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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,

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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MADRID FUSIÓN 2011 January 25, 26 & 27, 2011 Headliners: Ferran Adrià, Juan Mari Arzak, Joan Roca, rising Catalan star Jordi Cruz, Mexican chefs Bricio Domínguez and Martha Ortiz, Peruvian star Gastón Acurio, Chefs from Singapore and Flanders, Along with Carlo Cracco and Slow Food's Carlo Petrini from Italy.

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 Ferran Adrià in a pensive moment at Madrid Fusión 2009. 
Photograph by Gerry Dawes©2009

The 9th annual Madrid Fusión International Gastronomy Summit will take place in Madrid on January 25, 26 & 27.  Headlining the conference, as he has every year since its inception in 2003, will be Ferran Adrià, who will give his annual estado de Ferranismo (state of Ferranismo) address on opening day, this one entitled El Nuevo Bulli.

Chicago's Grant Achatz at Madrid Fusión 2009. 
Photograph by Gerry Dawes©2009.

This time Ferran will  elaborate further on the permanent closing of elBulli, "the world's best restaurant," on July 31, something he has done frequently for the past year since announcing the restaurant's closing at Madrid Fusión 2010 in a bombastic press conference that produced an explosion of articles about Ferran that could be described as the espuma (foam) that frothed around the gastronomic world--in record time.  Presumably, Ferran will enlighten this year's audience about his more definitive plans for the elBulli foundation (read Ferranismo think tank), when it opens in 2014 on the site of elBulli restaurant on Cala Montjoi, the legendary hard-to-get-to cove near Roses (Girona).   And certainly, we should hear more about the January opening in Barcelona Tickets, the flagship of undoubtedly will be become a string of tapas-and-cocktail bars that Ferran and his brother, Albert, have in the works.

Other highlights planned for Madrid Fusión 2010 include appearances by star Spanish Basque chefs Juan Mari Arzak, Elena Arzak, Martín Berasategui, Pedro Subijana, Andoni Aduriz and Eneko Atxa; Catalan stars Joan Roca and his brother Jordi, Carme Ruscalleda, Ramón Freixa and Jordi Cruz, a superb young chef who recently moved from the wonderful off-the-beaten-path provincial restaurant L'Angle (located next to Fundación Alicia near Manresa) to take over at Barcelona's tony Restaurante Abac.   Stars from other parts of Spain such as Quique DaCosta (Alicante), Mari Carmen Vélez (Alicante), Dani García (Andalucía) and Angel León (Andalucía).  Madrid chefs will include Paco Roncero (La Terraza),  Sergi Arola (Arola Gastro) and Ricardo Sanz (Kabuki  Wellington).   

The region of Galicia will be represented by transplanted Italian  chef Flavio Morganti (Galileo, Ourense) and Beatriz Sotelo (La Estación, A Coruña) plus Iago Pazos y Marcos Cerqueiro, two young rising stars who run an exceptional  tapas restaurant, Abastos 2.0, in the Santiago de Compostela market.  On the sweet side, super stars include the great pasteleros-chocolateros Christían Escribà, Oriol Balaguer, Jordi Butrón, Paco Torreblanca and Jacob Torreblanca.

Mexico and South America chefs invited include Mexico's Bricio Domínguez and Martha Ortiz, with Peruvian star Gastón Acurio.  Italy will be represented by the great Carlo Cracco and Carlo Petrini of Slow Food.

Each year, Madrid Fusión has a sub-theme representing the cuisines of a single country--Mexico, Perú, Japan.  This year Singapore will be represented with chefs Matthew Bax (Trippling Club), former Restaurant Daniel (New York) and elBulli stagier Kevin Cherkas (Blu) and French-trained (Ducasse and Gagnaire) rising star Andre Chiang (Restaurant Andre) and Flanders will feature presentations from chefs Bernard Lahousse (Sense for Taste, Bruges, Belgium), Dave De Belder (De Godevaart, Antwerp) and Gert de Mangeleer (Restaurant Hertong Jan, Bruges).  

The first version of Madrid Fusión in 2003 was a huge success and launched a plethora of international food conferences and spawned numerous imitators in Spain itself.  Each year it seems something of note that resounds throughout the culinary world occurs here.  

Nobu & Ferran, Madrid Fusión 2004. 
Photograph by Gerry Dawes©2004. Contact

Among the most memorable were the appearance of France's nouvelle cuisine super stars  and Nobu Matsuhisa in 2004, the appearance of Thomas Keller and awards to several great American culinary stars in 2006 (see photo below), Santi Santamaría's spectacularly scandalous declarations deriding Spanish cocina de vangaurdia practitioners in 2007--"The only truth that counts is the product   comes from the earth, passes from our stoves to the diner's mouth, and is then defecated."--and Ferran Adria's bomba announcement last year that he was closing elBulli.

The late Michael Batterberry, publisher-editor of Food Arts magazine, speaking at Madrid Fusión 2006
with a stage full of American and Spanish culinary stars as Mayor of Madrid Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón and Ferran Adrià applaud, with Juan Mari Arzak between them.  Photograph by Gerry Dawes©2010. Contact


About Gerry Dawes

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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.

Trailer for a reality television series
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