


Lunch after shopping in Juan's neighborhood near calle O'Donnell.

Once, when I was staying with Juan and Esmeralda at the family apartment in Zarautz, Juan and I wandered off to Getaria for some "tapas" before lunch.  I poked my head into Restaurante Elkano to see if Pedro and his son, Aitor were there.  Aitor was.  He beseeched me to fetch Juan and come in for a couple of tapas, then proceeded to roll out several truly stunning small plates of ethereal  kokotxas (tender "cheeks" from the neck of merluza, hake), a supreme delicacy, chipirones (small line-caught squid) al Pelayo (in onion sauce, typical of Getaria) and chipiron con su tinta (a grilled squid with ink sauce alongside); and then sublime ventresca (belly of tuna), all seafood that was among the best we had ever tasted.  After fighting off the impulse to have a whole grilled turbot and stay for the rest of lunch, we returned an hour or so late to take the ladies in our contingent for lunch, mumbling something about how gastronomic research was Hell and thank God, they didn't have to do it. 

"Tapas" at Elkano.

And then there was the peripatetic road trip with Juan, Kay and I to the Basque Country,  where a misunderstood request for a reservation at the exalted Etxebarri, instead took us on a twisting drive in the mountains of the Basque country to Etxebarria, where we would have had lunch in a country hotel that looked dedicated to banquets and weddings.  Instead, we bailed out and I called Maria Rosa at Kaia in Getaria west of San Sebastián and we had a spectacular lunch overlooking the picturesque port of this distinguished fishing village.  

We began with the exceptional anchovies house-cured in extra virgin olive oil and a perfect dish of almejas (clams) a la marinera with a bottle of the local effervescent wine Txakolina Getariako, then had a whole grilled rodaballo (turbot)--those pellets of fish between the spines of the fins are as good as caviar to me, the hummingbird tongues of the sea.  With the fish, as is often done in Spain, we had a red wine, this one a very special Bodegas Riojanas Monte Real Gran Reserva 1970, which did not top 13% alcohol and was excellent with this delicate, but meaty turbot.


A whole grilled turbot brought tableside at Kaia in Getaria.



Kaia Turbot Luncheon Slide Show

After lunch, we heard some stunningly good choral singing coming from the Kaia annex below the restaurant, Kaia-Pe.  It was a private party, but I went in anyway, told the people behind the bar that I was a friend of María Rosa, the owner of Kaia, got permission to stay, ordered a patxaran (sloe berry-infused anís; see patxaran story from Pamplona and Madrid) and called Juan and Kay to join me. By coincidence, Juan recognized a friend sitting at the tables full of singers and during a break in the singing, went over to greet him.  That gave us legitimacy and they invited us to stay.  

Patxaran (sloe berry-infused anís).

We had stumbled in on a special luncheon for the choral society of Getaria and we experienced one of the most magical hours I have ever spent in Spain.  There were fifty or more singers, singing for their own enjoyment and some of them even stood on chairs to sing.  I had experienced that illusive Spanish quality called duende, about which Federico García Lorca wrote a famous essay and which I had been lucky enough to experience at flamenco performances and at a very few bullfights in the past.  Think being in on a legendary jazz jam session or be there when the Million Dollar Quartet of Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins got together or when Roy Orbison was singing with Traveling Willburys.  It was that kind of magic, but with fifty Basque singers singing to show off for their peers. 







Basque Choral Group Slide Show

- - End - -
(With more stories to come.)
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About Gerry Dawes  


Gerry Dawes was awarded Spain's prestigious Premio Nacional de Gastronomía (National Gastronomy Award) in 2003. He writes and speaks frequently on Spanish wine and gastronomy and leads gastronomy, wine and cultural tours to Spain. He was a finalist for the 2001 James Beard Foundation's Journalism Award for Best Magazine Writing on Wine, won The Cava Institute's First Prize for Journalism for his article on cava in 2004, was awarded the CineGourLand “Cinéfilos y Gourmets” (Cinephiles & Gourmets) prize in 2009 in Getxo (Vizcaya) and received the 2009 Association of Food Journalists Second Prize for Best Food Feature in a Magazine for his Food Arts article, a retrospective piece about Catalan star chef, Ferran Adrià. 


". . .That we were the first to introduce American readers to Ferran Adrià in 1997 and have ever since continued to bring you a blow-by-blow narrative of Spain's riveting ferment is chiefly due to our Spanish correspondent, Gerry "Mr. Spain" Dawes, the messianic wine and food journalist raised in Southern Illinois and possessor of a self-accumulated doctorate in the Spanish table. Gerry once again brings us up to the very minute. . ." - - Michael & Ariane Batterberry, Editor-in-Chief/Publisher and Founding Editor/Publisher, Food Arts, October 2009. 
 
video
Mr. Dawes is currently working on a reality television series 
on wine, gastronomy, culture and travel in Spain.


7/11/2010

Pamplona--Matt Carney & Joe Distler at Las Fiestas de San Fermín, Talking About the Bulls and Running the Bulls

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Matt Carney & Joe Distler running the bulls in el encierro de Pamplona. 
Painting by Matador John Fulton.



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