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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


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)


3/12/2019

Quim de la Boquería, La Boquería Market, Barcelona. Five Dalí POM (Persistence of Memory) Melting Watches


* * * * * 
Five Dalí POM (Persistence of Memory) Melting Watches
to Quim de la Boquería, Where You Eat Like a King on a Taburete (Barstool)


All photos by Gerry Dawes©2017 / gerrydawes@gmail.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest.

Quim Márquez, Quim de la Boquería, La Boquería Market, Barcelona with his costillas de ternera (veal ribs) with potatoes, Maldon salt and black Chinese garlic.
Photo by Gerry Dawes©2017 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest. 


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



English Version of Boquería Gourmand, a Book about Barcelona's Fabulous La Boquería Market (Foreword by Gerry Dawes)
 
(With an opening quote from Quim Márquez, Quim de la Boquería. Click on link above.)

 

Yuri Márquez, son of Quim Márquez, Quim de la Boquería, La Boquería Market, Barcelona.
 It seems only like just last year, when I took Quim, Yuri, then barely a teenager, and his little brother to Chinatown in New York City for dinner.  Now the guy is the heart-throb of La Boquería.  Photo by Gerry Dawes©2014 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest. Canon EOS 6D / Tokina 17-35mm f/4. 

* * * * *

This article on Quim de la Boquería in Barcelona, is another in  a series of articles on restaurants and tapas bars from around Spain that I think, from my very personal experience, deserve Five of Five Dalí POM (Persistence of Memory) Melting Watch Award pins.  I frankly don’t give a damn about Michelin ratings, Repsol or any of the rest.  I have been traveling and eating and drinking wine all over Spain for nearly 50 years and I have been to the restaurants in these articles multiples times.  Yes, I am influenced by the friendly relationships I have with many of the chefs and owners of these establishments, but I would not have built these friendships if these chefs, restaurants and establishments were not as good as they are.  And I take into consideration the downside for those who might not be connected in some of the restaurants I am writing about.  Nonetheless, I personally have had repeated Five Melting Watch experiences in all the places I am going to write about.  




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Quim de la Boquería, Mercat de la Boquería, A Culinary Ephiphany

Kay and I had just arrived in Barcelona on a Friday afternoon in early February from a road trip up the Mediterranean Coast, checked into our hotel and hustled down to la Boquería, hoping to have a late lunch (at 4 p.m.!) at one of the world´s great market bars, El Quim de la Boquería, but half expecting the place to be shutting down.  At least I hoped I would get to greet my long-time friend, chef-owner Quim Márquez.  We found the market still packed, El Quim still full of diners and Quim still cooking, as he had been since early morning.  We we were able to score a couple of taburetes (barstools) at the side counter, then as soon as a couple of seats opened up, Quim moved us up to the main counter looking into the kitchen.  Knowing that I usually drink Rosat (Rosé) Cava sparkling wine here, Quim’s staff poured us flutes of the excellent Cava Juvé y Camps 100% Pinot Noir Rosé Reserva Brut.  Our lunch would be liberally lubricated with multiple glasses of this delicious methode champenoise wine, which is usually a fine match for the food you are likely to be served here.

 Quim, his son and now co-pilot Yuri at Quim de la Boquería, La Boquería Market, Barcelona.
Photo by Gerry Dawes©2014 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest. 

Behind the counter, in what looks like an impossibly small kitchen space, Quim, his son and now co-pilot Yuri, Juan and Cristián Mora and at least four other male staff members, even at this late hour, are still doing a culinary ballet, dodging, weaving, pirouetting and cooking without missing a beat.  All the while out of this maelstrom, they pour drinks (our Cava flutes are never empty) and serve the three-sided counter surrounding the kitchen.  Even at this late hour, the taburetes are packed with an ever-changing array of some twenty seated, others standing, diners--market stand owners on their lunch break, well-known chefs visiting the market, local shoppers and a United Nations of tourists--with dishes of incredible food straight off the stove or, if a cold or room temperature dish, from under the glass display cases. Each new diner is handed cutlery and a Quim de la Boquería place mat printed with some history about this incredible place.  Despite what appears a first glance to be a chaotic scene, plates arrive in timely fashion and are cleared when the diners, never given the sense that they should hurry to give precious spot at the counter, are finished.

I have been to El Quim de la Boquería (in business more than 25 years) at least a score of times and though I am always eager to come here, I was not expecting the culinary epiphany that I would encounter this time.  After we had been served the first couple of dishes, I began to realize that Quim, his ingredients, cooking style, and his cooking crew including his son Yuri, had moved in to another dimension.  We had sat down after 4 p.m. to what would be a multi-course meal of five-star world class dishes. 

Our first dish, a favorite of mine, was gambas al ajillo (garlic shrimp with black garlic from China), at Quim a modernized version of one of Spain's most ubiquitous dishes that comes on a plate instead of in the tradtional cazuela (clay casserole dish in which the dish is typically served), the shrimps spread across a pepper-flecked pool of addictive, slightly picante seafood, garlic and Cava juices that sent us to the sliced-bread basket a couple of times to mop it all up. 
A dish that was new to me here, but seems to be making the rounds in Spain, was a superb ceviche de corvina, corvina fish ceviche with passion fruit, mango, onions and aji AmarilloNext, a classic here served in a small paella pan, was huevos fritos con chanquetes, two fried eggs topped with pan-tossed tiny whitebait, with the yolk of the eggs as a divine sauce. 

I once took Quim and his two then young sons, including his current co-pilot Yuri to a joint in Chinatown in New York.  They loved it.  Now, believe it or not, Quim also has a place in Hong Kong, so it is not surprising that he has picked up some Chinese cooking skills like the delicious crispy fried dumpling filled with rabo de toro (oxtail) and served with a soy-infused dipping sauce.

My weakness for leeks and romesco sauce (and more Cava Rosat) was indulged with calçots con vieras, chipirones y romesco, young tempura-battered leek-like onions served on a thin black slate slab, resting at an angle atop a scallops on a bed of baby squid and julienned carrots and onions, with a romesco schmear on the side (and an accompanying ramekin; I complain if I get a short ration of romesco) of one of my favorite sauces, romesco, which is made with hazelnuts, almonds, peppers, tomatoes and garlic).

On another slab of black slate, Quim served us our last course, his modernized traditional cuisine version of roasted costillas de ternera (veal ribs) with rounds of roasted potatoes, Maldon salt with dollops of black Chinese garlic aioli alongside. 

With still two-and-a half hours before we were supposed to be at Albert Raurich’s Dos Pebrots for dinner, why not try dessert with that last flute of Cava, Quim’s Tarta de queso con fruta de la pasión, cheesecake with passion fruit? -- GD


Our lunch at Quim de la Boquería in Photographs

Quim Márquez and his crew in the tiny kitchen that turns out the incredible food at Quim de la Boquería.


The blackboards at Quim de la Boquería with menu items and gastronomic pronouncements.

Our lunch was liberally lubricated with the excellent Cava Juvé y Camps Rosé Reserva Brut (100% Pinot Noir) at Quim de la Boquería, Chef Quim Márquez Durán's incredible market bar in la Boquería market, Barcelona, Friday afternoon, Feb. 3, 2017.    Photo by Gerry Dawes©2017 gerrydawes@gmail.com


Our first dish, a favorite of mine, was gambas al ajillo (garlic shrimp with black garlic from China), at Quim a modernized version of one of Spain's most ubiquitous dishes, which here comes on a plate instead of in the tradtional cazuela (clay casserole dish in which the dish is typically served), the shrimps spread across a pepper-flecked pool of addictive, slightly picante seafood, garlic and Cava juices that sent us to the breadbasket a couple of times to mop it all up. 

A dish that was new to me here, but seems to be making the rounds in Spain, was a superb ceviche de corvina, corvina fish ceviche with passion fruit, mango, onions and aji Amarillo.

 Next, a classic here served in a small paella pan, was huevos fritos con chanquetes, two fried eggs topped with pan-tossed tiny whitebait, with the yolk of the eggs as a divine sauce.  


My weakness for leeks and romesco sauce (and more Cava Rosat) was indulged with calçots con vieras, chipirones y romesco, young tempura-battered leek-like onions served on a thin black slate slab, resting at an angle atop a scallops on a bed of baby squid and julienned carrots and onions, with a romesco schmear on the side (and an accompanying ramekin; I complain if I get a short ration of romesco) of one of my favorite sauces, romesco, which is made with hazelnuts, almonds, peppers, tomatoes and garlic). 




On another slab of black slate, Quim served us our last course, his modernized traditional cuisine version of roasted costillas de ternera (veal ribs) with rounds of roasted potatoes, Maldon salt with dollops of black Chinese garlic aioli alongside.  Photo by Gerry Dawes©2017 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest

 Tarta de queso con fruta de la pasión, cheesecake with passion fruit for dessert. 

Photos from other encounters at Quim de la Boquería

 
Joan Mora González pouring rosat Cava (Catalan rosé sparkling wine), Quim de la Boquería, a Boquería market, Barcelona,  Jan. 14, 2014.  Photo by Gerry Dawes©2014 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest.  Canon EOS 6D / Tokina 17-35mm f/4.


  Alcachofas fritas (crispy fried artichokes) and rosat Cava (Catalan rosé sparkling wine), Quim de la Boquería, a Boquería market, Barcelona,  Jan. 14, 2014.  Photo by Gerry Dawes©2014 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest.  Canon EOS 6D / Tokina 17-35mm f/4.


 
Alcachofas fritas (crispy fried artichokes) and rosat Cava (Catalan rosé sparkling wine), Quim de la Boquería, a Boquería market, Barcelona,  Jan. 14, 2014.  Photo by Gerry Dawes©2014 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest.  Canon EOS 6D / Tokina 17-35mm f/4.

Patatas bravas with picante red bravas sauce and alioli, Quim de la Boquería, a Boquería market, Barcelona,  Jan. 14, 2014.  Photo by Gerry Dawes©2014 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest.  Canon EOS 6D / Tokina 17-35mm f/4.

 
Club Chefs of Connecticut and New York Taste of Spain Tour 2014 with Gerry Dawes:  Quim Crab Burguer, Quím de la Boquería, a Boquería market, Barcelona,  Jan. 14, 2014.  Photo by Gerry Dawes©2014 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest. Canon EOS 6D / Tokina 17-35mm f/4.

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  Shall deeds of Caesar or Napoleon ring
More true than Don Quixote's vapouring?
Hath winged Pegasus more nobly trod
Than Rocinante stumbling up to God?
 
Poem by Archer M. Huntington inscribed under the Don Quixote on his horse Rocinante bas-relief sculpture by his wife, Anna Vaughn Hyatt Huntington,
in the courtyard of the Hispanic Society of America’s incredible museum at 613 W. 155th Street, New York City.
 _______________________________________________________________________________________
 Gastronomy Blogs

About Gerry Dawes

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


Gerry Dawes is the Producer and Program Host of Gerry Dawes & Friends, a weekly radio progam on Pawling Public Radio in Pawling, New York (streaming live and archived at www.pawlingpublicradio.org and at www.beatofthevalley.com.)

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.
 

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