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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)




1/14/2017

Club Chefs of Connecticut & New York Taste of Spain Tour 2014 with Gerry Dawes, Day 3, Jan. 15, Cava Rimarts, Paella at La Matandeta (La Albufera, Valencia), plus Seminars on Jamón Ibérico de Bellota and Anchovies at Casa Montaña & a Visit to the Mercat Central in Valencia (with videos)



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 Map at a pit stop on the road from Barcelona to Valencia. Photo by Gerry Dawes©2014 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest. Canon 5D Mark III / Tokina 17-35mm f/4.

Club Chefs of Connecticut & New York Taste of Spain Tour 2014 with Gerry Dawes.  Chefs Gerard Resnick (center), Austin Simard (back left), Wayne Kregling (background( and Carey Favreau, watch Chef-partner Rafael Gálvez, La Matandeta, making authentic paella Valenciana. La Matandeta is located on the Albufera Lagoon, a scant ten kilometers from the center of Valencia, gives our group of chefs lessons in making great paella. Photo by Gerry Dawes©2014 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest. Canon 5D Mark III / Tokina 17-35mm f/4.

By Chef Brian Limitone, Meadow Ridge Senior Living, Redding, CT
(with input from Gerry Dawes) 

During the week of January 12-19, the Club Chefs of Connecticut, along with several Club Chefs from New York, took a gastronomic journey through Barcelona, Valencia, Alicante and Madrid. This prestigious group of ten executive chefs from Connecticut experienced a crash course in the tastes of Spain under the guidance of Gerry Dawes our organizer, guide and Spanish food and wine expert.

Wednesday morning, January 15, we boarded our bus, made a stop an hour south west of Barcelona at the artisan family sparkling wine producer, Cava Rimarts, in San Sadurni d’Anoia, where 90% of Spain’s method champenoise sparkling wine is produced.  After tasting superb sparkling wines of Ricard and Ernest Martínez, the owners of Rimarts, we headed south along the Mediterranean coast for a three-hour trip to Valencia.  

 
 Club Chefs of Connecticut (and New York) Taste of Spain Tour 2014 with Gerry Dawes: Ernest Martínez explaining how Cava Rimarts is made, Sant Sadurní d'Anoia, Catalunya, Spain, Jan. 15, 2014. Photo by Gerry Dawes©2014 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest. Canon 5D Mark III / Tokina 17-35mm f/4.

Co-owner Ricard Martínez with a bottle of his excellent Cava Rimarts Burt Nature Gran Reserva, which is aged for 40 months on the lees, Sant Sadurní d'Anoia, Catalunya, Spain, Jan. 15, 2014. Photo by Gerry Dawes©2014 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest. Canon 5D Mark III / Tokina 17-35mm f/4.

 
Jordi Ausro, manager and hamcutter at Mas Gourmets de L'Embotit, L'Illa Diagonal shop, Barcelona, with Rimarts Rosae Cava, which is partially made in toasted barrels to give it a lightly smoky taste to accompany smoked salmon. Club Chefs of Connecticut (and New York) Taste of Spain Tour 2014 with Gerry Dawes. Photo by Gerry Dawes©2014 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest. Canon 5D Mark III / Canon 24mm f/2.8 (from http://lensrentals.com.

Just a few kilometers to the south of on city on the Albufera lagoon, we were treated to an outdoor cooking demonstration at La Matandeta, a restaurant specializing in paella and, appropriately, surrounded by rice fields, which are flooded at this time of the year.  As the talented chef-owner Rafael Gálvez built his fire and warmed up two huge paella pans, we were treated to a seemingly never ending appetizer of tapas plates sent from the kitchen of his son-in-law, the executive chef Rubén Ruiz Vilanova.  

Chef-partner Rafael Gálvez, La Matandeta, adds the rice to a paella. Photo by Gerry Dawes©2014 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest. Canon 5D Mark III / Tokina 17-35mm f/4.

Gálvez, glowing with pride and confident in his maestry of paella making, dazzled us with his technique for making classic paella Valenciana (with chicken, duck, rabbit and two kinds of beans) and a vegetable paella (the Mario Batali-Gweneth Paltrow “On the Road in Spain” paella episode was filmed at La Matandeta).  Spaniards seldom eat white rice; they almost always use a little saffron and some yellow powdered colorante.   


  Video of making paella with a maestro at La Matandeta, La Albufera, Alfafar (Valencia).

After lunch, we visited the Albufera lagoon-side village of El Palmar, which has canals for shallow draft lake-fishing boats and some thirty restaurants specializing in paella and other rice dishes. 

El Palmar, a village on the Albufera lagoon with some 30 paella restaurants, Valencia, Spain.  The shallow bottom boats on these canals are used to catch fish and eels and to take tourists on boat rides around the lake.  Photo by Gerry Dawes©2014 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest. Canon 5D Mark III / Tokina 17-35mm f/4.

That evening, we went to the exceptional Casa Montaña in the Cabanyal, once the fishermen’s district of Valencia. Casa Montaña, originally founded in 1836, is owned by the great Emiliano García and managed by his son, Alejandro.  

Club Chefs of Connecticut (and New York) Taste of Spain Tour 2014 with Gerry Dawes at Valencia's Casa Montaña, which dates to 1836, is owned by the great Emiliano García.  Photo by Gerry Dawes©2014 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest.  Panasonic Lumix DMC ZS30 43-86mm f3.3 – f6.4.


Alejandro had set up a jamón Ibérico de bellota (ham from Ibérico breed pigs that forage in vast oak forests and are fattened from eating bellotas, acorns) cutting and tasting session, conducted by master professional ham cutter, Juanma Aguilar, who expertly guided our group through an in-depth session in the selection and slicing of these expensive hams, Spain equivalent of caviar.  Everywhere we went we were treated with thinly sliced from Ibérico salt and air-cured ham. The Spanish hog producers allow the animals to feed on acorns, usually for a two-month period in winter, which helps enrich their meat with a flavor redolent of nuts.  A gran reserva jamón Ibérico de bellota, air-cured for some 42 months and weighing eight kilos (about 17.5 lbs.) can cost 375 Euros or more, or some $525 per ham,  or about $30 per lb.

Master hamcutter Juan Manuel Aguilar,  who gave a ham seminar for the Club Chefs of Connecticut (and New York) Taste of Spain Tour 2014 with Gerry Dawes at Valencia's Casa Montaña, which dates to 1836, is owned by the great Emiliano García.  Photo by Gerry Dawes©2014 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest.  Canon 5D Mark III / Tokina 17-35mm f/4.
(Click on the long link above for a video on ham cutting.)

After the jamón Ibérico seminar, Alejandro led us into a private dining room and gave us a short seminar on anchoas (anchovies), following by a parade of Casa Montaña's top quality product-focused tapas.

After the jamón Ibérico seminar, Alejandro García led us into a private dining room and gave us a short seminar on anchoas anchovies) de Santoña, a fishing village in Cantabria, considered by many to produce the best anchovies, followed by a parade of Casa Montaña's top quality product-focused tapas.  Club Chefs of Connecticut (and New York) Taste of Spain Tour 2014 with Gerry Dawes at Valencia's Casa Montaña, which dates to 1836, is owned by the great Emiliano García.  Photo by Gerry Dawes©2014 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest.  Panasonic Lumix DMC ZS30 43-86mm f3.3 – f6.4.

 
Mojama, salt-and-air cured tuna "loin," dressed with Spanish extra virgen olive oil and peppercorns, at Casa Montaña in Valencia.  Photo by Gerry Dawes©2014 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest.  Panasonic Lumix DMC ZS30 43-86mm f3.3 – f6.4.

The next morning we visited Valencia’s colorful Mercat Central, located near our hotel, perusing the fish, meat, fruit-and-vegetable, cheese and spice stands, then stopping just outside the Mercat’s entrance to see the often photographed stand selling paella pans and cooking paraphernalia. And at the adjacent market bar, we sampled typical rich, thick, Spanish hot chocolate with churros and horchata de chufa (Spanish; a classic Valencian drink made from chufas, or tigernuts)

 
Mercat Central, Valencia.  Photo by Gerry Dawes©2014 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest.  Canon EOS 6D / Canon 24 105mm f/4L IS USM.

 
Aceitunas (olives) vendor, Mercat Central, Valencia, Jan. 15, 2014.  Photo by Gerry Dawes©2014 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest.  Canon EOS 6D / Canon 24 105mm f/4L IS USM.


 
 Spanish pimentón (paprika) at Especias Antonio Catalán Gómez, puestos 453-457, Mercat Central, Valencia, Jan. 15, 2014.  Photo by Gerry Dawes©2014 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest.  Canon EOS 6D / Canon 24 105mm f/4L IS USM.

 
 Churros con chocolate and orxata (Valenciano), or horchata de chufa (Spanish; a classic Valencian drink made from tigernuts), at L'Orxatería, Mercat Central, Valencia, Jan. 15, 2014.  Photo by Gerry Dawes©2014 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest.  Canon EOS 6D / Canon 24 105mm f/4L IS USM.

 
 Paella pan and kitchen utensil stand just outside the main entrance to the Mercat Central, Valencia, Jan. 15, 2014.  Photo by Gerry Dawes©2014 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest.  Canon EOS 6D / Canon 24 105mm f/4L IS USM.


video
Double click on screen to see a special video on Valencia & Alicante 
with guest chef Terrance Brennan, Picholine, New York

Next up:  More adventures in Alicante and Alicante province

Chefs participating on this tour were Chefs Brian Limitone, Meadow Ridge Senior Living, Redding, CT;  Gerard Resnick, Century Country Club, Purchase, NY; Robert Rainone, Larchmont Yacht Club, Larchmont, NY; Carey Favreau, Glen Arbor Club, Bedford Hills NY; Wayne Kregling, Brownson Country Club, Huntington, CT; Wayne Klingman, Garden City Country Club, Garden City, NY; Victor Honrath, Wykagyl Country Club, New Rochelle, NY;  Dan Neuroth, Bronxville Field Club, Bronxville, NY;  Austin Simard , Brownson Country Club, Huntington, CT; and James Rosenbauer, Country Club of Farmington, Farmington, CT.
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About Gerry Dawes

Writing, Photography, & Specialized Tours of Spain & Tour Advice

 For custom-designed tours of Spain, organized and lead by Gerry Dawes, and custom-planned Spanish wine, food, cultural and photographic itineraries, send inquiries to gerrydawes@aol.com.  


I have planned and led tours for such culinary stars as Chefs Thomas Keller, Mark Miller, Mark Kiffin, Michael Lomonaco and Michael Chiarello and such personalities as baseball great Keith Hernandez and led on shorter excursions and have given detailed travel advice to many other well-known chefs and personalities such as Drew Nieporent, Norman Van Aken, Karen Page and Andrew Dornenberg, Christopher Gross, Rick Moonen, James Campbell Caruso and many others.

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“The American writer and town crier for all good Spanish things Gerry Dawes . . . the American connoisseur of all things Spanish . . .” Michael Paterniti, The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge and The World’s Greatest Piece of Cheese

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"Gerry Dawes, I can't thank you enough for opening up Spain to me." -- Michael Chiarello on Twitter. 

"Chiarello embarked on a crash course by traveling to Spain for 10 days in 2011 with Food Arts
contributing 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.


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"In his nearly thirty years of wandering the back roads of Spain," Gerry Dawes has built up a much stronger bank of experiences than I had to rely on when I started writing Iberia...His adventures far exceeded mine in both width and depth..." -- James A. Michener, author of Iberia: Spanish Travels and Reflections
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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. 
 
". . .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
Pilot for a reality television series with Gerry Dawes  
on wine, gastronomy, culture and travel in Spain.

Experience Spain With Gerry Dawes: Customized Culinary, Wine & Cultural Trips to Spain & Travel Consulting on Spain

Gerry Dawes can be reached at gerrydawes@aol.com
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