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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


Chef Jordi Cruz, One of the Fastest Rising Stars of the Post elBulli Epoque Gets a Second Michelin Star at ABaC in Barcelona.

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Jordi Cruz is one of my favorite post elBulli-era chefs. I predicted that he will get a third-star.  After less, than two years at ABaC, he received his second.  !!Enhorabuena!!

Chef Jordi Cruz empasize a point as he talks about his cooking techniques after dinner at Restaurante ABaC. Photo: Gerry Dawes©2011 /

ABaC Barcelona (From my article in Departures, May 2011)

Want to catch a true rising star in the Spanish food firmament, one that many predict will soon be awarded three Michelin stars? Jordi Cruz first cooked at the restaurant L’Estany Clar in the village of Berga, north of Barcelona, where at the age of 26 he became the youngest chef in Spain to receive a Michelin star. He then moved further into the Catalan hinterlands, to Món St. Benet, near Manresa, where he cooked at L’Angle, the restaurant attached to Ferran Adrià’s food research center Fundació Alícia. Anyone who ate there immediately recognized his rare talent. Cruz is now lighting up the sophisticated Barcelona culinary sky at the glittering new ABaC Restaurant & Hotel, which opened in 2008. Dishes might include smoked salmon with cauliflower purée served under a smoke-filled cloche, or an ethereal mushroom-and-truffle focaccio accompanied by a little tumbler of champignon bisque with hazelnut foam. Not to be missed is Cruz’s extraordinary extraterrestrial gin-tonic, made with cucumber and a dollop of lemon sorbet. Cruz is not just creative; his food is as delicious as that of any Spanish modernista cuisine chef today. Dinner, $215. 1 Avenida Tibidabo, Barcelona; 34-933/196-600.

Bottega Napa Valley Chef Michael Chiarello looks over a bottle of wine. Chef Jordi Cruz's ABaC. Oct. 11, 2011.  Photo: Gerry Dawes©2011 /

Where to Stay: The restaurant is located within the sleek new ABaC Hotel (rooms, from $460), whose owners also have two others places in Barcelona, the Hotel Cram (rooms, from $250; 54 Aribau; 34-932/167-700) downtown—home to Michelin-starred restaurant Gaig)—and the new Hotel Mirror (rooms, from $250; 255 Córcega; 34-932/028-686) in the Eixample district, whose restaurant, The Mirror, just hired two-star chef Paco Pérez. -- Gerry Dawes


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