Share This Gerry Dawes's Spain Post


"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.

* * * * To make your contribution, please click on
this secure link to Paypal.* * * *


Principado de Asturias Journal: Día de San José, March 19, 2010. A Very Pleasant Night in the Asturias at La Quinta de Villanueva with Beatrice Montes and Camino Guerra

* * * * *

As part of my plan to learn about different hotels on my trip in March to El Principado de Asturias, I asked my trip organizers to put me in a different hotel each night (not recommended for those for whom unpacking and re-packing every day and sleeping in a different bed every night are a problem!)--with the stipulation that each place have FREE wi-fi available in the rooms (all but one, whose desk person said the wi-fi was not functioning do to the wind [it was a still night], worked). 

On the night of March 19, after visiting the goat cheese producer, La Chivita, Nacho Molina and I crossed the Sella River and wound our way to the village of Villanueva, where Nacho left me at La Quinta de Villanueva, a house built by an Indiano in the 19th century.   Indianos were local men who emigrated to Spanish America, often the Indies--Cuba, etc --made their fortunes and returned to their home cities and built large homes that reflected their wealth. These often ostentatious homes can be found in towns all over the Asturias, in Galicia and in the Canary Islands, especially.  

Ironically, this wine, food and cheese road warrior was uncharacteristically without a car and since La Quinta has no formal restaurant, the owners, Beatrice Montes (Beatrice of the Mountains, who spent a couple of years living in New Jersey) and her partner, Camino Guerra (another irony, literally, "Road War," two women serious about running a good bed-and-breakfast, kindly invited me to share dinner with in the downstairs breakfast room. After rummaging about for a suitable bottle of wine, we settled into an impromptu dinner of Spanish serrano ham and a Spanish vegetable tortilla, the vino and good conversation until bedtime.

The next morning, I had breakfast looking out over the gardens that Beatrice and Camino planted with flowers and plants that mirror the way the gardens were planted in the 19th century.   If you find yourself in the Eastern Asturias, right by the Cantabrian border--the Río Selles--you will be only minutes from the coast and minutes from a wonderful mountain road that follow the Selles (which eventually starts out as the
Río Cares) into the interior of the Asturias.   I highly recommend a Quinta de Villanueva as an overnight stop on any trip to the Asturias.


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.

1 comment:

  1. I agree about La Quinta. A very quiet place, to have a very relaxing informal rest.


Related Posts with Thumbnails