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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, papercitymag.com


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)


5/08/2008

The Ferran Adrià & Santi Santamaria Brouhaha: A Personal Chronicle of the Strange Occurrences Leading Up to the Star Chefs Fight of the Century

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All photographs copyright by Gerry Dawes 2007
Publication without permission strictly prohibited.

* * * * *
On the surface it all seemed innocent enough at Grupo Gourmets Salón Internacional de Gourmets at the Casa del Campo, Madrid in May, 2006 . . . .


Santi Santamaría seemed jovial.

The normally pensive and serious Ferran even seemed happy. . . . . .There was much alegría --or is often said, "musha, musha alegría"-- in the espuma, er, air. . . . 
Hell, Santi and Ferran even seemed happy even though they were sitting together.

Arzak was amusing Bocuse, or trying to amuse Bocuse.
What a crew it was at the Salón de Gourmets Annual Gourmet Restaurant Awards that fine May day in 2006. . . . .as I said there was musha, alegría. . . . .musha

Santi, Bocuse, and Toño & José of Átrio, their superb restaurant in Cáceres, all got awards, mas musha alegría. . . .
. . . . . Santi stilled seemed jovial, José Polo seemed half-jovial, but Toño Pérez, José's partner in Átrio and in life, didn't seem jovial, maybe because José had his arm around Santi- -well, part of the way around Santi.
. . . . . Ferran got an award and Arzak got an award, each the size of a doorstop. Juan Mari then amused Grupo Gourmets Presidente Paco López Canís. . . . and the musha, musha alegría continued without pause, flowing like Torta del Casar (also from Cáceres) . . . . .
. . . . well, except maybe for Toño, whom Arzak provided some much needed amusement and way too much pacharán later on at Julián de Tolosa restaurant on Cava Baja. . . .but that's a story for another day, back to this one:

And then, and then, and then the trouble started on "Killer's Row. . . .
 
. . . . Santi, Ferran, Bocuse & Juan Mari were all seated together . . . . .Then Ferran whispers to Santi, "My espumas (foams), mango caviar, encapsulated 'olives' and olive oil drops and nitrogen cocktails are the work of a genius." What have you got to match that? 




Ferran, now pensive again, lets that soak in. Santi is no longer jovial, he is also now pensive. . . .

"So, you think that unhealthy, additive-laced mierda you do is cooking, eh?

Then Santi leans to the right, smiles and says, "How about something really creative, say aromatheraphy. How do you like my hot, smoky espuma laced with the terroir of Montseny?"
 
Ferran, momentarily stunned, tries to steady himself.

Sacre bleu! Bocuse is incredulous!
Juan Mari, not into aromatherapy, is not amused and tries to protect his air supply. 
 
Ferran, stunned and reeling, can't believe what just happened.

 
Ferran, contemplating a retort in his native Cartagena-inflected Catalan-Andaluz (guaranteed to piss Santi off since it is not pure Catalan), turns pensive again. . . .thinking, "Jodé, yo zoy genio y Santi no é. ¿Como es posible que el cabrón hizo esto antes de que me ha ocurrido a mi?". . . . ."F..k, I am a genius and Santi ain't. How is it possible that this cabrón did this before it occurred to me?"
 

Santi, once again jovial, enjoys a moment of musha, musha alegría.

Now, 800 chefs are pissed off at Santi, all over a little hot air!!

Fin de una triste historia.

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