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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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Photography: All photos on this blog were taken with Canon cameras and these lenses.

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NOTES: Except for the Canon T2i and the 17-70mm Sigma both purchased in July, 2010 and the long-awaited Tokina 11-16mm ultra wide angle lense purchased in Sept. 2010, I made most of these images with this equipment shown below. In addition, in August 2011, I added the Canon 85mm portrait lens and the Tokina 100mm Macro. (I included the Canon 18-55mm IS "kit" lense, while not made like a tank, is a real sleeper of a light-weight walk-around lens and a bargain that has received several very favorable reviews in serious photographic journals.)

RANT: Warning! I have included a reasonably priced back-up battery for the Canon T2i, since Canon charges about $45 for a spare battery. Canon makes good camera equipment, but their corporate mentality is heavy handed and exploitive. Almost every new Canon camera comes with a distinctive battery (instead of a universal battery that would fit all their SLRs) and thus a different charger, configuration, so you end up buying more batteries and carrying more batteries and chargers. The charger on the T2i, a great camera, comes with a cord instead of having the plug built in! And, with most of the already quite expensive Canon lenses, you will pay quite a bit extra for a lens hood! You can get good lens hoods and great padded cases for Canon from Pearstone for much less!!

Now ask me why Amazon has chosen to remove the image of the excellent Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens and substitute it with someone's picture of a child putting his hands on a mirror. I truly cannot explain that either!

And the fact that I bought ALL of this equipment from B&H and the gear has Amazon links?  Well, I petitioned B &H about being an associate and they totally ignored my request, so if you purchase any of this equipment through, you will be helping to underwrite this blog.


Barcelona: In a Disgraceful Action, Catalan Police with Clubs and Rubber Bullets Attack Peaceful Demonstrators in La Plaza de Catalunya

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This tragedy, which occurred yesterday morning in Barcelona, is still unfolding. The Catalan Police, the Mosso d'Esquadra, not the Spanish National Police, moved in a group of people who had been camping in La Plaza de Catalunya, historically the heart of Barcelona and of Catalunya.  The protesters had been there for several days peacefully protesting the handling of the economic crisis by the government. 

Indignats | Desallotjament de la Plaça Catalunya 
(Video on YouTube by jsalvia)

The Police moved in and soon began clubbing defenseless civilians, most of them young people, causing at least 100 of them to require medical treatment and putting some of them in the hospital.  At one point a photographer (acampapadabcnfoto on Flickr) captured a member of the Catalan police force, the Mosso d'Esquadra, attacking a man in a wheelchair.  As the morning wore on, they began firing rubber bullets at the pavement, which caused many of them to ricochet into the crowd.

Spanish protesters clash with police over clean-up: Violence breaks out around Barcelona's Plaça de Catalunya, the first trouble after 12 days of protests (Report by Giles Tremlett,

Gerry Dawes can be reached at


Fish market at the Mercado Municipal de Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain.

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Cigalas (Dublin Bay prawns) at Pontevedra Municipal market, Galicia.
Photograph by Gerry Dawes©2010. Contact for publication rights.

The Mercado Municipal in Pontevedra has an incredible fish market, said to handle more fish and shellfish than any market in Spain.  It is incredibly colorful and the fishmongers, mostly women, are an equally incredible cast of characters.  A photographer can easily spend the good part of a morning in this market.

Fishmonger at Pontevedra Municipal market, Galicia. 
Within seconds she will go back to gutting small sharks.
Photograph by Gerry Dawes©2010. Contact

Fishmonger at Pontevedra Municipal market, Galicia. 
Photograph by Gerry Dawes©2010. Contact

Navajas (razor clams) and almejas (clams).
Photograph by Gerry Dawes©2010. Contact

Slide show of Pontevedra Municipal Fish Market.
(Double click on images to enlarge, go to Picasa, click on Slideshow and F11 for full-screen view.)

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. 

Pilot for a reality television series on wine, gastronomy, culture and travel in Spain. 
(Valencia-Alicante espisode.)

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