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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

"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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this secure link to Paypal.* * * *


San Sebastián Gastronomika Dinner at Elkano, "the Best Fish Restaurant in the World," (Yes!!) Getaria, Guipuzkoa, Euskadi. 11-23-2010

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Gerry Dawes's Persistence of Memory* (Salvador Dalí)  Melting Watch Awards.

Barcelona journalist Xavi Agullo, moderator and at organizer at San Sebastián Gastronomika 2010 told the crowd of 130 invitees that Pedro and Aitor Arregui's Elkano restaurant was "the best fish restaurant in the world."  By the end of the evening, Agullo had made believers out of the likes of Drew Nieporent, Daniel Boulud, David Chang, Wylie Dufresne and many more. Here is the story of that remarkable dinner in photos.

Double click on the photos to see the slide show enlarged.

Gerry Dawes can be reached at; Alternate e-mail (use only if your e-mail to AOL is rejected):


San Sebastian Gastronomika Opening Reception 11-21-2010

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All photographs copyright 2010 by Gerry Dawes.


Iberia Airlines Adds New U.S. - Spain Routes

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Madrid's Terminal IV
Press release from Iberia Airlines:

The United States will be the principal focus of Iberia's long-haul growth strategy in 2011, as it launches two new routes, one between Los Angeles and Madrid, and another between Miami and Barcelona. 

Starting in March 28th, the Spanish company will operate three non-stop flights weekly from Los Angeles–on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays–with an additional Thursday flight in July-September. 

 Iberia expects to carry some 68,000 passengers on the Los Angeles route in the first year of operation. The flights will depart Los Angeles at 17:55 h. and arrive in Madrid at 14:15 h. the following day. In Madrid passengers can continue to another 36 destinations in Spain, 38 in Europe, 10 in Africa and one in the Middle East (Tel Aviv). The return flight will depart the Spanish capital at 12:35 h. and arrive in Los Angeles at 16:15 h.

 The new Miami-Barcelona service begins next March 29th, with flights on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, departing Miami at 18:45 h. and arriving in Barcelona at 10:35 h. the following day. The return flight will leave at 13:30 h. to reach Miami at 17:10 h. From Barcelona, passengers from Miami can continue to another 16 destinations in Spain and 27 in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, all operated by Vueling, in which Iberia holds a 45% share. 

These flights to Barcelona are in addition to Iberia's daily Miami-Madrid flights, and brings the total to 10 weekly flights connecting Miami with Spain and, thanks to the numerous connections available in Madrid and Barcelona, with many destinations in the rest of Spain, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. In the first year of operation, Iberia expects to transport some 64,000 passengers between Miami and Barcelona.

Barcelona airport (BCN)

The aircraft used on the routes will be 254-seat Airbus A-340/300s, with a 36-seat Business Plus section, recently redesigned, with 2.20 meters of space for each passenger and seats that unfold into flat beds. 

With these two new routes, the United States is consolidated as Iberia's most important long-haul market. In 2011 Iberia will offer a total of 1,164,000 seats between the United States and Spain, representing a 13% increase from 2010. 

There will be seat offer increases in Chicago and Boston: larger aircraft (Airbus A-340/600s with 342 seats) will be used in the Chicago-Madrid route and more frequencies will be added to the Boston-Madrid route – six from May to October next year.   Iberia will also operate three more weekly flights from New York to Madrid in July and August 2011, up to 17 flights a week during the summer time.  

These new routes and the increase of seat offer in New York, Chicago and Boston are part of the "joint business agreement" launched on October 1st between Iberia, American Airlines, and British Airways for routes over the North Atlantic, which increase the travel options available to clients of all three airlines, with more frequencies and more destinations, as well as better connections across all three networks. Thanks to this agreement, Iberia has added its code to an increased number of American Airlines flights from Iberia gateways in U.S. to other U.S. cities.


Ferran: The Inside Story of El Bulli and the Man Who Reinvented Food by Colman Andrews, a book review

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Ferran Adrià  and Tim Zagat at the book launch at the International Culinary Center in NYC on Oct. 12, 2010.   Photo by Gerry Dawes©2010.

Ferran: The Inside Story of El Bulli and the Man Who Reinvented Food by Colman Andrews, a book review excerpted from my article on Ferran Adrià in the October issue of Food Arts. 

(All photographs by Gerry Dawes copyright 2010.)

Colman Andrews, author ofFerran: The Inside Story of El Bulli and the Man Who Reinvented Food.   Photo by Gerry Dawes©2010.

"Colman Andrews first began thinking about writing a book about Ferran Adrià at the historic Culinary Institute at Greystone's "Spain and the World Table," conference in November, 2006. At that conference there was a particular poignant moment that was the climax of what Andrew's calls "a hugely ambitious, highly successful . . . program," when The French Laundry's Thomas Keller introduced Ferran Adríà to tumultuous applause. 

Thomas Keller at the Culinary Institute of America - Greystone
during his introduction of Ferran and the Spanish chefs during
the 2006 Worlds of Flavor Conference dedicated to Spain.
Photo by Gerry Dawes©2010.

Ferran Adríà and the all-star lineup of Spanish chefs 
at the CIA Worlds of Flavor Conference 2006. 
Photo by Gerry Dawes©2010.

Coming after the 2003 The New York Times Sunday Magazine article, Arthur Lubow article that posed the question, "Is Spain the New France?", the French-trained, Francophile Keller's introduction was something very much like the passing of the torch to Spain and to Adrià, who for nearly a decade now has been called "the world's greatest chef" and his restaurant, elbulli, "the world's greatest restaurant." That moment at the CIA-Greystone well may have been the greatest event in Spain's long culinary history.

Ferran Adrià and Arthur Lubow at the book launch 
at International Culinary Center in New York. 
Photo by Gerry Dawes©2010.

Andrews-with the help of elBulli (the official name of the restaurant) alumni, Ferran Adrià confidant and chef-restaurateur José Andrés "kept after" Ferran for nearly a year. At one point, Andrés told Andrews, "If he thinks this is my idea or your idea, he will maybe not be so eager to say yes. He has to think it is his idea." They both persisted until Ferran told Andrews, "the next time you are Barcelona, we'll talk." Andrews quickly booked a flight to Barcelona, where he long felt at home since he spent a lot of time there two decades ago writing his seminal book on the food of Catalunya, Catalan Cuisine: Europe's Last Great Culinary Secret (Atheneum, 1988).

Ferran Adrià at Inopia. 
Photo by Gerry Dawes©2010.

Andrews managed to pin Ferran down over dinner at Inopia, Ferran's brother Albert's happening tapas bar (he just sold it; see accompanying article). At the end of a meal that featured traditional Spanish tapas-white asparagus , five kinds of olives, jamón Ibérico from Salamanca, esquiexada (Catalan shredded raw salt cod salad), fried artichokes, fried boquerones (anchovies), pa amb tomaquet (Catalan grilled bred rubbed with tomato and garlic) and small grilled shrimp, washed down with a crisp Catalan white wine, Andrews asks himself about whether he had the green light to do this book, "Was this (Ferran's) capitulation?"

Boquerones en vinagre with olives and raf tomatoes, Inopia.
Photo by Gerry Dawes©2010.

All those who needed a book on Ferran-I am one of them, even though I have known him for nearly fifteen years-that tells you everything you need to know, but were always afraid to ask, about the man, his restaurant, his dimension-bursting food, his partner Juli Soler and the truth and mythology that surrounds elBulli, this fine, eminently readable treatment is a blessing. Colman Andrews has done a brilliant job with this nearly 300-page book, despite what the misguided review in The New York Times claimed.

Ferran Adrià at the International Culinary Center in NYC on Oct. 12, 2010.     
Photo by Gerry Dawes©2010.

Readers will come away from Ferran: The Inside Story of El Bulli and the Man Who Reinvented Food with an infinitely greater understanding of the "world's greatest chef," who indeed reinvented (and continues to reinvent) food in the 21st Century. The only negative in the American edition is that there are no photographs; the European edition apparently has them." 


Insider’s Taste of Northern Spain Gastronomic Tour of Bilbao - San Sebastián - Navarra - Barcelona Nov. 27 - Dec. 5, 2010

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Tour Organized and Led by
Writer-Photographer & Spain Expert

Gerry Dawes
Premio Nacional de Gastronómía 2003
Food Arts Silver Spoon Award
(Award profile written by José Andrés - Dec. 2009

Gerry Dawes has been traveling the Food and Wine Roads of Spain for more than 40 years and is personally acquainted with hundreds of restaurateurs, chefs, winemakers and food-and-wine personalities.  We will eat great food, meet a slew of great Basque and Catalan chefs and food personalities, taste wines with a winemaker or two, take lots of great photographs and develop a camaraderie on this trip that will ripen in recounting into vintage nostalgia.

Ferran Adrià and Gerry Dawes at Bar Basque,  NYC, Oct. 13, 2010. 
Photograph by John Sconzo©2010.

Tour accompanied by Dr. John Sconzo,
food aficionado & photographer extraordinarío.

Author & photographer of
Doc Sconz - The Blog: Musing on Food and Life
 (All photographs copyright by Gerry Dawes 2010.)

 Prices quoted are without airfare from the U.S. to Bilbao and return from Barcelona and include five and four star hotels, all designated restaurant meals with wines selected by Gerry Dawes and bus transportation within Spain.  Pricing depends on how many travelers will be joining the tour.

2 travelers:  $7,000.00
4 travelers:  $5,000.00
6-8 travelers:   $4,500.00
10-16 travelers:  $4,000.00


Day 00 USA-Madrid-Bilbao Evening Flight
Evening departure from the U.S. with each guest arranging own their flights.
Day 01 Saturday, Nov 27 Arrive Madrid, transfer to flight to Bilbao

Gerry Dawes will meet guests at the Bilbao airport.  We will take a short trip into Bilbao and see the Guggenheim Museum from the outside and have some tapas in the old quarter.

Guggenheim, Bilbao.  Photograph by Gerry Dawes©2010.

Leaving Bilbao, we will make another short trip to have lunch at Extebarri, where chef-owner Victor Arguinzoniz has taken the  art of  grilling to a new level.  Some experts consider Etxeberri to be among the top restaurants in Spain.

After lunch, we will drive an hour to San Sebastián, where we will check into the magnificent turn-of-the-19th century Hotel Maria Cristina by 5 p.m.

Siesta time until dinner at 9:30 p.m. at either Restaurante Arzak, Juan Mari Arzak and daughter Elena’s three-star temple of gastronomy, or Martín Berasategui’s superb three-star Restaurante Martín Berasategui in nearby Lasarte.  All three chefs are long-time personal friends of our tour organizer. 

Day 02  Sunday, Nov 28 San Sebastián

Hotel Maria Cristina, San Sebastián

Sunday morning will be free to explore the old quarter and walk the magnificent la Concha beach and esplanade.

Lunch will be a short ride outside San Sebastián at Mugaritz, where Chef Andoni Aduriz is considered one of the most innovative young chefs in the Spanish cocina de vanguardia movement.

Pintxos of mushrooms with ham and txangurro (crab) in a pastry shell 
with a rosado from Navarra at Bar-Restaurante Gandarias.

We will return to San Sebastián after lunch and the afternoon will be free until evening when we will go on a optional tapas-hopping tour of San Sebastián’s best pintxos bars and restaurants, with optional gin-tonics, etc. at one of the city’s greatest bars. 

Joaquín Fernández, owner and champion barman of Dickens 
in San Sebastián, making his classic Gin Tonic.

Day 03  Monday, Nov 29 San Sebastián

Hotel Maria Cristina, San Sebastian

In the morning, we will visit the colorful La Bretxa, Basque caserío farmers' market and San Martín market, then have some tapas in the bars surrounding the markets, some of which may have as many as 50 pintxos lined up along the bar.

For lunch, we will take a drive west along the Cantabrian Sea coast of the Bay of Biscay to the wonderful Basque fishing village of Getaria, hometown of Elkano, the first man to circumnavigate the globe; Balenciaga, the famous fashion designer; and Placido Domingo’s mother.  

First we will have several exceptional seafood appetizers at Elkano, one of the greatest fish and seafood restaurants in the world, then walk down the hill to Kaia (in the same family as Elkano), which has spectacular views of the fishing port from its perch on the hill and offers whole turbot grilled outdoors over a wood fire, accompanied by wines from one of the most enticing wine cellars in nothern Spain.  Gerry Dawes has had multiple experiences in both restaurants and we will get special insights into Basque seafood cooking.

  Turbot grilling at Kaia.

After some post-prandial patxaran (Basque liquor), we will explore a little more of the coast, then return to San Sebastián where guests will be have free time until dinner.

Dinner will be at Rekondo, a game specialist and one of the few restaurants open on  Mondays.  First, we drive past Rekondo up Monte Igeldo for spectacular Ipanema-like night views of San Sebastián.   Txomín Rekondo is a friend of Gerry’s and will show us his phenomenal wine cellar, which is one of the best in Europe.
Day 04  Tues, Nov 30  San Sebastián - Navarra - Barcelona
Hotel Duquesa de Cardona, Barcelona

In the morning, we will drive south about an hour and a half to visit the wonderful storybook castle-village of Olite in Navarra.

A short drive from Olite, we will stop for an early (for Spain) lunch with a Navarra winemaker near Tudela at a restaurant in southern Navarra specializing in the famous vegetables of the Ribera de Navarra region.

Wine lunch in southern Navarra.

After lunch, we will head for Barcelona, arriving in the early evening, and check into our hotel, La Duquesa de Cardona, which is conveniently located between the Port Vell (the yacht basin) and the beach and the lively Las Ramblas area, which we will visit often during our time in Barcelona.

We will check into our hotel and have time to relax before we head for dinner at a restaurant facing the Port Vell, El Suquet de L'Almirall, where chef Quím Marquéz turns out some exceptional interpretations of modern dishes based on traditional Catalan recipes.  Marquéz worked at El Bulli and is a very good friend of José Andrés.

Day 05 Weds, Dec 01 Barcelona

La Boquería

Hotel Duquesa de Cardona, Barcelona

We will have breakfast/lunch at the fabulous Mercat de San Josep, La Boquería, where we will sample the cooking of two of the legendary market bars, Pinotxo and Quím de la Boquería, and explore the market, where Gerry will introduce us to several of the key players that make this market one of the greatest in the world. 

Quím de la Boquería

For dinner, we will sample Ramón Freixa's  superb food at El Raco d'en Freixa, Barcelona's top-rated restaurant.  Afterwards, we will either go to the OMM hotel, one of the sexiest restaurant-watering holes in Barcelona, then our guests will have the option of  drinks in the muy movida bar or visiting one of Barcelona's legendary night clubs. 

 Day 06  Thurs, Dec 02 Barcelona - Manresa - Barcelona

 Hotel Duquesa de Cardona, Barcelona

We will try to get our group into Ferran Adrià’s elBulli Taller workshop, but we can’t promise that yet.  However, Ferran and his brother Albert are opening an upscale tapas restaurant in Barcelona in November and the bar should be open by the time of our visit, so we stop there for a drink at some point during our stay in Barcelona.

Albert Adrià, José Andrés and friend at Inopia, the tapas bar in Barcelona that Albert recently sold. All photographs by Gerry Dawes©2010.

By 11 a.m., we will head from Manresa to visit the Alicia Foundation, which Ferran helped to found.  This institution that explores the connection between Alimentacion (food) y Sciencia (science) is more about exploring the science and healthful aspects of food.  It is not a laboratory for creating the innovative new dishes that Ferran and the other vanguardia chefs are famous for, but it is a fascinating place that is not to be missed.

Chef Jordi Cruz, Angle Restaurant, and 
Toni Massenes, head of the Alicia Foundation.

Right next to the Alicia Foundation is the Angle Restaurant, where one of the best young chefs in Catalunya (and all of Spain) cooks.  Gerry had an exceptional lunch there in March. 

After lunch, we will return to Barcelona, where the rest of the afternoon will be free to visit this amazing city.

In the evening, we go on a tapas tour of Barcelona.  Later, we will have the option of having drinks at El Velodromo, a Barcelona classic that was renovated and revived last year, after many years of being closed, by Carlos Abellan, one of Ferran Adrià’s best known disciples.

Day 07  Fri, Dec 03 Barcelona

Hotel Duquesa de Cardona, Barcelona

The morning and afternoon will be free to tour Barcelona.

In the evening, in la Barceloneta, at Can Majo, we will have our farewell dinner on such wonderful dishes as first-rate traditionally prepared mariscos (shellfish), paella and arros negre (black rice) cooked with squid and colored with squid ink, along with some local Catalan wines.

Portions of arros negre, black rice with squid, and 
paella de mariscos, shellfish paella, at Can Majó in La Barceloneta.

Day 08, Sat, Dec 04 Barcelona - USA

Late morning flight to the U. S.  Option to spend more days in Barcelona.

About Gerry Dawes

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.


A Visual Encyclopedia of Spanish Gastronomy: Food, Chefs, Restaurants and Wine (A Work in Progress). Dishes, cheeses, olive oils, wines, restaurants, etc. (Illustrated with photographs; frequent new additions and updates.)

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Text & Photographs by Gerry Dawes ©2017
 (Contact: for publication rights.)
[Double click on any photograph to see it enlarged.) 

* * * * Stay tuned, more entries will be added regularly. * * * *

Don Quixote and Sancho Panza from a mural in a restaurant in Tembleque, Castilla-La Mancha.
The La Mancha essentials: bread, cheese, wine, cured ham and, probably pickled aubergines.
Ajos Morados

Purple garlic cloves, famously from Las Pedroneras (Cuenca, Castilla-La Mancha), i which is the ajo morado capital of Spain and has a festival to celebrate the bulb every year.  (Think Gilroy, California, which claims to be the garlic capital of the world.)  Las Pedroneras is also home to arguably the best restaurant of la Mancha, Las Rejas, where the great chef of La Mancha, my friend Manuel de la Osa is the chef-owner.  Nabor Jiménez , the chef-owner of El Crucero in Corella (Navarra) brought out a plate of the big purplish cloves to show us.  “Ajo morado is much finer garlic than the kind we have here in Corella,” Jiménez said.  

Ajos morados, purple garlic.

Alcachofas con jamón Ibérico (baby artichoke hearts with cured Ibérico ham) with a rosado from D.O. Madrid, at La Balconada Restaurant, Chinchón, one of my favorite restaurants in one of my favorite towns in Spain.

Alcochofas con jamón Ibérico.

Arroces (or Arroses, in Catalan/Valenciano).

Arroz a banda

Arroz a banda is traditionally made by cooking pieces of fish, squid and/or shellfish to make a stock in which the rice is then cooked, with the fish, squid and shellfish being served  separately, sometimes as a separate course.  In this squid and shrimp paella the ingredients are incorporated into the dish and served with the rice.

María José San Román serving her arroz a banda 'Taberna' (paella with shrimp and fresh squid) from La Taberna del Gourmet at Jaleo's Paella Festival opening party.

Arroz caldoso

Arroz caldoso con blando de cangrejo (soft shell crab "soupy" rice).  Developed by María José San Román, chef-owner of Monastrell (see Monastrell on Facebook) and La Taberna de Gourmet (see my review), for José Andrés annual Paella Festival at the Jaleo restaurants in Crystal City, MD, just across the Potomac from Washington, D.C.  Although, you will not find this dish in Spain, where I have never seen soft shell crabs, it is well worth making this sensational dish in softshell crab season (the recipe will be available soon).  Arroz caldoso, which is basically a rich stock with plenty of rice in it, is one of the most delicious of all Spanish rice dishes.

María José San Román's sensational arroz caldoso con blando de cangrejo,
made with soft shell crabs, at Jaleo Crystal City's Paella Festival in June, 2010.

Slide show of rice dishes from Jaleo's paella festival in June 2010.

Arroz con leche is Spanish rice pudding, or rice cooked with milk, cinnamon and sugar.  At Casa Lucio in Madrid its is served with a creme bruleé-style caramelized sugar crust, which is a custom in Alicante, where Lucio Blásquez, the owner of Casa Lucio, has a street named after him. 

Arroz con leche with a creme bruleé caramelized sugar crust at Casa Lucio, Madrid.



Bright green steamed borrajas (borrage)--a stalk vegetable that is believed to have originally come from north Africa, where in Arabic its name is abu rash--shown here at El Crucero restaurant in Corella (Navarra), dressed with Nabor Jiménez’s own Condado de Martinega aceite de oliva virgen, olive oil.

Borrajas, borrage.



Cardos con semillas de granada, cardoons with pomegranate seeds, at El Crucero in Corella (Navarra).

Cardos, cardoons with pomegranate seeds.

Cochinillo asado
Cochinillo asado, roast suckling pig, an emblematic Madrid dish, at Restaurante Botín, Hemingway's old favorite, which he immortalized in The Sun Also Rises.
Cochinillo asado at Restaurante Botín.

Cochinillo asado at Restaurante Botín.

Habitas con jamón

Habitas con jamón, young tender fava beans cooked with cured ham, El Crucero restaurant, Corella (Navarra).

Habitas con jamón



Menestra, a panache of fresh vegetable, ideally young spring vegetables such as vainas (green beans), guisantes (peas), zanahorias (carrots), cardos (cardoons), esparragos (asparagus), puerros (leeks), and alcachofas (artichokes).  Menestra can be served as a vegetarian dish, but often ham and/or hard-cooked eggs are added. San Ignacio Restaurante, Pamplona.



Paella (see Arroces or Arroses [Catalan}

Paella, Spain's best known dish, is technically known as arroz en paella or arròs en paella (Catalan/Valencian), arroz al horno (oven-baked in a casserole), arroz caldoso ("soupy" rices cooked stove-top, etc.  Paella is the pan.

Pimientos de Cristal

Slightly picante pimientos de cristal, red peppers--not to be confused with the famous local piquillo peppers.  These pimientos de cristal were served with a minced black olive-infused olive oil at El Crucero, Corella (Navarra). 

Pimientos de cristal.

Pimientos de piquillo

Pimiento de piquillo relleno de mariscos (piquillo peppers stuffing with a shellfish filling), San Ignacio Restaurante, Pamplona.

Pimiento de piquillo relleno de mariscos.

Pochas (con almejas, guindillas, Las Campanas rosado.)

Pochas are white beans with a cranberry bean like shape, consistency and flavor, in this case, cooked with clams. They are also often cooked with chorizo and morcilla and sometimes with quail.  Served with guindillas (piquant, elongated green peppers similar in flavor to Greek pepperoncini). Las Campanas Garnacha Rosado (rosé), an inexpensive Navarra D.O. wine, is a good companion to this wonderful dish from northern Spain. 

Pochas con almejas, guindillas, Las Campanas rosado.  
From Casa Cámara a wonderful waterside restaurant in the storybook, one-street village 
of Pasaia Donibane (Pasajes de San Juan) near San Sebastián. 

First served to me at El Crucero restaurant, Corella (Navarra), rusos de Álfaro (literally, Russians from Álfaro) is an exquisite dessert that originated at Pastelería Malumbres in the late 19th Century in Álfaro, the main town of the La Rioja Baja winemaking district.  Rusos de Álfaro, made made with meringue, butter and sugar, sometimes flavored with almond or coffee cream, areworld-class, ethereal, melt-in-your-mouth pastries that are delightful way to end a meal in southern Rioja or La Ribera de Navarra.  Marcos Malumbres of the founding family of Pastelería Malumbres showed Martín Orlando, the current owner since 1998, how to make rusos de Álfaro and other desserts.    Rusos de Álfaro was voted the most preferred dessert of la Rioja at La 
Rusos de Álfaro.


 Gastronomy Blogs

About Gerry Dawes

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. 

". . .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.


The Passing of Michael Batterberry, The Culinary Grandee Who Co-Founder & Editor of Food Arts Magazine

* * * * *

Michael Batterberry receiving a Madrid Fusion award 
from Alberto Ruiz-Galladón, Mayor of Madrid, as Ariane Batterberry looks on.

I am very sad to report on the passing of one of the giants of the world of gastronomy and one of the greatest, most elegant men I have ever known, Michael Batterberry, who with his wife, Ariane (who survives him), Food & Wine magazine and then went on to found Food Arts, perhaps, because it is read avidly by chefs and restaurateurs, the most influential food magazine in America. 

Michael Batterberry receiving a Madrid Fusion award in 2006 from 
Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, Mayor of Madrid, as Ariane Batterberry looks on.

I am privileged to have known Michael Batterberry, to have shared experiences with him in New York, in Spain and in Napa Valley; to have written for Food Arts for nearly fifteen years under his direction; and to have been able to call him a friend. I, like many others, will miss him very, very much, now and into the future.

Michael Batterberry seriously contemplating his next culinary move 
at the Food Arts holiday party at Merle Evans's apartment, January 2010.

In any visual encyclopedia, under the definition of "gentleman," my first candidate would be a photograph of Michael in one of his impeccably tailored suits or blazers.  !Adios, Don Miguel, Vaya Usted con Dios!

Obituary, Food Arts 


Estatuas Humanas (Living Statues) - The lovely Karen from Argentina, Winged Victory on Les Rambles, Barcelona

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For the past several years, I have been photographing the Estatuas Humanas, the living statue performers that I encounter in Spain.  I have captured the large majority of them in Barcelona on Les Rambles, the city's raffish pedestrian mall cum communal outdoor parlor.  Each time I go, I encounter new statues, but many endure for several years, like Karen, from Argentina, who performs as a golden Winged Victory and is one of my favorites.  I usually talk to her every time I go the Ramblas and, on a couple of occasions, I have managed to capture her lovely image out of costume--sort of!

The lovely Karen (Argentina), Winged Victory. Les Rambles, Barcelona. 
Photo by Gerry Dawes ©2008.

Photographs featuring Karen as Winged Victory on Les Rambles.
(Double click to see enlarged view, click F11 for full screen.)

Pimientos de piquillo (piquillo peppers)

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Pimientos de piquillo, small "pico," or beak-shaped [literally like a bird beak],
red triangular-shaped piquillo peppers.

Pimientos de piquillo rellenos de mariscos (piquillo peppers with a shellfish filling),
Restaurante Ducay, Olite (Navarra).

Pimiento de piquillo rellenos de bacalao (piquillo peppers with a salt cod filling)
and a red pepper sauce. Restaurante San Ignacio, Pamplona (Navarra).

Pimientos de piquillo stuffed with bonito tuna.
Conservas Camporel, Cintruenigo, Navarra.

Slide show of pimientos de piquillo rellenos 
at Conservas Camporel in Cintruenigo, Navarra. 
(Double click on image to see enlarged version.)

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