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36. Gerry Dawes's Spain: An Insider's Guide to Spanish Food, Wine, Culture and Travel gerrydawesspain.com

"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

12/11/2017

The Magic of Málaga: An Ancient Quintessentially Andalucian Port City With An International Outlook Is Rapidly Becoming a Not-to-be Missed Attraction on Any Discerning Traveler’s Tour of Southern Spain (Part One of Four)



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The Magic of Málaga

 Part One of Four
Photos and Text 
by Gerry Dawes©2017

 Painting of breakfast churros being made in times past at La Malagueña, one of the great breakfast stops for tejeringos, a type of churro made famous in Málaga. 
Photo by Gerry Dawes©2017.

Churros cook Pablo at La Malagueña, one of the old quarter's great breakfast stops, making tejeringos, a type of locally famous in MálagaPhoto by Gerry Dawes©2017.

Until a trip in early May to attend the Málaga Gastronomy Festival, I was truly ignorant about Málaga and its unique culinary traditions.  For more than forty years I have wandered Spain, incessantly crisscrossing the country from top to bottom.  I have left few stones unturned. Except for places in the Catalan and Aragonese Pyrenees in northeastern Spain, Cartagena and much of Murcia province, a few outposts along the Portuguese border such as Cuidad Rodrigo, the city of Huelva in Andalucía and the farthest reaches of the northern coast of Galicia, I have pretty much covered the country and have visited many areas dozens of times.  It would seem that I would have delved as deeply into the major Andalucian city of Málaga--birthplace of Pablo Picasso and hometown of Antonio Banderas, who lives there now no less--as I have the other jewel cities of the South:  Sevilla, Córdoba, Granada and Cádiz. As I was to discover on this trip, I would regret that I had not made more time for Málaga, something I plan to remedy as soon as possible. 
I even lived for nearly three years in the province of Málaga 35 kilometers west of the city. My late former wife Diana and I ran The Dawes Gallery for Contemporary Art in Mijas, a picturesque tranquilo ex-patriate artist’s village perched high above the Costa del Sol.  But we seldom visited the provincial capital of Málaga itself, except on infrequent missions to deal with filing documents with the exasperating Spanish bureaucracy.  Even back then in the mid 1970s, traffic seemed to be a problem, so we generally avoided Málaga city.  
 
In retrospect, when we were living in Andalucía, the several pleasure outings we made to Málaga were memorable, including a few luncheons at the legendary seafood restaurant Antonio Martín (now revived as El Merendero de Antonio Martín), where my wife Diana and I had magical times dining at open-air tables right along the seawall.  We had a lovely lunch, invited by a sadly long-forgotten benefactor, at the rooftop restaurant of the Hotel Málaga Palacios overlooking the harbor and we spent a night at the Parador de Málaga Gibralfaro on its spectacular perch high above the city.    

Málaga harbor from the rooftop terrace restaurant of the Hotel AC Málaga Palacios. 
 Photo by Gerry Dawes©2017.

A couple of times, we ventured just east of Málaga’s harbor for lunch at one of the famous chiringuitos (way casual beach restaurants) on the Pedregalejo fishermen’s beach.  There were chanquetes (tiny whitebait crisply fried) and sardinas al espeto, half a dozen sardines stuck on cane spike espetos (spits) and grilled over wood fires right on the beach (now the government has decreed that these grill fires cannot be on the beach, instead they are done in sand-and-pebble filled fishermen’s dinghies in front of each restaurant).  And there were particularly memorable non-Spanish dinners at Le Pic Nic, a restaurant run by a very eccentric middle-aged French couple, she at the stoves in her slip cooking marvelous old-fashioned French country food such as rabbit in a cream sauce while her husband waited the tables and dispensed the vino. 

Sardinas and whole fish cooking al espeto, on cane spits, over live wood coals at Las Acacias chiringuito on the Pedregalejo Beach in Málaga.  Photo by Gerry Dawes©2017.

Ironically, another memorable night took place on an American aircraft carrier anchored in Málaga harbor.  We had somehow met a U. S. Navy Captain pilot, with whom I had hit it off, since I had flown off aircraft carriers on Navy aircraft chasing the Soviet fleet around the Mediterranean as a Russian linguist enlisted man.  I invited the Captain to our house in Mijas for paella and he asked if he could bring a friend, an Iranian pilot training with American forces (Iran and the U. S. were still friendly then).  We passed an enjoyable afternoon with the two fliers and the Iranian pilot remarked that our paella reminded him of some Persian rice dishes in Iran.  The Navy Captain invited us to have dinner with him in the Admiral’s stateroom on board the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy in Málaga harbor.  

A Navy launch picked us up on the docks and took us to the carrier and we were given a tour of the flight deck on the carrier, where a mechanic working on an airplane with his boombox blaring American country music was a very surrealistic counterpoint to the backdrop of the illuminated Gibralfaro parador, the ancient Moorish Alcazaba fortress and Málaga harbor.  The dinner with half a dozen officers and the Admiral of the Sixth Fleet, a man who would not have surprised me if he opened his jacket and there was nothing but a robot underneath, was equally surreal: “Could you please pass the salt shaker, Fleet Commander, Sir?”

Ten years ago, one of the shore stops for a cruise ship on which I was lecturing about Spanish gastronomy, cheeses and wine docked in Málaga.  I went ashore like a tourist and photographed the wonderful Atarazanas Market, which is in a 19th-century iron-frame building fronted by a large 14th-century Moorish gate that once opened on to the harbor--but now due to centuries of development and landfill is a few blocks inside the city.  

 The wonderful Atarazanas Market, which is in a 19th-century iron-frame building fronted by a large 14th-century Moorish gate.  Photo by Gerry Dawes©2006.

  
Atarazanas Market, which is in a 19th century iron-frame building fronted by a large 14th-century Moorish gate.  Photo by Gerry Dawes©2006.


 Olive seller, Mercado de Atarazanas, Málaga.   Photo by Gerry Dawes©2006.

On my shore prowl, for the first time, I visited the evocative Moorish fortress, the Alcazaba, which begins at the edge of the old quarter near the restored ruins of the Roman theater.   And I visited a few bars and restaurants, the most memorable of which were the venerable 19th' Century Málaga wine-dispensing bodega Antigua Casa de Guardia and the emblematic flamenco-and-bullfighter-centric restaurant in the old quarter near Málaga’s Cathedral, El Chinitas, which took its name from the 19th-centrury Málaga café cantante-teatro Chinitas (located nearby) made famous by Federico García Lorca and said to be the oldest flamenco café in Spain.  

El Chinitas, Málaga.   Photo by Gerry Dawes©2006.

 Painting of sailors on shore leave at La Antigua Casa de Guardia, Málaga.   Photo by Gerry Dawes©2006.


 La Antigua Casa de Guardia, Málaga.   Photo by Gerry Dawes©2006.

All I saw in my short cruise ship shore excursion was promising.  I put Málaga on my list for a re-visit, but my some fifty wine-and-gastronomy travels and personal visits to Spain over the past decade were mostly in northern Spain, along the Mediterranean from Barcelona to Alicante or in the western part of Andalucia.  Except for a return visit to Mijas to visit old friends, Málaga did not tempt me enough to make time in my schedule for a follow-up visit.  

 Málaga Gastronomy Festival 2017 poster. 
Photo by Gerry Dawes©2017.

I will not try to claim that Málaga’s culinary scene rivals Barcelona, San Sebastián or Madrid, but I found that not only were there some good authentic regional restaurants (augmented by the classic chiringuitos, those legendary beach-front joints specializing in wood-fire grilled sardines and whole fish);  funky, wonderful old-time tapas bars;  churros and chocolate emporiums; and the great Atarazanas market and its market bars, there were several promising modern cuisine restaurants.  And there are more than enough tourist attractions and ambience to warrant a serious visit and even an extended stay to this ancient, yet simultaneously modern, international and vibrant quintessential Mediterranean city.  

 Human statue of El Cenachero on Calle Larios, one of the most famous streets in Málaga.  Cenacheros were men who used to sell boquerones and sardines that they brought up in cenachos (baskets) from the fishing boats in the port, and sell them in the streets (and in villages, sometimes miles away from the sea).    Photo by Gerry Dawes©2006.

First off, it helps to separate Málaga city from the storied and somewhat notorious Costa del Sol, famous for its beaches, booze and high-rise vacation package tour hotels and apartments blocking views of the Mediterranean for miles. Much of the Costa del Sol caters to mass tourism, is attractive as a retirees’ haven and is home to Marbella, where I also once lived before it became the full-bore, high-rent magnet for well-heeled, but not well-behaved, nuevo Euro-ricos, Spanish celebrities, aristocrats, wealthy yacht owners, corrupt politicians (a redundancy these days) and those attracted to that scene which might be likened to a mini-Las Vegas, but by the sea and without the surfeit of casinos.  

Most people who fly into Málaga airport, located between Málaga and Torremolinos, upon landing take an immediate right turn and head west for Torremolinos, Fuengirola, Marbella, Estepona and on down to Sotogrande, the famous golf resort in neighboring Cádiz province.  And, though some of them may make a perfunctory day trip to Málaga for a visit to the Picasso Museum (Picasso was born in Málaga in 1881 and lived there for the first ten years of his life), but most visitors to the Costa del Sol remain scattered throughout the beaches town along the coast.   

Although there are plenty of foreign visitors, many of them off cruise ships for the day, Málaga has managed to maintain its very singular Andalucian character.  This ancient city that the Phoenicians knew as Malaka now deserves to break into the ranks of the not-to-be missed Andalucian classics--Sevilla, Granada and Córdoba--and become the fourth must-see city on the Andalucian circuit.  And, like, those other three cities, the restaurants, tapas bars and shopping in Málaga are intertwined with central city sites of real tourist merit such as the restored Roman theater, the 8th-century Alcazaba fortress, the 14th-century Moorish doorway to the wonderful Ataranzanas market, the 16th-18th century Italian Renaissance-style Cathedral (called La Manquita, the one-armed lady, because the builders ran out of money to finish the second bell tower meant to complement the existing one) and the life-size bronze statue of the great Danish fairy tale author, Hans Christian Andersen. 

Málaga harbor, lighthouse and Moorish Alcazaba fortress (middleground).   Photo by Gerry Dawes©2006.


Commissioned in 2004 for the 200th anniversary of the author's birth by the Danish Royal Family, the Statue of Hans Christian Andersen is a work in bronze by sculptor José María Córdoba and is located in the Plaza de la Marina de Málaga.  Andersen visited Málaga in October of 1862 and loved the city.   You can sit beside him on the bench and peek into his bag, which contains The Ugly Duckling.  Photo by Gerry Dawes©2006.


Augmenting the city’s historical treasures, Málaga, in just a little more than a decade has become a serious art museum attraction with the Picasso Museum (opened in 2003), the Casa Natal de Picasso (the artist’s restored home of his youth), Museo Carmen Thyssen (a collection of more than 200 paintings from the collection of the Spanish baroness who owns many of the paintings at the  Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid), el Centro de Arte Contemporáneo, Centre Pompidou Málaga (the only branch outside of France), the Colección del Museo Ruso (believe it or not, an outpost of the State Russian Museum collection in St. Petersburg),  and a burgeoning artsy neighborhood called SOHO next to the port contribute to the city’s now considerable cultural attractions. 

 Sign on a bus stop in Málaga, advertising the then relatively new Picasso Museum, which opened 2003 and has been a major draw for tourists ever since.  Photo by Gerry Dawes©2006.

Spaniards have a saying, mejor tarde que nunca, better late than never.  Late my re-discovery of Málaga may be, but I plan to make up for lost time and put this magical city high on my agenda for future visits.

 Spanish draft cerveza and habitas con jamón (baby faba beans with serrano ham) at Restaurante El Chinitas in Málaga.  Photo by Gerry Dawes©2006.

End of Part One

The Magic of Málaga (Part Two of Four: A Quintessentially Andalucian Port City With An International Outlook Is Rapidly Becoming a Not-to-be Missed Attraction


The Magic of Málaga, Picasso’s Hometown: The Unique Traditional Andalusian Ambience and Cuisine of a Trending Modern City (Part Three of Four)



The Magic of Málaga, Picasso’s Hometown: Unique Traditional Andalusian Ambience and Cuisine of a Trending Modern City (Part Four of Four)

 

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 Gastronomy Blogs
 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. 

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Pilot Trailer for a Proposed Television Reality Series
(Click on the arrow to play.)
All Rights Reserved, EO Agency, Copyright
 

11/26/2017

New Michelin Three Rosette Restaurants in Spain: ABaC Barcelona & Chef Jordi Cruz and Chef Angel León A Poniente in El Puerto de Santa María


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ABaC and Three-star Chef Jordi Cruz from Gerry Dawes on Vimeo.

Congratulations to my great friend Chef Jordi Cruz Mas for receiving his third Michelin rosette at Restaurante Hotel ABaC in Barcelona and to Chef Angel León, a genius with seafood dishes at A Poniente in El Puerto de Santa María, who also was awarded a third rosette. 

 Chef Jordi Cruz Mas in his kitchen at Restaurante Hotel ABaC in Barcelona.  
Photograph by Gerry Dawes©2017.



Chef Angel León, a genius with his embutidos del mar, seafood charcuterie, at A Poniente in El Puerto de Santa María.  Photograph by Gerry Dawes©2017.

I am no fan of Michelin, for a lot of good reasons, not the least of which is that they have been screwing their gastro-tourism rival Spain for many years by not awarding Spanish restaurants the rosettes so many of them so richly deserve. 

However, I know what this means to both Jordi Cruz and Angel León and I know how hard they both worked to reach this goal and how well deserved this award is in both cases. 

I have been following Jordi Cruz Mas since he was at Restaurante L'Angle in Manresa, where he was doing brilliant and delicious (always) food.

___________________________________________________________________________________  

 Gastronomy Blogs
 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. 

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.
 

11/24/2017

Quoted on Torta del Casar Cheese by Chef-Author James Campbell Caruso in his Book España: Exploring The Flavors of Spain


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Chef James Campbell Caruso at his restaurant La Boca in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Photo by Gerry Dawes©2017

Torta del Casar—My friend and Spanish food and wine guru Gerry Dawes lovingly describes one of the best cheeses in the world:

“A raw sheep’s milk cheese from villages near the provincial capital of Cáceres in the Extremadura region of west central Spain. Rustic, delicious, creamy, buttery, hints of dill and thyme, with an assertive, but pleasant finish. Very rich, fairly intense and flavorful cheese that is delightfully creamy and spreadable in the springtime versions. Very similar in style to the French vacherin Mont d’Or, except that it is not made with cows’ milk. Torta del Casar and its cousin cheese, Torta de la Serena, use only wild milk thistle rennet (not animal rennet) to coagulate the milk, which is an ancient Moorish and Jewish dietary custom.”



Torta del Casar.  Photo by Gerry Dawes©2017
_________________________________________________________________________________  

 Gastronomy Blogs
 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. 

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.
 

11/14/2017

Chinchón III: Upgraded to Five Stars! Back a La Balconada, One of My Favorite Castilian Cuisine Restaurants. Chef-owner Manuela Nieto Recio and her Husband Isidro Olivar. This time with John (Docsconz) and L. J. Sconzo



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 Gerry Dawes's Persistence of Memory* (Salvador Dalí) Melting Watch Awards.


A return to La Balconada for the second time in three months, this time it was Kay and I with my good friend John Sconzo (Docsconz: Musings on Food and Life and his son and equally good friend, L. J. (Ele Jota).  

 
 Alcachofas con jamón, La Balconada on La Plaza Mayor of Chinchón. Photograph by Gerry Dawes©2010. Contact gerrydawes@aol.com. 
 
 
Our steak, pieces of which were cooked over a super-hot piece of stone center table, La Balconada, Chinchón. Jan. 25, 2014. Photo by Gerry Dawes©2014 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest. Canon 5D Mark III / Tokina 17-35mm f/4. 

 
After-dinner Anís Chinchón Dulce (and Anís Chinchón seco) with Manuela’s arroz con leche and leche frita, two classic Spanish desserts at La Balconada, Chinchón. Jan. 25, 2014. Photo by Gerry Dawes©2014 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest. Canon 5D Mark III / Tokina 17-35mm f/4. 

 
Manuela Nieto, chef-owner of La Balconada, Chinchón is one of the best cooks in Madrid and Castilla-La Mancha. Jan. 25, 2014.   Photo by Gerry Dawes©2014 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest. Canon 5D Mark III / Tokina 17-35mm f/4. 

Kay Balun, Chef-owner Manuela Nieto, her husband and director de la sala, Isidro Olivar, John Sconzo (Docsconz: Musings on Food and LIfe) and L. J. Sconzo at La Balconada, Chinchón. Jan. 25, 2014. Photo by Gerry Dawes©2014 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest. Canon 5D Mark III / Tokina 17-35mm f/4. 

 
Mural in the stairway to the entrance to La Balconada.
Photograph by Gerry Dawes©2010. Contact gerrydawes@aol.com.

Manuela Nieto is one of the best cooks in Castile. Her alcachofas con jamón, artichokes cooked with Ibèrico ham; her huevos rotos con patatas, broken eggs over fried potatoes with a touch of vinegar; gazpacho; alubias con almejas, beans with clams; grilled asparagus and many other dishes are second to none. This is a serious, elegant, classical restaurant in a very charming, but touristy town. 

 
Chef-owner Manuela Nieto Recio and her husband Isidro Olivar of La Balconada.
Photograph by Gerry Dawes©2010. Contact gerrydawes@aol.com.
 

Alubias con almejas, beans with clams with a glass of Madrid D.O. vino tinto 
at La Balconada La Plaza Mayor of Chinchón.
Photograph by Gerry Dawes©2010. Contact gerrydawes@aol.com.

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About Gerry Dawes


Writing, Photography, & Specialized Tours of Spain & Tour Advice
For custom-designed tours of Spain, organized and lead by Gerry Dawes, and custom-planned Spanish wine, food, cultural and photographic itineraries, send inquiries to gerrydawes@aol.com.  


I have planned and led tours for such culinary stars as Chefs Thomas Keller, Mark Miller, Mark Kiffin, Michael Lomonaco and Michael Chiarello and such personalities as baseball great Keith Hernandez and led on shorter excursions and have given detailed travel advice to many other well-known chefs and personalities such as Drew Nieporent, Norman Van Aken, Karen Page and Andrew Dornenberg, Christopher Gross, Rick Moonen, James Campbell Caruso and many others.
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“The American writer and town crier for all good Spanish things Gerry Dawes . . . the American connoisseur of all things Spanish . . .” Michael Paterniti, The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge and The World’s Greatest Piece of Cheese

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"Gerry Dawes, I can't thank you enough for opening up Spain to me." -- Michael Chiarello on Twitter. 

"Chiarello embarked on a crash course by traveling to Spain for 10 days in 2011 with Food Arts
contributing authority Gerry Dawes, a noted expert on Spanish food and wine.  Coqueta's (Chiarello's new restaurant at Pier Five, San Francisco) chef de cuisine, Ryan McIlwraith, later joined Dawes for his own two week excursion, as well. Sampling both old and new, they visited wineries and marketplaces, as well as some of Spain's most revered dining establishments, including the Michelin three-star Arzak, Etxebarri, the temple to live fire-grilling; Tickets, the playful Barcelona tapas bar run by Ferran Adrià and his brother, Albert; and ABaC, where Catalan cooking goes avant-garde." - - Carolyn Jung, Food Arts, May 2013.


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"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..." -- James A. Michener, author of Iberia: Spanish Travels and Reflections
 * * * * *
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 with Gerry Dawes  
on wine, gastronomy, culture and travel in Spain.

11/13/2017

A Jamón Ibérico Cutting Primer Video with Cortador de Jamón Juanma Aguilar at Emilio and Alejandro García’s Casa Montaña in Valencia


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Video Primer on Spanish Hamcutting, Jamón Ibérico de Bellota with Expert Cortador de Jamones (Hamcutter) Juanma Aguilar from Gerry Dawes on Vimeo.

Cortador de Jamón Juanma Aguilar
Pernilaria Mucho Más Que Jamón
Puzol (Valencia) 
xarcuteriadejuanma@gmail.com

Demonstrating His Expertise in Cutting 
Jamón Ibérico de Bellota

at Emilio and Alejandro García’s Casa Montaña,
Calle de José Benlliure, 69 46011 Valencia
Tel: +34 963 672 314

Video, Translations & Commentary
by Gerry Dawes©2017


___________________________________________________  
 Gastronomy Blogs
 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. 

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.
 

11/01/2017

Sherry Primer with Gerry Dawes - Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana Part Two Amontillados Olorosos Creams


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 Now retired Javier Hidalgo pouring old Oloroso from barrels at Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana in Sanlúcar de Barrameda.
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 Gastronomy Blogs
 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. 

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.
 

Sherry Primer with Gerry Dawes - Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana Part One Manzanilla


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Sherry Primer with Gerry Dawes - Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana Part One Manzanilla
from Gerry Dawes on Vimeo.

With Robert Balun

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 Gastronomy Blogs
 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. 

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.
 

Gerry Dawes on the Aging Potential of at Palacio de Fefiñanes, Cambados (Pontevedra), Galicia

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 Gastronomy Blogs
 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. 

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.
 

10/30/2017

Spending Time with Juan Gil, Marqués de Figueroa, at Palacio de Fefiñanes, Cambados (Pontevedra), Galicia and Ranting on Oak in Wines and Other Heresies.


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Video courtesy of Devour.tv
Sorry for the poor light in much of this video.  Think of this as an audio podcast with hints of video.  Something went awry with the camera (not mine), but the audio captured my philosophy about wine. 
___________________________________________________  

 Gastronomy Blogs
 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. 

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.
 

How To Carve A Joselito Jamón Ibérico


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(Courtesy of Joselito, Guijuelo, Salamanca)
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 Gastronomy Blogs
 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. 
 
Pilot for a reality television series on wine, gastronomy, culture and travel in Spain.
 

10/16/2017

The Magic of Málaga, Picasso’s Hometown: Unique Traditional Andalusian Ambience and Cuisine of a Trending Modern City (Part Four of Four)


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The Magic of Málaga, Picasso’s Hometown: 
Part Four of Four


Text & Photographs by Gerry Dawes©2017
 

Pablo Picasso refrigerator magnets, sold on the streets of Málaga.

Frequently during my peregrinations in the old quarter of Málaga, I saw signs pointing to the Picasso Museum and to his natal home, announcements with photographs of Picasso on them, drawings and photographs in restaurants (like the ones at Casa de Guardia and El Chinitas), Picasso reproductions in souvenir shops and even refrigerator magnets of Picasso as a mature artist painting.  There is also a bronze statue in the Plaza de la Merced of middle-aged Picasso seated on a bench with a pencil and a drawing pad.  

The statue in the Plaza de la Merced depicting a scene of a middle-aged Picasso on a bench in Málaga poised to make a drawing, something that could not have occurred here during his adult life, as depicted.  (Photo courtesy of Lovely World.)

But, though Pablo Ruíz Picasso was born in Málaga in 1881, he lived there for just the first ten years of his life.  His father was an artist and art instructor and Picasso, then just Pablo Ruíz (Spaniards take both their father´s and mother´s names, but are usually known by the father´s name).   Legend, abetted by Picasso himself, has a very precocious young Pablo beginning to draw before he could talk and when he did began speaking, it is claimed that his first word was "'piz," a shortened version of lápiz, Spanish for pencil. 

Picasso hated school and as a young boy he had to be dragged kicking and screaming through the old quarter of Málaga to school, where he ignored his teachers and spent most of his day drawing at his desk. 

Because of the family´s fragile economic circumstances, his father took another job teaching art  and his family moved to A Coruna in Galicia for a few years, then to Barcelona, where Picasso began hanging out (and drawing inspiration) at the artists-owned Els Quatre Gats (The Four Cats) Café in 1900.  During vacations, the Ruíz Picasso (his father was José Ruíz, his mother Maria Picasso) family had visited relatives in Málaga.  But, Picasso returned to Málaga for the last time after Christmas in 1900 with his ill-fated, suicidal Catalan friend Carles Casagemas.  He moved permanently to France in 1905 and returned to Spain only for vacations in and around Barcelona.  

During the Spanish Civil War and WWII, Picasso, a fervent anti-Fascist, remained in France.  Commissioned in 1937 during the Civil War by the Spanish Republic,  Picasso painted Guernica, the famous anti-Fascist painting inspired the Nazi-led bombing of the Basque village of Gernika on market day during the Spanish Civil War.   After the war, Picasso kept the vow he made to never return as long as Civil War victor, the Fascist Dictator Francisco Franco, was alive.  

 Guernica (Gernika in Basque) by Pablo Picasso, Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid.

Sadly, Franco outlived Picasso, who died in 1973, by two and a half years, so the great artist never returned to Spain after the Civil War, and apparently, except for those few family visits and the post-Christmas jaunt when he was 19, never returned to Málaga.  Though the city has every right to promote itself as Picasso’s birthplace and to promote the excellent Picasso Museum, there is little of substance to Picasso’s early home and the statue in the Plaza de la Merced depicting a scene of a middle-aged Picasso on a bench in Málaga poised to make a drawing, something that could not have occurred here as depicted.  

During our stay, our crew of journalists spent one day outside of Málaga, visiting the good La Torre olive oil producing facility and orchards, then to Cortijo de la Fuente, a Sierras de Málaga winery making unremarkable wines, and on to the Stone Age dolmens in Antequera, one of Málaga province’s oldest and most interesting towns.  

 Víctor Pérez, Director, Finca la Torre Olive Oil producer (owned by a Swiss company) near Boabadilla (Málaga).   Shown with a bottle of Finca la Torre Hojiblanca variety Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

The high point of the excursion was a marvelous restaurant in Antequera, Arte de Cozina, which is ensconced in the charm-ing, take-me-back-three-centuries patio of a 17th-century building that houses the restaurant and charming small hotel.  

Patio dining room at Arte de Cozina.

Chef-owner Charo Carmona and her son, Francisco, are cook-ing exceptional modernized versions of area classics, some with recipes dating from the 16th Century, but it is highly doubtful that they ever tasted as good then as they do now from Charo’s kitchen.  Her food exemplifies the best of this style of retro-Spanish cooking.   She gives out cards with descriptions, citations from 16th-18th- century cookbooks that inspired the dish, and the recipes.  

 Chef-owner Charo Carmona and her son, Francisco,
Restaurante Arte de Cozina, Antequera


At Arte de Cozian, Carmona offers classic porra antequerana (similar to the thick gazpacho-like Cordoban salmorejo), served in three different versions in a three-portion china rectangle. . .

Carmona offers classic porra antequerana (similar to the thick gazpacho-like Cordoban salmorejo), served in three different versions in a three-portion china rectangle and accompanied by thin strips of toasted bread:   Porra de tomate, a thick gazpacho-esque locally sourced ecological tomato-based soup-sauce-dip; porra blanca, a white garlicky version; and local oranges-based porra de naranja.  

Carmona’s menu is brilliant and enticing, yet homey and comforting.  She offers five kinds of gazpacho, including the traditional tomato-based classic, one made with organic green asparagus, ajo blanco (white garlic gazpacho, one with almonds and another with dried fabas) and a Sephardic-inspired one with yogurt, cucumber, parsley, walnut and onion. 

Carmona’s croquetas, the indispensable croquettes of Spain, come filled with stew meat, salt cod, shrimp, spinach and pine nuts or goat cheese.  Perdíz en caldo gazpacho is a traditional  dish of partridge in a Antequerana gazpacho sauce. There are three different cuts of Ibérico pork (the pigs from which the famous hams come), local suckling goat sweetbreads with garlic, and traditional or Russian-style caviar from nearby Río Frío (Granada). 


Perdíz en caldo gazpacho is a traditional  dish of partridge in a Antequerana gazpacho sauce.  

That same evening, the lunch that we had at Arte de Cozina was in stark juxtaposition to the Spanish chef-driven modern cuisine experience we had at dinner.  We were bused to Benalmadena (26 kms. west of Málaga) to the Michelin one-star cocina de vanguardia restaurant, Sollo, in the DoubleTree by Hilton Resort & Spa, the domain of budding Brasilian rock-star  chef Diego Gallegos. 

 Michelin one-star cocina de vanguardia restaurant, Sollo, in the DoubleTree by Hilton Resort & Spa, the domain of budding Brasilian rock-star  chef Diego Gallegos. 


Gallegos learned a lot about river fish, particularly trout and sturgeon, when he worked in Río Frío (Granada), a mountain river fish farming town where he sources his trout, sturgeon and sturgeon caviar (he is known locally as the “caviar chef”).   

 Granada Riofrio caviar Restaurante Sollo, Benalmadena.

 Fish in the pisifactoria at Restaurante Sollo.

Diego Gallegos also raises many of the fish he uses in his dishes in tanks at this fish farm- (river and sea) to-table restaurant, which ironically overlooks the Mediterranean.  With the chef, we visited his pisifactoria, where fish were being raised in large tanks to become part of such dishes on the 18-course menu as Yogurt Protein with Piranha Slice Sumac (sic) and Black Olive Powder (I wondered whose job it is to tell a piranha it’s next?), Grilled Fish mixed with Sturgeon Blood Sauce and Ramen Soup of Catfish Whiskers and Skin.  If these dishes don’t sound particularly appetizing, perhaps on snack served on a dried, chopped off sturgeon head won’t either. 

 Snack served on a dried, chopped off sturgeon head at Restaurante Sollo, Benalmadena.

Fortunately, for the traditional Spanish cuisine lover in me, most of my experiences were centered the traditional aspects of Màlagan cuisine.  The remainder of the visit would be concentrated on what makes Màlaga such a discovery for culinary explorers.  

On the last day, we ran a gamut of traditional cuisine experiences that makes Málaga so unique.  On an ambulatory prowl around the old quarter, we stopped for our “first” breakfast at La Malagueña, where we were served piles of crisp, freshly fried churros, called tejeringos in Málaga that has its base in a naughty double entendre having to do with an “injector,” a syringe or jeringo in Spanish (you can fill in the rest).  Loops of hot tejeringos, stacked several inches high on a plate, come with cups of thick rich hot chocolate Spanish style or coffee. 

 Waiter with tejeringos at La Malagueña. 



Loops of hot tejeringos, stacked several inches high on a plate, come with cups of thick rich hot chocolate Spanish style or coffee. 

 Pablo, the tejeringos cooker at La Malagueña.


Gastronomic research is Hell, so we moved on for what would be a peripatetic, unique multi-course desayuno-tapas-almuerzo meandering across the old city.  The next stop was in a funky antique-curio-gift shop-restaurant (open for breakfast and lunch only) called La Recova (egg and poultry shop) with a few tables and a small kitchen surrounded by furniture, ceramics, baskets, bric a brac, etc.   

 
We sat at a few tables pushed together in the center of the room and ate rebanadas, thin slices of toasted bread, served with little dishes filled with jam, sobresada (Mallorcan paté-like soft chorizo) and zurrapa (the Spanish equivalent of rillettes) and sides of sliced tomatoes, Spanish cured sausages and olives. 

 
Our merienda—meal between breakfast and lunch—drink at La Recova was the lightly sweet house vermut rojo (red-brown vermouth) on the rocks with slices of lemon and orange.


We toured the Ataranzas market (Click on link for report on market), then stopped at nearby Antigua Casa de Guardia, where we sampled copitas of Málaga wine with clams on the half shell, steamed langostinos (prawns), mejillones (mussels) and skewers with anchovies, pearl onions, pickles and olives.  

Chef-owner Willie Orellana, Uvedoble Taberna.

Many of the group went on another museum tour, but I opted for meeting up later at Uve Doble, the eponymous “W” for chef-owner Willie Orellana, whose very good food features tasteful modern twists on classics such as a Spanish tortilla de patatas trufada al momento (classic potato Spanish omelette with truffles) and fideos negros tostados with calamarcitos de Málaga (a smallish macaroni-like pasta, toasted, “blackened” with squid ink and cooked with baby Bay of Málaga squid).  

Orellana intersperses his menu with internationally inspired dishes such as swordfish ceviche with avocado grown in the nearby Axarquia region and deboned suckling pig with cous cous.   Wine offerings on the blackboard at Uve Doble are some of the most inspired in the city. 

 Spanish tortilla de patatas trufada al momento (classic potato Spanish omelette with truffles).


Fideos negros tostados with calamarcitos de Málaga (a smallish macaroni-like pasta, toasted, “blackened” with squid ink and cooked with baby Bay of Málaga squid).  

Following an hour sampling food at the Málaga Gastronomy Festival, which was held down by the port, I organized an escape with four other journalists by taxi to Pedregalejo, where I returned to those fabled chiringuitos, beach front restaurants specializing in sardinas al espeto, sardines impaled on a cane spit and grilled over wood coals.   

 Sardinas al espeto, sardines impaled on a cane spit and grilled over wood coals at chiringuito Las Acacias, Pedregalejo (Málaga)

There were a dozen chiringuitos on the beach, all with sand-filled fisherman’s dinghies permanently beached in front of each restaurant, all glowing with hot coals cooking sardines and fish on spits.  We settled on the outdoor terrace of Las Acacias and I ordered two dozen sardines, communal plates of salad and bottles of cold Spanish Rosado and we ate and drank just a few feet from the Mediterranean with the smell of the sardines and the sea, the embers of the fish cooking coals glowing in the night and beyond, the lights of Málaga, just three miles down the coast to the west. 


On Pedregalejo beach, I had closed a circle and gained a new appreciation of Málaga, one that I regret not taking more advantage of in my youth.  Spaniards have a saying, mejor tarde que nunca, better late than never.  As late as my re-discovery of Málaga may have been, I plan to make up for lost time and put this magical city high on my agenda. 
 
Painting on tiles at Las Acacias of el Cenachero, the fishmonger with baskets of sardinas and boquerones, the great folk symbol of Málaga.

See also:


The Magic of Málaga: An Ancient Quintessentially Andalucian Port City With An International Outlook Is Rapidly Becoming a Not-to-be Missed Attraction (Part Two of Four)
 

 Gastronomy Blogs
 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. 

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.
 
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