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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


Pedroches D.O. (Córdoba) jamón Ibérico cutter Clemente Gómez & Francisco 'Paco' Castro (l), venenciador for the DO Montilla-Moriles at Madrid Fusión 2013 Cutting & Pouring for VIPs

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I am just back from one Hell of a trip to Spain, at Madrid Fusión 2013, where I introduced on stage Chef George Mendes of New York's Portuguese and Spanish influenced Aldea Restaurant; shared abrazos to some of Spain's top chefs such as Quique Dacosta, Albert Adrià, Martín Berasategui, David Muñoz (Restaurant DiverXo, Madrid), Dani García, Paco Torreblanca, Sergi Arola, María José San Román, Paco Torreblanca; sat by my old friend the legendary Godfather of modern Spanish cuisine, Juan Mari Arzak, at dinner at Esmeralda Capel (a director of Madrid Fusión); and hung out with Colman Andrews, George Semler, John Sconzo and his son El Jay.  

Had a blast with George Mendes and one of his chefs, Mitch Barr, dragging them to all my old favorite down home places such as Casa Lucio, La Castela and Casa Botín, having carabineros at El Mercado de San Miguel and Canary Islands papas arrugadas con mojo verde y mojo rojo (classic Canary Islands "wrinkled" potatos cooked in salt water and served with a green cilantro-olive oil-and garlic based sauce and a spicy red mojo sauce) at El Escaldón, taking in Flamenco at Café de Chinitas and late night gintonics with George Mendes, George Semler, writer Lisa Abend, CIA's Anne McBride and Caroline Hatchett.   

Turned on George Mendes, Doc Sconzo, a passle of Colombian foodies and others to the wonderful jamones Ibéricos from my buddy, Clemente Gómez, the expert ham cutter for the Pedroches (Córdoba) D.O. and having Paco Castro, the official venenciador pour glasses of the wonderful Montilla-Moriles D.O. fino from a height for my friends.  That was just the first four days, then the road trip began (more to come). 

Francisco 'Paco' Castro (l), venenciador for the DO Montilla-Moriles,
and my great friend, Clemente Gómez (right), ham cutter for Pedroches hams,
at the Pedroches (Córdoba) stand at Madrid Fusión 2013. Photo by Gerry
Dawes copyright 2013 / / Facebook / Twitter.

Slide show of Pedroches D.O. (Córdoba) jamón Ibérico cutter Clemente Gómez & Francisco 'Paco' Castro (l), 
venenciador for the DO Montilla-Moriles at Madrid Fusión 2013 Cutting & Pouring for VIPs 
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. 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. 

". . .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. 

Mr. Dawes is currently working on a reality television series 
on wine, gastronomy, culture and travel in Spain.

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