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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

"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: SpanishTravels 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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Endorsements & Testimonials on Gerry Dawes's Spain Expertise

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 Experience Gerry Dawes's Spain

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Gerry Dawes has been traveling in Spain for more than 40 years with over 100 (60 in the past decade ) extensive food and wine trips to Spain. He has been cited for his knowledge of Spain in The New York Times and New York Times Magazine, New York Newsday, The Wine Spectator, The James Beard Foundation Newsletter, Food Arts, Men's Journal, and Spain's El País, El Mundo, Cambio 16, and Restauradores. Dawes has led numerous culinary and wine tours to Spain. His clients have included The World Trade Center Club, Club Managers of America Wine Society, Chef Mark Miller and his management team, the mythical 61st Tactical Fighter Squadron and The Commonwealth Club of California.

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(Written by José Andrés)

"Spain wouldn't be as known to Americans without the stories Gerry tells and writes."– Ferran Adrià, El Bulli, considered to be the world’s top, most innovative chef.

"As a young chef arriving in America from Spain in the early 1990s, I came to see Gerry as an ally. At the time, I found myself struggling to explain Spanish cooking because people either had no idea or they had the wrong idea.  It was a battle.  But Gerry's writing meant I was not alone in telling Americans about piquillos and escudella and jamón.  At a time when most food journalists were writing about France and Italy, Gerry went off in his own direction to become the first to really tell the story of Spain."– José Andrés, James Beard Award Winning Star Chef, Jaleo, Zaytinya, Café Átlantico Minibar (Washington, D.C.); Bazaar (Los Angeles).

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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 has an extraordinary knowledge of Spain, not just the cuisine and wine but the geography (little tapas bars on tiny streets in villages up in the mountains), history, culture and people. One of the highlights of the trip for me was not a 3-star Michelin meal, but a lunch at a winery. Gerry, of course, knew the winemaker, and we dined in a large beautiful room with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the vineyard. We ate simply: tomato salad, jamón ibérico, great bread and olive oil, baby lamb chops grilled over grape vines cuttings (exquisite), ewes’ milk cheese and, of course, great wine. What was special about this was the people, who invited us into their home with warmth and genuine hospitality, their alegría de vida (joie de vivre). I don’t speak Spanish but didn’t have too, we communicated through food, wine, banter, laughter and facial expressions." - - Terrance Brennan, Chef, cookbook author, creator-owner of New York’s Picholine and Artisanal restaurants. Brennan rates this trip, which predates the film pilot, as one of the top two gastronomic experiences of his life.

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 EO Agency Pilot Video For Proposed 7 Days, 7 Nights Television Series
with Gerry Dawes (& Guest Chef Terrance Brennan)

(Click on arrow to play video.)

Testimonials on Gerry Dawes's Spain Expertise

"I have been reading Gerry Dawes’ work on Spain for years, have been guided by him on visits to Spain, depend on him to answer any questions I might have about Spain, and hear from him when I get something wrong about Spain. No one is a more indefatigable lover and authority about his adopted country, and no one writes better about its food and wines."- -John Mariani, Mariani's Virtual Gourmet Newsletter; columnist for Esquire, Wine Spectator, Bloomberg News and Radio, and Diversion. He is author of The Encyclopedia of American Food & Drink (Lebhar-Friedman), The Dictionary of Italian Food and Drink (Broadway), and, with his wife Galina, the award-winning Italian-American Cookbook (Harvard Common Press).

"My first introduction to Spanish cuisine was a fabulous two-week trip I took all around Spain with Gerry Dawes in 1990." -- Thomas Keller, Chef-owner, The French Laundry, Per Se, Bouchon, Bouchon Bakery, Ad Hoc.

"As with most culinary adventures, for Terrance Brennan (Chef-owner of New York City's Picholine and Artisanal restaurants; Founder of Artisanal Premium Cheese Center) it began as an occasional whisper. Then it became a persistent drone. And, finally a repetitive shout: 'Spain! Go to Spain! . . . Spain is the new France!' It was hard to ignore, so when his long-time friend Gerry Dawes suggested a whirlwind gastronomic tour of Spain, Terrance leapt at the idea. Dawes often referred to as 'Mr. Spain' (in culinary and wine circles), is an expert on that country's food, wine, and culture, and was the ideal person with whom to make the pilgrimage. Reigning in Spain: Blazing Through a Culinary Tour, The Artisanal Table, Summer 2008.
"Going to Spain with Gerry Dawes as Janet and I have done is one of the greatest ways imaginable to take in what is white-hot or classic regarding all things gastronomic. Treat yourself and those you love to the real insider's tour and join the Gerry tapeo!"-- Norman Van Aken, "The Father of New World Cuisine, "Chef, Author, Restaurateur

"I have taken ten trips to Spain, but the best trip was the one Gerry Dawes orchestrated. His love and knowledge of the foods and wines of Spain are intoxicating. His ever present enthusiasm made my Spanish experiences with him memorable." - - Mark Miller, Chef/former owner, Coyote Cafe (Santa Fe, New Mexico), winner of the James Beard Foundation's Southwestern Chef of the Year Award 1996.
"Just wanted to send you a big THANK YOU for the world's greatest two-hour tour of Madrid. From the boquerones to the capes to the good company, we loved every minute! Hope to have the pleasure of seeing you again soon...on any continent. With appreciation." - - Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, James Beard Award-winning co-authors of BECOMING A CHEF, CULINARY ARTISTRY, DINING OUT, CHEF'S NIGHT OUT, THE NEW AMERICAN CHEF, WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT, THE FLAVOR BIBLE and ON MASTERING WINE (forthcoming from Little, Brown), Web:

“. . . Give me Schildknecht on Riesling. Give me Gerry Dawes on Spanish wines. Give me the Decanter panel on claret. Despite his too high points, give me Parker on Rhones." – Charlie Olken, the Editor/Publisher of Connoisseurs' Guide (to California Wines)

"My dearest Gerry:  I just opened up this month's Food Arts (December 2009)!   And there you are with a Silver Spoon in your mouth! Oh my god do you deserve this!  I am so happy for you. . . you are totally unsung and totally deserving of fame, fortune, and glory. (James) Michener himself said so...Mucho love." - - Rozanne Gold (Author of numerous cookbooks.)

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Testimonials from The Commonwealth Club  

"Our first trip with The Commonwealth Club turned out to be one of the best trips we'd ever taken in our many years of world travel. We experienced an unforgettably wonderful slice of culture that far exceeded our expectations, due to The Club's relationships with chefs and winemakers in Spain." Joe and Linda Rubino, Club Travelers, the lead quote in The Commonwealth Club Travel internet page.

"Wow! What a trip!!! It was everything we hoped for and so much more--we very much enjoyed it. This has been one of the best trips we've ever taken and believe me, we've had a blast in the past! We hope to join up with you on a tour Southern Spain. Until then." Joe and Linda Rubino,(note to Gerry Dawes)

"Thanks so much for guiding us thru Spain and showing us your unique insider's view-it was a taste of Spain in more many ways than food and wine although that part was fantastic. We could never have had the experience ofthe country without your efforts and expertise.We believe (as do Tom and Carol) that your knowledge as well as the friendships that you have developed is a unmatched asset." All the best, Celia and Steve Rosen, New York

"Carol and I are still a bit woozy in the head from the time difference but we have been talking nonstop about our great trip and how it exceeded our expectations. Thanks for the adventure and getting us access to the best wineries and restaurants in from Madrid to Barcelona. Again thanks for everything." Thomas H. Burkhart, CEO, The Savant Group, San Francisco, CA 

"Lars and I just got home from Spain. Wanted to tell you again how memorable you made the tour of Spain and how much we enjoyed the great restaurants, wineries and people you were able to gather together for the group." Carol Vistnes, San Francisco

"Thanks for the tour! Mercedes (Lopez de Heredia, La Rioja) and the cooperage will always be remembered as will the "boat" trip (the ferry to Casa Camara in Pasajes de San Juan) and meal in San Sebastian (at three-star Michelin Arzak). Thanks for a wonderful trip. This one is the best ones ever for me. We would like to take another trip with you next year." Jim & Anastasia Brown, San Francisco

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