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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)


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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3/15/2010

Spain’s Innovative Vangaurdia Cuisine vs. Traditional Down-Home Cooking, my article on the CIA-Worlds of Flavor website.

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Text & Photographs by Gerry Dawes ©2008


In 2003, The Sunday New York Times Magazine cover asked, “Is Spain the New France?” and carried Arthur Lubow’s “A Laboratory of Taste” article about elBulli’s Ferran Adrià, Spain’s ultra-modern cocina de vanguardia maestro. Adrià’s espuma de zanahorias (the Times cover shot of, a glowing red-orange carrot foam served in a crystal vessel); mango raviolis made to look like egg yolks: melon, pear and peach “caviars,” spherified “olives”; and nitrogen-frozen cocktails suddenly grabbed culinary headlines around the globe. Adrià and Spanish modern cuisine were propelled in the gastronomic stratosphere. 

Carrot "air" at El Bulli, October 2003. 
Photo by Gerry Dawes©2003. Contact gerrydawes@aol.com for publication rights.

Accompanying Adrià’s rocket ride into another culinary dimension were plenty of skeptics and detractors who did not understand what was going on in Spain, claiming that the Spaniards were selling “flavored air” and that Adrià himself was destroying Spain’s “national cuisine.” But, since Spain’s culinary ascendancy, because of the fame of Ferran Adrià and a sizeable clan of like-minded fellow Spanish chefs, a whole new genre of modern food emerged–including modernized traditional cuisine – attracting a steady stream of international chefs, food writers and food aficionados to Spain, and in its wake an awareness that Spanish traditional cuisine was some of the best food on the planet. 

 Ferran Adrià at El Bulli 2008.  
Photo by Gerry Dawes©2008. Contact gerrydawes@aol.com for publication rights.

Since few gastronomic travelers coming to find out what all the fuss was about could actually get into elBulli–which has 2,000,000 annual requests for 8,000 potential reservations–the rest fanned out around the country, experiencing modern Spanish cuisine at Arzak, Akelarre and Martín Berasategui in the Basque Country, at Sergi Arola’s La Broche in Madrid, at Joan Roca’s Can Roca in Girona and at Carme Ruscalleda’s San Pau north of Barcelona. Many ventured on to experience what Raul Aleixandre at Ca Sento (Valencia), Quique Dacosta at El Poblet (Denia, Alicante) and María José San Roman at Monastrell (Alicante) were doing. Professionals also came to conferences such as Madrid Fusión (maybe the world’s top annual culinary summit), the chef-driven Lo Mejor de la Gastrónomía in San Sebastián and Roser Torras’s superb bi-annual BCN Vanguardia in Barcelona. And many young chefs began to choose Spain over France as their first choice to do their stages. In their travels these culinary pilgrims also began eating in Spanish traditional cuisine restaurants. They soon discovered that, while Spanish modern cuisine can be creative beyond belief and is often delicious as well as innovative, it is often the great traditional eating experiences that leave the most indelible imprint in the minds of most travelers. 

Guisantes (peas)--real or spherification, or both?--elBulli, 2008. 
Photo by Gerry Dawes©2010. Contact gerrydawes@aol.com for publication rights.

Read the rest of the article here.
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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.

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