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Food Arts Silver Spoon Award to Gerry Dawes


 Premio Nacional de Gastronomía - - James Beard Foundation Nomination (Best Wine Writing)
Premio Periodistíco Cava

Gerry Dawes's Article Medieval Riches of El Cid's City (About Burgos, Spain)
Front Page, The New York Times Sunday Travel Section

 About Blog Author Gerry Dawes, Premio Nacional de Gastronomía (National Gastronomy Award)




4/30/2012

Grupo Lezama's Café de Oriente in Madrid: Platos de Cuchara (dishes eaten with a spoon) and Other Dishes from Chef Pedro Quían; The Solemn Changing of the Guard at the Palacio Real; Celebration of Chinese New Year in La Plaza de Oriente


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When I was in Madrid in late November, early December, late January and early February doing interviews for a book on the career of Padre Luís de Lezama, the priest-restaurateur who founded the Grupo Lezama, which runs some 20 establishements--restaurants, hotels and cooking schools, I was privileged to eat many meals at his restaurants on the Plaza de Oriente.  


At Café de Oriente, one of the great platos de cuchara (dishes eaten with a spoon) is verdinas (young, green, flageolot-type beans) cooked with centollo (spider crab), a specialty of northern Spain, especially in Asturias.

Some days and nights, I went to La Taberna del Alabadero (see my report), but several days for lunch, Chef Pedro Quían invited me to Café de Oriente to sample some of his superb platos de cuchara, traditional dishes usually made with beans or garbanzos that are eaten with a spoon.  These are wonderful, hearty, winter dishes. that really hit the spot when the brisk, chilly wind that comes from the snow-capped Sierras de Guadarrama north of the city sweep through Madrid.  Sometimes it is said that the wind may not blow out a candle, but its chill can kill a man.  These delicious, classic platos de cuchara are life savers in the wintertime in Madrid. 


Pochas con almejas, Café de Oriente, Madrid.

Each day was a new adventure:  alubias con almejas, vedrinas con cangrejo, potaje de garbanzos, alubias de Tolosa con chorizo y morcilla, patatas a la Riojana, etc.  Along the way I sampled other dishes from Chef Quían's kitchen:  foie gras with fruit gelatins and purees, cured anchovies with green olives, croquetas de bacalao, pheasant, merluza with clams and some artfully constructed desserts.   Below is a slide show of some of the dishes I ate at Café de Oriente.  

Cafe de Oriente Platos de Cuchara and other dishes Nov 2010 - Feb 2011.
Photographs by Gerry Dawes©2010. Contact gerrydawes@aol.com.

Since I was staying on the Plaza de Oriente, at the Hostal Posada Real Manuel, above the Café de Oriente, I was able to observe and photograph life on the Plaza, day and night, and I was able to photograph the Solemn Changing of the Guard, which takes place only on the first Wednesday of each month, weather permitting, and not in the months of July, August and September or when another official event conflicts with the changing of the guard.  Below is a short slide show of the Solemn Changing of the Guard.

Solemn Changing of the Guard at the Palacio Real.
Photographs by Gerry Dawes©2010. Contact gerrydawes@aol.com.

On a beautiful, bright sunny February morning that was comfortably warm after several days of brisk cold,  I was waiting for the changing of the guard to begin when I heard  music coming from the Royal Theatre area on the far side of the Plaza de Oriente, near where the Café de Oriente is located.  Unbelievably, it was the Chinese expatriate contingent from Spain celebrating Chinese New Year at almost exactly the same time the changing of the guard at the Royal Palace was to take place.  Several hundred Chinese  wearing colorful costumes and carrying dragons that they danced along the parade route filed through the Plaza de Oriente and headed past the Senate toward the Plaza de España.  Slide show number three shows the Chinese parade celebrating their New Year. 

Expatriate Chinese New Year parade through the Plaza de Oriente in Madrid.
Photographs by Gerry Dawes©2010. Contact gerrydawes@aol.com.
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About Gerry Dawes and Gerry Dawes's Spain: An Insider's Guide to Spanish Food, Wine, Culture and Travel  
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. 

Dawes 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
A trailer from a proposed reality television series with Gerry Dawes  
on gastronomy, wine, culture and travel in Spain.
 

4/19/2012

Madrid Photographic Journal (Part One of Several Entries): Plaza Mayor, Plaza de Oriente, Palacio Real

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(Double click on image, go to Picasa web albums, click on slideshow and the F11 for full screen view.)
______________________________________________________

About Gerry Dawes

Gerry Dawes's Spain: An Insider's Guide to Spanish Food, Wine, Culture and Travel

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.

And Michael & Ariane Batterberry, Editor-in-Chief/Publisher and Founding Editors/Publishers of Food Arts, wrote in October 2009.  ". . .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. . ."
  video
Mr. Dawes is currently working on a reality television series
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

4/17/2012

Spain Journal, Day One: Madrid & El Mercado de San Miguel


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El Mercado de San Miguel re-opened several months ago after a multi-year restoration project. El Mercado de San Miguel may strike you at first as a little too slick, a little too precious, a little too studied and light years from what you might expect from old Madrid, but this beautifully renovated market, just steps from the Plaza Mayor, has become the hottest tapas destination in Madrid.


Many of the stands are market bars, where you can consume what you purchase at the counter or at one of the communal tables in the common areas. In the daytime, there are shoppers and noshers. At night, the Mercado is packed with people, many of them 20s-30s something picking away a 1-Euro slices of smoked salmon, impeccable cheeses from Josè Luìs Martìn's Fromagerie, mariscos from the shellfish purveyor and sexy wines from Pinkleton's Wine Bar. Here is a slide show of my first images. I will have more from three visits. Don't miss El Mercado de San Miguel!


El Mercado San Miguel (www.mercadodesanmiguel.es), along Cava San Miguel, just off the Plaza Mayor.

 
Slide show of El Mercado de San Miguel.
____________________________________________________________________________
About Gerry Dawes

Gerry Dawes's Spain: An Insider's Guide to Spanish Food, Wine, Culture and Travel


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.

4/11/2012

Spanish Wine & Food Pairing: Possibilities Are Limitless - Culinary Institute of America-Greystone/Worlds of Flavor Website on Spain

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Tapas & Vino, El Mercado de San Miguel, Madrid

Text & Photographs by Gerry Dawes ©2008


In recent years, Spain has become increasingly popular with American wine drinkers. Once perceived as a source of inexpensive wines with an envious price-quality ratio, Spain has become increasingly sought out for the quality of its wines and many are fetching high prices. The American boom in Spanish tapas bars and restaurants (more than 70 establishments in New York City alone), with by-the-glass sales and adventurous Spanish wine lists, has helped introduce a multitude of new consumers to the jewels of the Spanish wine world. 

Likewise, savvy sommeliers around the country, once attracted by price, now by the quality levels of Spanish wines, are giving them prominence on wine lists at a broad range of restaurants, including the mostly highly regarded restaurants in the country. This has also been spurred by intense publicity about Spanish cocina de vanguardia, which has attracted many American chefs and food lovers to Spain where, in the process of discovering Spanish food, they have also discovered the wide gamut of Spanish wines.


Spanish wines are naturally great with the broad spectrum of Spanish traditional cuisines and many of them work well with ultra-modern dishes and cooking techniques inspired by Spanish chefs. But the real revelation is the ability of these wines to match well with a range of cuisines just as the wines of France, California, Italy, and Australia do. 

In this article, I make some broad sketches of different Spanish wine types and equally broad recommendations about some foods they might pair with. With some tasting and experimentation, American chefs, restaurateurs, and wine-lovers will find a whole new world of exciting possibilities within the range of Spanish wines now available in many markets.

Read the rest of the article here.

___________________________________________________________________________
About Gerry Dawes

Gerry Dawes's Spain: An Insider's Guide to Spanish Food, Wine, Culture and Travel


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.

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