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In 2019, again ranked in the Top 50 Gastronomy Blogs and Websites for Gastronomists & Gastronomes in 2019 by Feedspot. (Last Updated Oct 23, 2019)

"The Best Gastronomy blogs selected from thousands of Food blogs, Culture blogs and Food Science blogs in our index using search and social metrics. We’ve carefully selected these websites because they are actively working to educate, inspire, and empower their readers with frequent updates and high-quality information.

36. 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 customized gastronomy, wine and cultural tours to Spain. Frequency about 2 posts per week."

"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

James Campbell Caruso, Chef-owner of La Boca & La Boca Taberna Tapas Restaurants in Santa Fe, New Mexico and James Beard Best Chef nominee: "I was a fan of Gerry Dawes Gerry long before we met and became friends. His writing led me to pursue my interest in Spanish food, wine and culture. His great journalism was and still is very informative and educational, but back 20-30 years ago Gerry was the only lifeline for those of us who wanted the real, authentic, accurate info on the rich and varied gastronomy. He gave us the lessons but also captured the passion and exuberance of the people who grow food, raise animals, cook, make wine, art and olive oil and cheese and on and on....."

"Gerry Dawes loves Spain, and he loves Spanish wines. And the man knows whereof he speaks. The country bestowed upon him its prestigious Premio Nacional de Gastronomia (National Gastronomy Award) in 2003, and here’s what James A. Michener said about him in Iberia: Spanish Travels and Reflections: “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 … ”
I first reached out to Dawes when I was planning a culinary journey to Barcelona, Rioja, and the Basque region of Spain, in 2011. I found his website and began reading, and have been learning from him ever since. Then, when I was preparing to stage at Arzak, in 2012, Dawes offered me some sound advice: learn Basque. He is opinionated – “You must decide whether you love wine or carpentry. If you want wood in your wine, suck on a toothpick as you drink your vino.” – he lives life with passion, and he respects wine and the men and woman who make it. Here’s to Gerry!" - - The Original Drinker: Spanish Wine Master Loves a $15.99 Rosado, Hates Wood and Always Avoids Wine Bars, James Brock, Paper City,

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)

Gerry Dawes at Marisquería Rafa in Madrid.
Photo by John Sconzo, Docsconz: Musings on Food & Life 

Custom-designed Wine, Food, Cultural and Photographic Tours of Spain Organized and Led by Gerry Dawes and Spanish Itinerary Planning

7 Days, 7 Nights: Beyond Paella, A Video Culinary, Wine & Travel Adventure in Valencia & Alicante with Gerry Dawes & Special Guests

If you enjoy these blog posts, please consider a contribution to help me continue the work of gathering all this great information and these photographs for Gerry Dawes's Insider's Guide to Spanish Food, Wine, Culture and Travel. Contributions of $5 and up will be greatly appreciated. Contributions of $100 or more will be acknowledged on the blog.

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Super Star Chefs Show Their Stuff at Alimentaria’s BCNVanguardia ‘06

Text & Photographs by Gerry Dawes ©2006

BCNVanguardia ‘06 took place in Alimentaria’s 2006 Restaurama section, a pavilion alongside the two very large Intervin buildings that housed hundreds of Spanish wine producers. Directed by Roser Torras, the BCNVanguardia cooking demonstrations were brilliantly focused. Each day featured star Spanish and international chefs doing friendly mano a mano riffs with designated themes within a main theme such as La Tierra (dishes from the earth, i. e., vegetables, beans, potatoes, pasta, rice, salads; El Mar, fish and shellfish; and Las Viandas, meat, game, and birds (with truffles). Each entire day was devoted to these themes in order and pairs of chefs gave their unique interpretations of how to handle their assigned ingredients.

On the first day, Raúl Aleixandre, of Ca Sento in Valencia, a maestro of rice (and shellfish) dishes was paired with Hiroyuki Kanda of Kanda restaurant in Tokyo. It was refreshing to see both chefs doing traditional rice dishes, using traditional ingredients, Aleixandre with his typical, delicious arroz meloso marinero with squid and shrimp flavored with Spanish pimentón (paprika) and Kanda with a traditional Japanese rice dish with vegetables and mushroom.

Ricardo Gil of Restaurante 33 in Tudela (Navarra) did a preparation with regional ingredients–cardoons, borage and white asparagus–from the vegetable rich region of la Ribera de Navarra (from where many of Spain’s superb jarred and tinned vegetables such as pimientos de piquillo come) and the legendary Bitor Arguinzoniz from Restaurante Etexebarri in the Basque Country showed how he has become one of the world masters of grilling, using with laser-made, micro-mesh skillets to grill vegetables over an open fire.

Charlie Trotter did a deconstruction interpretation of the ubiquitous American Caesar Salad, and Andoni Aduriz of Mugaritz, near San Sebastián, produced a beautiful salad of roasted and raw vegetables, sprouts and even edible flowers with a cheese "dressing."

Andoni Aduriz of Mugaritz (near San Sebastián)

Rounding out the day, to a standing room only crowd, Ferran Adrià presented a master class, A Scientific-Gastronomic Lexicon: A Synthesis of the Philosophy of El Bullí.

Posted by Picasa Ferran Adrià, El Bullì

Day Two at BCNVanguardia ‘06 was a day from heaven for fish and shellfish lovers. Sergi Arola of La Broche in Madrid (and the new Arola in Barcelona) paired with Elena Arzak of San Sebastián’s three-star Restaurante Arzak, one of the most famous restaurants in Europe, to do their takes on sardines and anchovies. Arola did a modernized dish of smoked sardines with trompeta de la muerte mushrooms and Elena Arzak did a futuristic, artistic dish called Ámbar de anchoas, using anchovies, pimientos de piquillo and Spanish extra virgin olive oil.

Turbot, known as rodaballo in Spain, may reach the apogee of its greatness–as perhaps the world’s finest fish–in several restaurants in Getaria (west of San Sebastián), a remarkable fishing village that is the hometown of Juan Sebastián Elkano, the first man to circumnavigate the globe; the designer Balenciaga; and opera singer Plácido Domingo’s mother. The most notable of these restaurants, owned by members of the same family, are Kaia and Elkano. At BCNVanguardia ‘06, the chef-owners of Elkano, Pedro and Aitor Arregui, demonstrated how to grill a whole turbot over wood charcoal, simple, but with magical results. French chef Gérard Allemandou of Restaurante la Cagouille in Paris fileted his turbot and prepared a more French haute cuisine version.

Pedro and Aitor Arregui

Aitor Aregui of Elkano fileting a grilled turbot.

In the Moluscos y Crustáceos segment, two top chefs, Quique Dacosta of El Poblet in Dènia (Alicante) and Josè Andrès of Jaleo in Washington, D.C. prepared several dishes each. Dacosta did a cherry gazpacho with shrimp and an elaborate avant-garde, Frank Gehry’s Guggeneheim Bilbao Museum-inspired dish called Guggenheim 2006 (oysters with platinum and silver, served at room temperature), a dish that actually included fine silver flakes. Josè Andrès brought over on the plane from United States a selection of American molluscs and shellfish, including softshell crabs and demonstrated a modernized version of New England Clam Chowder that featured clam foam and clam gelatin.

José Andrés

The third day featured some of the greatest chefs in Spain, sometimes alternating with French chefs, intrepreting Las Viandas (meat, game and bird dishes [with truffles]. Carles Gaig of Gaig, one of the star restaurants of Barcelona, paired with the great Manchegan chef, Manuel de la Osa (whom this correspondent had the pleasure the next day of introducing to breakfast at Quim de la Boquería in the fabulous Boquería market). Gaig and de la Osa presented dishes made from veal and from suckling goat. Michelin two-star chef Joan Roca of Can Roca in Girona paired with Cánido López of Segovia’s Mesón Cándido. Each did distinct versions of suckling pig, Roca with a terrine that included garlic and membrillo, López with Cándido’s famous traditional signature dish, cochinillo asada, roast suckling pig so tender that he cuts it with the edge of a plate.

Don Juli Soler, Founder-Partner, El Bullì

Three-star chef Martín Berasategui, whose eponymously named restaurant in Lasarte outside San Sebastián is one of the world’s greatest, did a terrine of veal tongue with foie gras and truffles, while his counterpart, Jean Louis Nomicos of Restaurant Lasserre in Paris, made suckling veal sweetbreads and prawns with grated orange and lemon.

Three-star chef Martín Berasategui
Jean Louis Nomicos of Restaurant Lasserre in Paris

Two-star chef Hilario Arbelaitz of Zuberoa (near San Sebastián) paired with Marco Antonio García of Restaurante Mannix in Campospero (Castilla y León), each doing a lamb dish. Arbelaitz made a confit of lamb with cumin and García demonstrating the classic roast suckling lamb of Castilla y León with crispy skin and succulent, juicy, tender meat. Finishing out this spectacular day were Fermí Puig, Executive Chef of Restaurante Drolma in Barcelona’s Hotel Majestic, and Gérard Besson of Restaurante Gérard Besson in Paris doing creative dishes featuring game birds and truffles.

I have been to few gastronomic conferences more rewarding than BCNVanguardia ‘06, which was especially attractive to me because it featured traditional preparations that highlighted the great food products of Spain, as well as the more trendy avant-guardia and alta cocina dishes. This international, but Mediterranean-focused, gastronomic conference was so good, in fact, that one hopes that BCNVanguardia will become an annual event. I am ready to go back!!

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