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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


Wining and Dining Around Spain with Gerry Dawes: Part 1 - Valencia and Alicante by John Sconzo, Docsconz: Musings on Food & Life

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I have said this before and I’ll say it again, nobody knows Spain like Gerry Dawes. I sincerely doubt that there is another American, and very few, if any, Spaniards can approach, let alone surpass his knowledge of the people, food, wine and culture of Spain. He has been frequenting the depths, breadths and heights of the country as a second home for nearly fifty years, leaving no stone, and especially no wine, unturned during that time. I have come to know him as a good friend over the ten years or so and have now had the pleasure to travel around Spain with him on a number of occasions, including last year, when he led my son and I on La Ruta del Ibérico, a tour of the major Jamón Ibérico de Bellota regions of Spain, which is to say the finest pork producing regions of the world. This year, Gerry and I did something a little different and no less unforgettable – we visited the finest wine regions of Spain, wining and dining like kings along the way.

Chef and all-around Spanish food star María José San Román and John Sconzo at one of the chefs restaurants, Tribeca, 
a great hamburger and casual food restaurant in Alicante.  
Photo by Gerry Dawes©2015 / / Facebook / Twitter / YouTube /  Pinterest.  
Canon G15 / Canon f/1.8 – f/2.8 5X 24-140mm IS USM.

Gerry is in the midst of unrolling a new Spanish wine importing company, The Spanish Artisan Wine & Spirits Group – Gerry Dawes Selections. With a life built around wine, both Spanish and otherwise, Gerry has long experience tasting, importing and selling wines from Spain and elsewhere in Europe as part of such major importers as Frederick Wildman, Vineyard Brands Robert Haas Selections, the legendary Gerald Asher at Mosswood and Winebow. He has long bemoaned the influence of Robert Parker on the wine world, espousing wines reflecting terroir with low alcohol, little to no oak and a strong acid backbone with lush fruit expressing the varietal origin of the grapes. For years, that had been a difficult battle as more and more of the global world of wine fell under the sway of Parker’s mantra of big, bold, and brutish wines of high alcohol, full extraction and low acid, all bound together by the unifying flavors of wood.  

Paco Torreblanca and John Sconzo at at Paco's taller (workshop) and International School of Pastry Arts in the town of Petrer (Alicante).  Photo by Gerry Dawes©2015 / YouTube / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest.  Sony RX100 III 20.1 MP / Zeiss 24-70mm f1.8-2.8.
About Gerry Dawes  

Gerry Dawes is the Founder, President & Chairman of the Board of The Spanish Artisan Wine & Spirits Group -  Gerry Dawes Selections.  

He 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, including for such chefs and culinary luminaries  as Thomas Keller, Michael Chiarello, Norman Van Aken, Ryan McIlwraith, Terrance Brennan, Mark Miller, Mark Kiffin, Michael Whiteman and the Club Chefs of New York & Connecticut. 

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. 
Pilot for a reality television series on wine, gastronomy, culture and travel in Spain.
Experience Spain With Gerry Dawes: Customized Culinary, Wine & Cultural Trips to Spain & Travel Consulting on Spain  

Gerry Dawes can be reached at

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