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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


Chinchón II: Lunch at Mesón de la Virreina, A Memory From a February Lunch Long Ago

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My first trip to Chinchón was way back in February of 1971 with my old friends, Edwin J. Mullens III and Bill and Betty Pearson from Clarksdale, Mississippi.  It was a very cold day, so lunch at Mesón de la Virreina  in the upstairs dining room next to the fireplace at a table by the windows that overlooked La Plaza Mayor was especially welcome, cozy and memorable.   I still recall that I had alubias con chorizo (beans with chorizo), chuletillas de cordero (baby lamb chops) and the local red wine (now from the D.O. Vinos de Madrid).  

With dessert, flan and leche frita, I ordered café con leche and brandy snifters of anís (anís liqueur) de Chinchón, which we sipped as we lingered by the fire in some other-time, other- place reverie.  That day is still a cherished memory.

Leche frita flambeed with anis de Chinchón, El Mesón de la Virreina, Chinchón.


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. 

Dawes 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. 
A trailer from a proposed reality television series with Gerry Dawes  
on gastronomy, wine, culture and travel in Spain.

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