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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)




3/10/2016

Looking Back: My Last Lunch at elBulli: A Memorable Day on Cala Montjoi, Dec. 4, 2010



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Because of minor road mishap on the road from Madrid via Zaragoza to Girona province--19 liters of gasoline pumped into Esmeralda Capel's Mercedes station-wagon, a diesel fuel car, which cost us a two-hour delay to get the car pumped out and re-filled--Kay, Esmeralda, her husband  Juan Suárez and I arrived in Port Lligat too late to catch the evening light.  Port Lligat is just a couple of kilometers north of the picturesque fishing village-artists' and expatriates' hangout of Cadaqués and was the home of Salvador Dalí, who, over several decades pieced together a string of fisherman's cottages to build one of the most evocative, charming, idyllic and inspiring homes on the planet.   

Dalí's Port Lligat, where he spent some of the happiest and most productive years of his life, is still relatively unspoiled.  I had stayed the Hotel Port Lligat back in the 1970s when it was a very basic hotel with minimal comfort and again in 1998s before my second trip to El Bulli when I found the place to be upgraded only slightly over my first visit, but the setting, right next door to Dalí's compound and looking out over the fisherman's cove was and still is unbeatable.  I had warned Esmeralda and Juan about the creature comforts (or lack of), but had raved about the location.  They agreed we should try the Port Lligat, so I booked two "especial" double rooms, special because the rooms look out over Dalí's cove, for €100 (about $135.00) per room.

We arrived around 8 p.m. because of our road delay with a brisk cold wind blowing--I feared we might catch the fierce tramuntana wind that is so notorious in the Empordá-Costa Brava.  The legendary tramuntana is blamed for the fact that  residents of the area are known for their strange quirks, since the wind is said to drive people mad during what sometimes amounts to an incessant week-long blow, which blows so strong that it has been known to topple a freight train.   It takes no stretch of the imagination, seeing some of Salvador Dalí's paintings with odd landscapes swept totally clean and pristine by the tramuntana, to believe that the great artist owed some of his peculiar genius to the winds of the Empordá-Costa Brava.

That's why it drives me a little tramuntana crazy myself when I read claims that Ferran Adriá, the dimension-bursting genius chef of elBulli, which is located just a few kilometers southeast of Salvador Dalí's Cadaqués and Port Lligat by boat, is the Picasso of Spanish cuisine.  

See the slideshow below for visuals of this memorable luncheon at elBulli.  I lament to say that my dear, great friend Juli Soler, the driving front-of-the-house force behind elBulli, died last year.  Every January, for the past few years, I would see him for lunch in Barcelona.  There will be a huge void at the end of this month, January 2016, when I go to Barcelona and will encounter only the indelible trail of memories he left in the wake of his passing through this life.


(Double click to see large view of slideshow.)
For more information on the photographs, contact gerrydawes@aol.com.


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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 prize in 2009 and received the Association of Food Journalists 2009 Second Prize for Best Food Feature in a Magazine for his retrospective piece in Food Arts magazine about Catalan star chef, Ferran Adrià.


Trailer for a proposed reality television
series on wine, gastronomy, culture and travel in Spain.


Experience Spain With Gerry Dawes: Culinary Trips to Spain & Travel Consulting on Spain

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

3/05/2016

Three Versions of Verdinas Con Mariscos (Beans From Asturias Cooked With Shellfish)


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Asturian verdinas con mariscos (beans cooked with shellfish), a dish made with beans brought back from my recent trip to Asturias, cooked with crab legs, clams, shrimp and imitation crab pieces (this last should be left out, doesn't add anything to the dish). 11-11-2012.   Dish and photo by Gerry Dawes©2012; gerrydawes@aol.com


 
Asturian verdinas con mariscos (beans cooked with shellfish, in this case nécora crab and shrimp), served to us at Casa Rural Heredad de la Cueste, C/ La Cueste, 26, Llenín, Cangas de Onís (Asturias) 686 92 73 04; owners Jaime Rodríguez Alonso and his wife, Marichu, whose mother owned this lovely house.  Last year, Heredad de la Cueste (www.lacueste.com) was named the top casa rural in Spain. Photo by Gerry Dawes©2012; gerrydawes@aol.com

 
 Verdinas con marsicos, verdinas beans cooked with shellfish, primarily spider crab, at Puerta 57 Restaurante in Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, home of Real Madrid, October 2013.  Photo by Gerry Dawes©2014 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest. Canon EOS 6D / Tokina 17-35mm f/4.
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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. 

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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