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36. Gerry Dawes's Spain: An Insider's Guide to Spanish Food, Wine, Culture and Travel

"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; Chef-partner of Mercado Little Spain at Hudson Yards, New York 2019


Kitchen Arts & Letters Bookstore Fall 2009 List: New Books (Including a couple related to Spain) From Friends & Acquaintances

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(Text from the Kitchen Arts & Letters Fall 2009 e-mail list of new books.  I just picked out those from friends and acquaintances and added a few photographs, none of which appear in any of these books.)

Kitchen Arts & Letters is the country's largest store devoted completely to books on food and wine. With more than 12,000 titles in English and other languages and access to thousands of out-of-print titles, we help food professionals, scholars, and the food publishing community, as well as the general public, discover books--older and recent--that represent serious contributions to the world of food and drink.

This is a highly selective list of new titles published during the fall of 2009, as well as some other recent arrivals. Most will be available when you receive this list; others are forthcoming and will become available later. All information for unpublished titles is tentative, including price.

Ferran Adrià, et al. COCO.

Ferran Adrià in the kitchen at El Bulli.  Photo by Gerry Dawes©2008.

Ten world-famous chefs were asked to each select 10 rising talents whose work deserved wider recognition. The selection committee included not only the likes of Adriá and Ducasse but Shannon Bennett from Australia, Rene Redzepi from Denmark, Yoshihiro Murata from Japan, and Jacky Yu from Hong Kong. The resulting 100 names contain a few predictable choices, but they are far outnumbered by obviously talented chefs who deserve attention, working in locations as far-flung as Moscow, Sao Paolo, Queens, and Taipei. Each chef is represented by a short profile and a typical menu with recipes. Very worthwhile. color throughout. cl. $49.95


It is pleasing to see that Ireland is casting off a reputation for desultory cooking and is reconnecting with some of its best local traditions. Andrews, cofounder of Saveur magazine, does a superb job here demonstrating how fine ingredients are being produced and prepared in Ireland, from meats and seafood to fruits, breads, and cheese. There's an appealing aura of romance over this handsome book, and it's easy to be drawn into Andrews' amiable prose. color throughout. cl. $50.00

Lidia Mattichio Bastianich. LIDIA COOKS FROM THE HEART OF ITALY.

This regionally organized book skips over some of the more written-about parts of Italy to provide entrancing coverage of such places as Sardinia, Liguria, Lombardy, Molise, and Basilicata. Bastianich, bless her, treats her readers' interest in her subject very seriously, and one feels one is being given a tour by a passionate local who is confident of her homeland's charms. color throughout. cl. $35.00

Rose Levy Beranbaum. ROSE'S HEAVENLY CAKES.

It's been twenty years since Beranbaum changed the way Americans baked with The Cake Bible, a remarkably thorough and inspired manual for the serious baker-home or professional. Now she presents the wisdom of a few more decades spent baking and learning, and readers will find her just as inspired, just as interested in the best possible result, but perhaps a little more at ease and more playful. Although she offers many cakes intended to be served without decoration, she can still produce some true showstoppers, including a selection of delectable wedding cakes. A very welcome book. color throughout. cl. $39.95

Heston Blumenthal. THE FAT DUCK COOKBOOK.

Scenes from Madrid Fusión 2009:  Molecular Cuisine, Does It Exist?  
The Fat Duck's Heston Blumenthal ponders the question.  
Photo by Gerry Dawes©2009.

All the content--text and illustrations--of The Big Fat Duck Cookbook is here, just in a smaller format: 9 ½ x 11 inches. This is far more practical and affordable than the 2008 original edition, although some of the sheer seductiveness of that lavish production has been lost. Still, the book remains jammed with unparalleled information and imagination from the chef of the celebrated Michelin three-star restaurant in Oxfordshire. color throughout. cl. $50.00


This English-Spanish, Spanish-English kitchen dictionary has the great advantage of offering descriptions as well as translations, so one learns, for example, that while "fiambre" is "processed meat," it is specifically "precooked or preserved meats that are served cold or at room temperature." Quite helpful. p. $18.99

David Chang and Peter Meehan. MOMOFUKU.

David Chang of Momofuku (NYC) and Gerry Dawes on stage during Madrid Fusión 2009. 
Photo by John Sconzo©2009.

Chang's pan-Asian fusion with American ingredients has made his mini-empire of East Village restaurants a destination for visitors worldwide. Fortunately for readers of his book, he has not attempted to water down his approach in pursuit of a mass audience: this is hard-core, blue-streaking Chang, who's happy to share his recipes as long as you understand you won't get the same results without working as hard as he does. This is the real thing. color throughout. cl. $40.00

Rozanne Gold. EAT FRESH FOOD.

Writing for teenage cooks, Gold offers a collection of serious, engagingly presented recipes that (unobtrusively) place an emphasis on vegetable-centric dishes in such a way that teens and parents alike will both be satisfied. Gold is so accomplished at creating flavor and simplifying technique that adults may be borrowing the book for weeknight dinners: onion soup with apple cider and thyme; sun-dried tomato and carrot meatloaf; olive oil-chocolate chip cookies. color throughout. cl. $21.99

Thomas Keller. AD HOC AT HOME.

Ad Hoc is Keller's family-style restaurant in the Napa Valley, an eatery inspired by American home cooking and the generous improvisational style of restaurant staff meals. The offerings here are seductive and surprising, and technique pointers abound. The section on preserves is worth the price of admission alone. But keep in mind that a culinary talent like Keller's is not bound by same limits as the average home kitchen and cook, and Ad Hoc will offer challenges along with many very attractive rewards. color throughout. cl. $50.00

 Thomas Keller, Madrid Fusion 2009.  
Photo by Gerry Dawes©2009.       

Max McCalman and Dave Gibbons. MASTERING CHEESE.

                 Max McCalman.
        Photo by Gerry Dawes©2007.

We've been feeling a dearth of introductory cheese books for the seriously motivated reader, and we're pleased to see this very handsome effort from the somewhat augustly designated Dean of Curriculum at the Artisanal Premium Cheese Center in New York. Despite that mouthful of a title, McCalman has been one of the foremost advocates of fine cheeses in the US, and his detailed and methodical (nearly 400 pages) guide is very useful for understanding cheesemaking as well as cheesetasting. color throughout. cl. $40.00

James Peterson. BAKING.

With a list of definitive books under his belt (Sauces, Vegetables, Fish and Shellfish), Peterson, a highly respected teacher, now tackles baking in this clear, detailed, and most useful guide to classic techniques for everything from almond cream to yeast cakes, with stops along the way at brownies, lemon meringue pie, and whole wheat bread. Strong step-by-step color photography. cl. $40.00


Paula Wolfert in The Culinary Institute of America-Greystone 
kitchens at the Worlds of Flavor Conference, Nov. 2009.  
Photo by Gerry Dawes©2009. 

Although the trusty Romertopf is included, Wolfert's latest book encompasses cooking in clay vessels of all types and sizes: cazuelas, tagines, bean pots, even slow-cookers (which use a ceramic liner). Her sources of inspiration are equally broad: she has adapted a pork belly dish which Joan Roca prepares sous-vide, presents a chard and toasted corn dish from a Turkish seaport, and she even slips in mushrooms cooked in the style of a Chinese sandpot. color insert. cl. $34.95

HOW TO ORDER From Kitchen Arts & Letters.  We'd love you to come to the store, chat with us, and see our full selection, as well as (in many cases) publishers' galley proofs and other material on upcoming books. If you must order by mail or fax, please let us know which titles you want. If the books are current and available, we'll ship them right off. If they are not available, we'll let you know when they arrive and notify you of the costs.

SHIPPING COSTS. We ship by UPS or USPS, whichever is least expensive for your location. Shipping is minimum $7.25 in the New York metro area, $8.00 east of the Mississippi, and $9.00 for southern Florida and the rest of the United States. For multibook orders, we will notify you of shipping costs. For overseas orders, we'll calculate costs by country.

PAYMENT. Mail order payments by Visa, Mastercard or Discover. On telephone orders, we can also give you a total and you can send us a check. For foreign, we'll take credit cards on all orders. For Canada, credit cards are fine, but no Canadian checks, sorry. US$ money orders are accepted.

THE STORE is located at 1435 Lexington Avenue in New York City, between 93rd and 94th Streets. Our hours are Monday, 1-6; Tuesday to Friday, 10-6:30; Saturday, 11-6. During the summer months our hours are less regular and we are closed on Saturday. It is best to call in advance of a visit.


About Gerry Dawes

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 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.

In December, 2009, Dawes was awarded the Food Arts Silver Spoon Award in a profile written by José Andrés.

". . .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. 


Mr. Dawes is currently working on a 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; Alternate e-mail (use only if your e-mail to AOL is rejected):

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