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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


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10/27/2011

The Economist: After 40 years of bloodshed, ETA (Basque Terrorist organization) throws in the towel


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WHEN ETA broke off a ceasefire in 2007, Jesús Eguiguren, a Basque negotiating on behalf of the Spanish government, warned his separatist counterpart, Francisco Javier López Peña, that his destiny was to spend years in jail. “And you should buy black ties,” Mr López Peña retorted, for the funerals of future victims of the Basque terror organisation.

Both men were right. ETA killed ten times over the next three years. Mr Eguiguren was pall-bearer at the funeral of Isaías Carrasco, his friend and fellow Basque Socialist. But in 2008 Mr López Peña, then ETA’s leader, was captured in France.

One reason ETA has downed arms is that hardliners like Mr López Peña are behind bars. Another is that the campaign of terror he had planned failed to happen. Several of his successors were detained in a series of joint Spanish-French police operations. ETA became virtually inoperative. Ten killings in three years was paltry by its standards. “Spanish democracy has defeated ETA,” declared Antonio Camacho, the interior minister.

Yet it is too early to write ETA’s obituary. It has neither disarmed nor disbanded. A violent breakaway group, similar to the Real IRA in Northern Ireland, could emerge. ETA has asked for talks with Spain and France. This, it says, is how “armed confrontation” can be finally overcome.

José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, Spain’s Socialist prime minister, deserves credit for dragging ETA this far. But the job of negotiating with the group will fall to his successor, after a general election on November 20th. That will almost certainly be Mariano Rajoy, whose conservative People’s Party (PP) looks set to win a landslide.

Talking to ETA is “a betrayal of the dead,” Mr Rajoy once said. But so far he has displayed moderation. “This is a great piece of news,” he said, before calling for ETA’s dissolution. When Spaniards start to enjoy a peace dividend in the form of lower security costs and higher tourism receipts in the Basque country, pressure will build to sort out the remaining issues.

Concessions to ETA’s demand for a separate Basque state are out. But the government could take other steps, such as moving some of the 700 ETA prisoners in Spanish and French prisons closer to the Basque country, or exercising leniency on day- and early-release programmes. Still, ETA is not in a strong bargaining position. Mass prisoner-release programmes, if they ever come, must wait. The problem of ETA members in hiding, like Mr Pla, is trickier. Most Spaniards want to see them in court. They may prefer to be exiled to a beach somewhere in the Caribbean.

ETA’s arms, hidden in France and the Basque country, must inevitably be given up, says Brian Currin, a South African lawyer. The PP has denounced his fellow “mediators”, including Kofi Annan, a former UN secretary-general, as unwelcome meddlers. Mr Rajoy may, however, need them to oversee a discreet disarmament process.

A separate demand comes from the politicians who led ETA away from violence. Banned front parties, like Batasuna, want to be allowed back into mainstream politics. A coalition they linked up with, Bildu, won 26% of Basque votes in municipal elections in May, suggesting that it has much to gain from Spanish democracy. Mr Rajoy will come under pressure to respond. All this will take years but, happily for the long-suffering Basques, there is no taste for turning back.

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