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"My good friend Gerry Dawes, the unbridled Spanish food and wine enthusiast cum expert whose writing, photography, and countless crisscrossings of the peninsula have done the most to introduce Americans—and especially American food professionals—to my country's culinary life." -- Chef-restaurateur-humanitarian José Andrés of José Andrés ThinkFoodGroup, Nobel Peace Prize Nominee and Oscar Presenter 2019

"Trust me everyone, I have traveled with this man, if Gerry Dawes tells you to eat somewhere it's like Bourdain, believe it!!" - - Chef Mark Kiffin, The Compound Restaurant, Canyon Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

“Spain wouldn’t be as known to Americans without the stories Gerry tells and writes.” - - Superstar Catalan Chef Ferran Adrià, elBulli

"But, for Gerry, Spain is more than just the Adriàs and (Juan Mari and Elena) Arzaks. He has connected with all manner of people working at every level and in every corner of Spain. I’m always amazed at this reach. You can step into a restaurant in the smallest town in Spain, and it turns out they know Gerry somehow. I remember one rainy night in Madrid during the 2003 Madrid Fusión congress. I wanted to go to my favorite place for patatas bravas, the ultimate tapa. But Gerry had another place in mind, and I didn’t know about it. But Gerry is always right. The potatoes at his place were amazing.” - - Chef-restaurateur-humanitarian José Andrés, Nobel Peace Prize Nominee and Oscar Presenter 2019; Chef-partner of Mercado Little Spain at Hudson Yards, New York 2019


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)


5/14/2019

Casa Bigote & Chef Fernando Hermoso (and His Retired Brother Paco), Sanlúcar de Barrameda (Cádiz), Andalucía: Another Five Dali Melting Watch Award for Chef Hermoso and His Crew, Bar Bigote, Casa Bigote Restaurant and Unparelled Ambience


* * * * *
 All photographs by Gerry Dawes©2019.  No publication without written permission and payment considerations. Gerrydawes@aol.com


Chef Fernando Hermoso in his kitchen at Bar Bigote, Casa Bigote, Bajo de Guía, Sanlúcar de Barrameda (Cádiz).


 Fernando Hermoso´s Brother Paco, the now-retired co-owner of Casa Bigote, shows Kay Balun how to peel one of their prized langostinos de Sanlúcar prawns at Bar Bigote. 
   
Persistence of Memory* (Salvador Dalí) Five Melting Watch Rating

 Casa Bigote
Sanlúcar de Barrameda (Andalucía)

 

"Across the alleyway, in the restaurant’s upstairs dining room overlooking the Guadalquivir, he serves his justly famous langostinos de Sanlúcar (prawns steamed or grilled with sea salt). Or have the rape a la marinera (monkfish with saffron sauce) or raya a la naranja agría (skate in bitter Seville orange sauce) while gazing out at the Coto Doñana, one of the world’s great bird reserves, where researchers believe they may have found the buried ruins of Atlantis." Dinner, $70. 10 Bajo de Guía, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Cádiz, Andalucía; 34-956/362-696. -- Gerry Dawes From my article Spain's Best Undiscovered Restaurants, Departures, May 2011

 

Chef Joel Ehrlich (r, now of Absinthe in San Francisco), Javier Hidalgo of Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana and Chef Ryan McIlwraith (Executive Chef Absinthe Group, San Francisco, drinking manzanilla La Gitana on the balcony at legendary Casa Bigote in  Sanlúcar de Barrameda.  Photo by Gerry Dawes©2014 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest.  Canon G15 / Canon f/1.8 – f/2.8 5X 24-140mm IS USM.

 * * * * * 
The best place for drinking sherry on Bajo de Guía beach is Casa Bigote Bar, where the tapas and Manzanilla are legendary.  Authentic, raffish and utterly captivating, the original building is an old-time fishermen’s tavern crammed with bullfight posters and decades’ worth of oddities dragged in by local fleets’ nets (Roman amphoras, a whale’s jaw, blowfish, etc.). Chef Fernando Hermoso, who began cooking on fishing boats, serves only local fish and shellfish from the Guadalquivir River—where Columbus and Magellan (and Juan Sebastián Elkano, who actually finished the trip, since Magellan was killed in the Phillipines) began their historic voyages—and the Atlantic Ocean. His huevo marinero, a sublime monkfish-and-shrimp dish served bubbling hot with a fresh egg cracked on top, is a culinary epiphany.
 

Fundación Puerta de America, Legua Cero (League Zero):  Here from Bajo de Guía beach on the Guadalquiver River at Sanlúcar de Barrameda and steps from Casa Bigote is where Magellanes (Magellan) started the first circumnavigation of the planet with five ships.  After he was killed in the Phillipines, Juan Sebastián Elkano, from Getaria (outside San Sebastián) completed the journey nearly three years later with just one ship and 21 remaining crew members.


Plaque commemorating the circumnavigation of the globe voyage of Magellan and Juan Sebastián Elkano in la Plaza de San Roque in Sanlúcar de Barrameda.


Kay Balun at one of the most exclusive chef´s tables in the world, the kitchen chef from which Chef Fernando Bigote sends out food to the lower dining room of Casa Bigote Restaurant, just a few steps across the alleyway from Bar Bigote (he sends food to Bar Bigote through the door on the side of the bar to the right).  


Authentic, raffish and utterly captivating, the original Bar Bigote building is an old-time fishermen’s tavern, as the sign outside says: "Auténtico Taberna Marinera."







Chef Fernando Hermoso´s huevo a la marinera, a sublime monkfish-and-shrimp dish served bubbling hot with a fresh egg cracked on top, is a culinary epiphany.  Hermoso began his culinary career as a cook on fishing boats.
 

Chef-owner Fernando Hermoso, my great friend for nearly 50 years, usually stations us here at Casa Bigote´s kitchen bar, we put our stuff on the beer keg below Kay in the corner and are treated to a dazzling array of some of the planet´s greatest seafood, and Manzanilla de Sanlúcar, the dishes like these heads-on, deep-fried langostinos de Sanlúcar (prized, very expensive local prawns) fired by the maestro Fernando himself, who also keeps are Manzanilla glasses full (except Kay doesn´t like dry Sherries, so Fernando gives her the local white wine). 



 Chef-owner Fernando Hermoso draining some langostinos de Sanlúcar, the town´s famous prawns at Casa Bigote.

 
 Chocos con cebollas y patatas fritas (squid chunks with caramelized onions and fried potatoes) at Casa Bigote.



 Chef-owner Fernando Bigote of Casa Bigote with his son César, who is the chef in the kitchen at Restaurante Bigote.  Fernando stays in the bar kitchen, where he can see customers who have been his friends for decades. 

Juan Isidro Hermoso (cousin of Chef Fernando), José Manuel Velázquez, José Manuel Vargas and Victor Manuel de los Reyes, Bar Bigote kitchen sous chefs and crew.


 Casa Bigote and Bar Bigote Chef-owner Fernando Hermoso comes out of the kitchen at the end of the shift to pour us some more Manzanilla de Sanlúcar de Barrameda. 

Gerry Dawes and Chef Fernando Hermoso drinking Manzanilla Sherry in Bar Bigote


Kay Balun, Chef Fernando Hermoso and Gerry Dawes photographed by a crew member from via the kitchen window-bar, where Fernando passes finished dishes for the main restaurant Casa Bigote, just steps across an alleyway from Bar Bigote.


 Authentic, raffish and utterly captivating, the original building is an old-time fishermen’s tavern crammed with bullfight posters and decades’ worth of oddities dragged in by local fleets’ nets (Roman amphoras, a whale’s jaw, a blowfish, etc.).  


 









 Gerry Dawes in Bar Bigote in front of a picture (above) of old friend Matador "Pepe" Limeño.
 
 Chef-owner Fernando Bigote of Casa Bigote with his son César, who is the chef in the kitchen at Restaurante Bigote.  Fernando stays in the bar kitchen, where he can see customers who have been his friends for decades. 

Juan Isidro Hermoso (cousin of Chef Fernando), José Manuel Velázquez, José Manuel Vargas and Victor Manuel de los Reyes, Bar Bigote kitchen sous chefs and crew.


Langostinos de Sanlúcar from Casa Bigote with La Gitana manzanilla, in evening light,
Bajo de Guía beach on the Guadalquívir River, Sanlúcar de Barrameda.
Photo by Gerry Dawes©2010 / gerrydawes@aol.com.


  

Sunset in a Glass:  The town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda, in the southern region of Andalucía, is famous for its Sherry, in particular the Manzanilla de Sanlúcar produced by La Gitana, whose owner, Javier Hidalgo, once said, “If you ever have Manzanilla at sunset on Bajo de Guía beach, you will never drink it again without seeing the Sanlúcar sunset in the glass.”



Javier Hidalgo drinking his Bodegas Hidalgo Napoleon Amontillado
as an aperitif before  lunch. Photo by Gerry Dawes©2010 / gerrydawes@aol.com



* * * * *
  Shall deeds of Caesar or Napoleon ring
More true than Don Quixote's vapouring?
Hath winged Pegasus more nobly trod
Than Rocinante stumbling up to God?
 
Poem by Archer M. Huntington inscribed under the Don Quixote on his horse Rocinante bas-relief sculpture by his wife, Anna Vaughn Hyatt Huntington,
in the courtyard of the Hispanic Society of America’s incredible museum at 613 W. 155th Street, New York City.
 _______________________________________________________________________________________
 Gastronomy Blogs

About Gerry Dawes

My good friend Gerry Dawes, the unbridled Spanish food and wine enthusiast cum expert whose writing, photography, and countless crisscrossings of the peninsula have done the most to introduce Americans—and especially American food professionals—to my country's culinary life." -- Chef-restaurateur-humanitarian José Andrés, Nobel Peace Prize Nominee and Oscar Presenter 2019


Gerry Dawes is the Producer and Program Host of Gerry Dawes & Friends, a weekly radio progam on Pawling Public Radio in Pawling, New York (streaming live and archived at www.pawlingpublicradio.org and at www.beatofthevalley.com.)

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 on wine, gastronomy, culture and travel in Spain.
 

5/12/2019

Camino de Santiago Hikers Led by Restaurant Tycoon Andy Pforzheimer Spend a Day With Gerry Dawes in Spectacular Ribeira Sacra.


* * * * * 

Mencía vineyards on the Miño River in Belesar, Chantada, Ribeira Sacra, Galicia, Spain.
 Photo by Gerry Dawes

May 12. 2017

Camino de Santiago, Day 39, Part 2.  Edited notes from Andy Pforzheimer, who for six weeks was walking the Camino with his wife Zelie and with several friends who have dropped in and out to walk part of the Camino with them.

Gerry Dawes is a raconteur, bon vivant*, and liberal redneck. . . a man who knows half as much about Spanish wine as he says he does**, and twice as much as anyone else in the English-speaking world.  

GD Editor's Notes:   *Spanish gastronomy and wine research is Hell, but someone has to do it.
**I know as much as I say I do.  



5/10/2019

English Version of Boquería Gourmand, a Book about Barcelona's Fabulous La Boquería Market (Foreword by Gerry Dawes)



* * * * *

Boquería Gourmand
English edition, published by Viena Edicions (www.vienaeditorial.com)



La Boquería:  My Favorite Pueblo is a Gastronomer’s Paradise
(Foreword includes additional paragraphs not in the published version.)

By Gerry Dawes©2018

Premio Nacional de Gastronomía 2003
(Stay tuned for many more photographs of La Boquería.)

El Mercat de San Josep, La Boquería. 
Photo: Gerry Dawes©2018 / gerrydawes@aol.com.
“I felt dizzy with the idea that I was part of that paradise of food. It was, and still is, a petit poble (small village) inside the big city.” - - Quim Marquéz, Chef-owner, Quim de la Boquería, Parada 606 (location), El Mercat de La Boquería. 

Quim Marquéz, Chef-owner, Quim de la Boquería
Photo: Gerry Dawes©2011 / gerrydawes@aol.com.

For forty years I have been traveling in the patrias chicas of the Iberian Peninsula.  I lived for eight years in Andalucía and have repeatedly crisscrossed El País Vasco, Galicia, Valencia, Navarra, Aragón, La Rioja, Asturias, Extremadura, the lands of Castilla y León, and all of the other provinces of Iberia, including Catalunya.  Over these decades of travel, I have come to love many "pueblos" across the vast, wonderful and exotic Iberian landscape-Sanlúcar de Barrameda (where my soul resides) and Ronda in Andalucía: Chinchón just outside Madrid; Covarrubias (Burgos); Burguete (Navarra); Haro (La Rioja), Cangas de Onís (Asturias), Gratallops (Tarragona) and Cadaqués (Girona), among many. 
 
Gerry Dawes, Juanito Bayen and Juli Soler at Pinotxo Bar, Barcelona, Jan. 14, 2014. 
 / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest. Panasonic Lumix DMC ZS30 43-86mm f3.3 – f6.4.
 Photo courtesy of Gerry Dawes©2014 / gerrydawes@aol.com
 
As much as I long to return to such places for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is a multitude of friends and memories, few have quite the compelling attraction of Barcelona's El Mercat de San Josep, La Boquería market, which as Quim Marquéz put it so well, "still is a petit poble (small village) inside the big city" and is literally one of my favorite pueblos in the world.

Ever since I spent six weeks in Barcelona in 1970--first working as an extra on the American movie, The Great White Hope (many of the boxing scenes were filmed on Montjuic) and having anecdotal quality adventures off the set with the actor, James Earl Jones--this exciting city has occupied a favored spot in my heart.  While working on the movie, I stayed in a steeply discounted small room in the Hotel Ritz, then I moved to a very modest pensión, ironically on the calle de la Boquería.  Each day, I lived the rich Bohemian life of the legendary pedestrian artery,  Les Rambles, and the narrow, labyrinthine streets of the Barri Goti, el Raval and Born, incessantly taking photographs, including a memorable Sunday when I captured soulful images of Catalan sardana dancing in front of the Cathedral.  


Caren (from Argentina), Winged Victory. Les Rambles, Barcelona.
Photo by Gerry Dawes©2008 / gerrydawes@aol.com.

In those early days, I was not yet the gourmet and gourmand that I would become as a writer-photographer specializing in the gastronomy of Spain--in 1997, Food Arts magazine (http://www.foodarts.com/Foodarts/FA_Feature/0,4041,387,00.html) published my article on  Ferran Adrià, the first major article in the U.S. on elBulli's superstar chef.   I wandered into La Boquería on occasion (and returned there periodically on subsequent trips), but then usually I went on to explore Barcelona's other attractions - Les Rambles, the Barri Gotic, Montjuic, La Barceloneta and Antoni Gaudi's architecture.  


Lovers in Antoni Gaudí's Parque Güell, Barcelona. 
Photograph by Gerry Dawes©2010 / gerrydawes@aol.com.

It was not until 1992 that I was properly introduced to La Boquería on a pre-Olympic, gastronomic scouting trip with two major American journalists, Bryan Miller of The New York Times and William Rice of The Chicago Tribune.  With us was Spanish expatriate restaurateur, Gabino Sotelino from Chicago, who seemed to know everyone.  On our first day in Barcelona, we had an incredible breakfast in La Boquería at Bar Pinotxo, where Juanito Bayen held court and posed for his famous trademark thumbs-up photographs.  Catalan culinary luminaries, American chef Jonathan Waxman and writer Colman Andrews (author of Catalan Cuisine), both stopped by to say "bon día" to Juanito and see what he and his battery of cooks were serving that morning.

Juanito Bayen, owner of Pinotxo in La Boquería, Barcelona. 
Photograph by Gerry Dawes©2008. Contact: gerrydawes@aol.com

There were egg dishes, mongetes (little white beans prized here as fesols de Sant Pau) and butifarra blanca (Catalan sausages), grilled asparagus and more, all washed down with lots of glasses of cava (Catulunya's fine sparkling wine), then carajillos, brandy-spiked espresso with the naughty name.   Later, we went with Isidre Gironés, owner of the legendary Ca L'Isidre restaurant, to Petras's mushroom stall, where I photographed Isidre with a large box of truffles.

 
Breakfast of Champions, calamarsets saltats amb fesols  de Sant Pau, beans with tiny squid dressed with a drizzle of reduced balsamic vinegar, with beer or cava (Catalan Champagne), Pinotxo Bar, La Boquería, Barcelona, Jan. 11, 2014.  Photo by Gerry Dawes©2014 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest. Canon 5D Mark III / Tokina 17-35mm f/4.

 



























After Pinotxo and my "first breakfast"-- now served to me by my friend, Jordi Asín (l).  Sadly his co-chef and a great friend of mine, brother Albert (r) died in February 2011.

Everywhere in La Boquería there is color. Artistically arranged in tiers are red, green, yellow and orange peppers; yellow-and-blush pink peaches, red, yellow and green apples, oranges, lemons and limes; shiny black or purple eggplant; green zucchini squash, green and white asparagus, artichokes and chirmoyas (custard apples); little baskets of red raspberries and currants; red and red-green tomatoes; white and red radishes, hanging strings of garlic and dried dark red ñora peppers.  Around a corner, a stand sells a dozen varieties of cured green, black and purple olives, pickled cucumbers, pickled onions, garbanzos, etc.  And another specializes in a Catalan staple, bacalao, salt cod in small stacks or in trays soaking in water, being de-salinated before cooking.

 
Eduard Soley, Vice President of La Boquería Owners Association bags a purchase at his stand in la Boquería. 
Photo by Gerry Dawes©2010 / gerrydawes@aol.com.

Jordi Mas's (co-author of Boquería Gourmand) family establishment, Mas Gourmets de L'Embotit (five stalls in La Boquería), specializes in Spanish hams and a variety of traditional and innovative embotits (cured meats and sausages).  Hanging from hooks attached to metal rods suspended from the ceiling are a dozen types of jamónes Ibéricos de bellota--exquisite pink-to-wine red, streaked with ethereal white-yellow fat hams from free-range pata negra (black hoof breed) pigs fattened on acorns-specially selected from three separate denominaciones de origen in western Spain.  

 
 Jordi Mas at on of his five Mas Embotits stands at la Boqueria market in Barcelona.
 Photo by Gerry Dawes©2014 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest.


And, in La Boquería, a variety of butcher shops offer everything from steaks and pork chops to whole lamb, suckling pig, goat, rabbit and game birds.  Some specialize in offal--brains, livers, hearts, mounds of snow white tripe and "off" parts, pigs' trotters, lambs' heads, etc.

Another stall offers a wide range of imported and local cows', ewes' and goats' milk cheeses from Catalan Garrotxa to Extremaduran torta del Casar to French Vacherin Mont d'Or. A number of bakeries sell a wide variety of breads, pastries and pa coca, the original Catalana version of pizza.  A favorite photo opportunity is Ous de Calaf, which specializes in an impressive array of eggs from hens (organically raised), bantams, turkeys, ducks, pheasants, partridge, quail, ostrich and even emu!!  



And, at Avinova Ous i Caça (Eggs and Game), my friend Salvador Capdevila, depending upon the season, will have rows of rabbits, partridge, ducks, geese and other game, including venison, hanging in his cases to be hand dressed or cut according to the needs of his customers, which include some of the top restaurants in Catalunya.


 
 Salvador Capdevila, owner of Avinova, and Catalan food writer and personality Xavi Agulló at Bar Pinotxo, Barcelona.  Photo by Gerry Dawes©2010 / gerrydawes@aol.com.
 
Another major attraction is the seafood purveyors selling a stunning selection of fresh fish (all arranged on beds of ice) from both the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, interspersed with  a wide variety of shellfish--pink gambas (shrimp) from Denia and Pálamos on the Mediterranean, carbineros (bright scarlet prawns) from Huelva, red or blue-green llagostas (lobsters), walnut-colored, razor-case shaped navalles (razor clams) and white-pink cigalas (Dublin Bay prawns) from Galicia (many so fresh they are still alive!). These colorful market stalls bustle with constant movement with fishmongers.  


 
Gemma Bosch Roca at her great seafood stand in La Boquería. 
 Photo by Gerry Dawes©2014 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest. Panasonic Lumix DMC ZS30 43-86mm f3.3 – f6.4.

For years I have always stopped to photograph my friend, the lovely Gemma Bosch Roca, always stylishly dressed, like many women in La Boquería, wearing an elegantly embroidered bodice and looking gorgeous, all the while bagging mariscos (exquisite crustaceans and mollusks), cutting up fish, wrapping slices and filets, passing them to customers and taking payment.  Many of the women of La Boquería go to work dressed like they are going after work to attend a performance at the nearby Gran Teatre de Liceu (on Les Rambles), Barcelona's equivalent of Milano's La Scala.  (Years ago, one such well-dressed woman in a Boquería butcher's shop--before the health authorities made everyone wear gloves--spread open the carcass of a goat hanging in her stall for me to photograph with her carefully manicured, bright carmine-lacquered fingernails and the gold ring with diamonds she was wearing juxtaposed against the pink flesh of the freshly butchered animal.) 

At the back of the market, I always return to the famous stall of Bolets Petras, which even though my friend owner Llorenç Petràs has retired and left the business in the capable hands of his son, Xavier, still sells a multitude of mushrooms in season, along with truffles like the ones in the box that Isidre Gironés of Ca L'Isidre held for me to photograph twenty years ago.  


 The legendary mushroom-and-truffle guru, Llorenç Petràs, now-retired, but who just happened to be at his Petras stand in Barcelona’s Mercat de La Boquería that day (the stand is now run by his son) and showed the chefs a pile of prime black truffles.Photo by Gerry Dawes©2014 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest. Canon EOS 6D / Tokina 17-35mm f/4.
 
I always finish my tour of la Boquería at Quím de la Boquería, another legendary market bar, whose slogan is "El Arte de Comer en Un Taburete" (The Art of Eating on a Barstool). I
f he is not crazy busy, I get a thumbs-up and a big abrazo from Quím Marquéz, the owner. From a small stove in impossibly tight quarters his sauteé pans flame and his plancha grill sizzles as Quím and his crew prepare some of the best food in food-crazy Barcelona.  For my "second breakfast"-- the first was at Pinotxo-knowing that I am going to be fed like a king I put myself in Quím's hands, like he did with me when I took him and his two young sons to New York City's Chinatown a few years ago.  

 
 Quím Marquéz, legendary market bar, whose slogan is "El Arte de Comer en Un Taburete" (The Art of Eating on a Barstool). 
Photo by Gerry Dawes©2014 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest. Canon EOS 6D / Tokina 17-35mm f/4.

Quím may make me a bowl of steaming beberechos (cockles); a plate of grilled asparagus or deep-fried artichoke hearts; an exquisite dish of shrimp with the heads still on; my beloved mongetes with butifarra and aioli; then a perfectly cooked slab of foie gras with crispy fried leeks, all accompanied by glasses of cava rosat (rosé), Catalan Champagne. 

At Quím de la Boquería, I usually meet my old friend, Salvador Capdevila, owner of Avinova and now President of La Boquería owner's association.  Sometimes Salvador, then Vice President, would come with the amiable and highly regarded Manel Ripoll, who was President of La Boquería and who also became a friend.  (Sadly, Manel and two other friends of mine, the three-star Catalan chef Santi Santamaría and Pinotxo's Albert Asín, all died early in 2011).  And during the course of the hour I may spend at Quím de la Boquería, I sometimes see some of the most famous names in Catalan gastronomy such as my dear friend, (the late) Juli Soler (Ferran Adrià's partner at elBulli); Ferran's brother, Albert, chef-owner of Tickets; and Christian Escribà, Barcelona's supremely talented pastry maestro and event planner. 


 
My late great friend Juli Soler and I in front of a photo of Christian Escribà at Escribà on Les Rambles, next to La Boquería Market, Barcelona, Jan. 11, 2014. 
Photo by a friend of Juli Soler, Hubert Wiese Tornoe, Montblanc Iberia, SLU.

But, regardless of who shows up, when I return to this gastronomic paradise that is La Boquería, I always feel like I have come home to the pueblo of my dreams.

* * * * *
  Shall deeds of Caesar or Napoleon ring
More true than Don Quixote's vapouring?
Hath winged Pegasus more nobly trod
Than Rocinante stumbling up to God?
 
Poem by Archer M. Huntington inscribed under the Don Quixote on his horse Rocinante bas-relief sculpture by his wife, Anna Vaughn Hyatt Huntington,
in the courtyard of the Hispanic Society of America’s incredible museum at 613 W. 155th Street, New York City.
 _______________________________________________________________________________________
 Gastronomy Blogs

About Gerry Dawes

My good friend Gerry Dawes, the unbridled Spanish food and wine enthusiast cum expert whose writing, photography, and countless crisscrossings of the peninsula have done the most to introduce Americans—and especially American food professionals—to my country's culinary life." -- Chef-restaurateur-humanitarian José Andrés, Nobel Peace Prize Nominee and Oscar Presenter 2019


Gerry Dawes is the Producer and Program Host of Gerry Dawes & Friends, a weekly radio progam on Pawling Public Radio in Pawling, New York (streaming live and archived at www.pawlingpublicradio.org and at www.beatofthevalley.com.)

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 on wine, gastronomy, culture and travel in Spain.
 
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