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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

"Gerry Dawes loves Spain, and he loves Spanish wines. And the man knows whereof he speaks. The country bestowed upon him its prestigious Premio Nacional de Gastronomia (National Gastronomy Award) in 2003, and here’s what James A. Michener said about him in Iberia: SpanishTravels and Reflections: “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 … ” I first reached out to Dawes when I was planning a culinary journey to Barcelona, Rioja, and the Basque region of Spain, in 2011. I found his website and began reading, and have been learning from him ever since. Then, when I was preparing to stage at Arzak, in 2012, Dawes offered me some sound advice: learn Basque. He is opinionated – “You must decide whether you love wine or carpentry. If you want wood in your wine, suck on a toothpick as you drink your vino.” – he lives life with passion, and he respects wine and the men and woman who make it. Here’s to Gerry!" - - The Original Drinker: Spanish Wine Master Loves a $15.99 Rosado, Hates Wood and Always Avoids Wine Bars, James Brock, Paper City, papercitymag.com


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)


4/30/2018

Grupo Lezama's Café de Oriente in Madrid: Platos de Cuchara (dishes eaten with a spoon) and Other Dishes from Chef Pedro Quían; The Solemn Changing of the Guard at the Palacio Real; Celebration of Chinese New Year in La Plaza de Oriente


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When I was in Madrid in late November, early December, late January and early February doing interviews for a book on the career of Padre Luís de Lezama, the priest-restaurateur who founded the Grupo Lezama, which runs some 20 establishements--restaurants, hotels and cooking schools, I was privileged to eat many meals at his restaurants on the Plaza de Oriente.  


At Café de Oriente, one of the great platos de cuchara (dishes eaten with a spoon) is verdinas (young, green, flageolot-type beans) cooked with centollo (spider crab), a specialty of northern Spain, especially in Asturias.

Some days and nights, I went to La Taberna del Alabadero (see my report), but several days for lunch, Chef Pedro Quían invited me to Café de Oriente to sample some of his superb platos de cuchara, traditional dishes usually made with beans or garbanzos that are eaten with a spoon.  These are wonderful, hearty, winter dishes. that really hit the spot when the brisk, chilly wind that comes from the snow-capped Sierras de Guadarrama north of the city sweep through Madrid.  Sometimes it is said that the wind may not blow out a candle, but its chill can kill a man.  These delicious, classic platos de cuchara are life savers in the wintertime in Madrid. 


Pochas con almejas, Café de Oriente, Madrid.

Each day was a new adventure:  alubias con almejas, vedrinas con cangrejo, potaje de garbanzos, alubias de Tolosa con chorizo y morcilla, patatas a la Riojana, etc.  Along the way I sampled other dishes from Chef Quían's kitchen:  foie gras with fruit gelatins and purees, cured anchovies with green olives, croquetas de bacalao, pheasant, merluza with clams and some artfully constructed desserts.   Below is a slide show of some of the dishes I ate at Café de Oriente.  

Cafe de Oriente Platos de Cuchara and other dishes Nov 2010 - Feb 2011.
Photographs by Gerry Dawes©2010. Contact gerrydawes@aol.com.

Since I was staying on the Plaza de Oriente, at the Hostal Posada Real Manuel, above the Café de Oriente, I was able to observe and photograph life on the Plaza, day and night, and I was able to photograph the Solemn Changing of the Guard, which takes place only on the first Wednesday of each month, weather permitting, and not in the months of July, August and September or when another official event conflicts with the changing of the guard.  Below is a short slide show of the Solemn Changing of the Guard.

Solemn Changing of the Guard at the Palacio Real.
Photographs by Gerry Dawes©2010. Contact gerrydawes@aol.com.

On a beautiful, bright sunny February morning that was comfortably warm after several days of brisk cold,  I was waiting for the changing of the guard to begin when I heard  music coming from the Royal Theatre area on the far side of the Plaza de Oriente, near where the Café de Oriente is located.  Unbelievably, it was the Chinese expatriate contingent from Spain celebrating Chinese New Year at almost exactly the same time the changing of the guard at the Royal Palace was to take place.  Several hundred Chinese  wearing colorful costumes and carrying dragons that they danced along the parade route filed through the Plaza de Oriente and headed past the Senate toward the Plaza de España.  Slide show number three shows the Chinese parade celebrating their New Year. 

Expatriate Chinese New Year parade through the Plaza de Oriente in Madrid.
Photographs by Gerry Dawes©2010. Contact gerrydawes@aol.com.
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About Gerry Dawes and Gerry Dawes's Spain: An Insider's Guide to Spanish Food, Wine, Culture and Travel  
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. 

Dawes 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. 
 
A trailer from a proposed reality television series with Gerry Dawes  
on gastronomy, wine, culture and travel in Spain.
 

4/19/2018

Andalucian Journal: Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Home of Manzanilla Sherry: A Five Dalí Melting Watch Adventure with Javier Hidalgo, Producer of La Gitana Manzanilla, in Las Marismas, Lunch in a Very Secret Place (Updated)


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Sunset in a glass, Manzanilla sherry along the Guadalquivir River at Sanlúcar de Barrameda.
Gerry Dawes©2008 / gerrydawes@aol.com

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

 To Javier Hidalgo, La Gitana Manzanilla and the incredible experience we had with Javier and his wife Paula at Riacheros out in the mashes of Las Marimas, north of my favorite Spanish town, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, the place where God was born.

All photos and text by Gerry Dawes©2019.
Contact gerrydawes@aol.com for publication rights.


Langostinos de Sanlúcar with La Gitana manzanilla, in evening light,
Bajo de Guía beach on the Guadalquívir River, Sanlúcar de Barrameda.


In early April 2012, after stays during Holy Week in Sevilla and Ronda, I took my spousal equivalent, Kay Killian Balun, with me to Sanlúcar de Barrameda (See Sanlúcar Sunset in a Manzanilla Glass) to spend a couple of days with a long-time friend Javier Hidalgo, producer of Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana Manzanilla de Sanlúcar, and his wife, Paula de la Infiesta, at their finca, the charming, bucolic farm where they live between Sanlúcar and Chipiona.



Javier Hidalgo drinking his Bodegas Hidalgo Napoleon Amontillado \

as an aperitif before our riacheros lunch.

In just two days, we managed a number of wonderful adventures, including a foray into Las Marismas, the famous wetlands and bird sanctuary north of Sanlúcar (and west across the Río Guadalquíver), where Javier and Paula took us to have lunch at a riacheros (river fishermen) bar-restaurant located in a place in Las Marismas, so isolated and secret that I am not going to tell you the name! 
In deference to Kay, Javier spoke to us in his fluent, British-nuanced English. "My father spoke French and English, so I began to learn English at home. but I was taught French at school," he explained. "But by the time I went to university, I realised that English was going to be useful, so I started to study it. My parents' home was very international with many foreign visitors related to the wine and bird worlds, so I had many chances to practice English. During my military service at Rota Naval Station, I worked as an interpreter and then I further refined my English on frequent visits and hunting trips to the UK which is our best market outside Spain." (I coincidentally first came to Spain to do the last two years of my military service at Rota, a major American Navy base, which is how I first came to know and love Sanlúcar de Barrameda.)

We couldn't have been with a better guide for Kay's first introduction to Las Marismas.  Javier grew up going on repeated birding and hunting excursions into what he refers to as La Marisma.  When I told him that I had always heard these wetlands called 'Las Marismas,' Javier, who published his memoirs of the area, "Recuerdos de La Marisma" (Ediciones Geribel, 2005), clarified the term for me.  "Both ways are correct. There are many marismas in the world but for me this is the most important one, that is why I refer to it as “La Marisma.”  You can use either.

Javier Hidalgo (with co-author Christopher Fielden) also wrote
La Manzanilla: El vino de Sanlúcar (Almuzara, 2009),  for which, at Javier's request, I wrote the foreword.

As we bounced over a track that had been filled with stones that were bone-jarring, even in Javier's four-by-four, he told us, "The restaurant we are going to is nothing fancy.  In fact, the place is bit raffish, but the food is quite good."

"Sounds like my kind of place," I replied, (If you do find out where this place is, you should rent a half-track or a tank to get there; the road is that rough.)
 
This part of La Marismas wetlands is not quite the same as the bayous of Louisiana. La Marisma and Coto Doñana, the legendary bird sanctuary and major eco-system on the west bank of Río Guadalquíver has some similarities.


,
Riachero fishing boats in the Las Marismas wetlands near Sanlúcar de Barrameda. 

At the restaurant, Javier started me off with a copita of the finely nuanced, beautifully made Hidalgo Napoleon, one of the very best Amontillados made, while Paula poured Kay a copita of La Gitana Manzanilla, a delicious, dry, crisp, lovely sherry that is a great accompaniment to seafood.  All of us would continue drinking La Gitana throughout the meal.

Paula de la Infiesta pouring La Gitana Manzanilla at the riacheros restaurant in Las Marismas.


Juan Manuel, the owner of this hidden riacheros bar, served us a lunch of that began with a loaf of freshly baked country bread, then a platter of same-day camarones (tiny shrimp), which can be eaten whole (and are used to make one of the great folk dishes of Andalucía, tortillitas de camarones, a tiny shrimp-filled fritter that we would have the following day at Bar Barbiana on the Plaza del Cabildo in Sanlúcar).

Camarones, small Las Marismas shrimp, at the bar-restaurant that caters
to the riacheros, the men who fish the waters of Las Marismas.


Next Juan Manuel brought out a large, beautifully browned, whole calamar (squid), which Paula cut up in to smaller piece, then we had a fish dish, a whole grilled albor (grey mullet) that Javier advised us should only be ordered here, because it is good when fished from plankton- and camarones-rich brackish salt waters of Las Marismas, but is not a good fish when caught in the ocean.  All of this was accompanied with La Gitana Manzanilla, which we kept cold in a table side ice bucket.
 
 
Camarones, tiny shrimp caught in Las Marismas shrimp and La Gitana Manzanilla sherry  
at the bar-restaurant  that caters to the riacheros, the men who fish the waters of Las Marismas.

Besides the rugged, bouncy trip in a four-by-four over one of the roughest roads I have been on in years in Andalucía to get to the restaurant, Javier Hidaldo, a well-known bird expert as well as a bodeguero, brought us back on a rough dirt track through marshes where we saw large flocks of flamingos, slender-billed gaviotas (sea gulls), ducks, geese and other water birds; passed through herds of grazing cattle and saw Marismas cowboys on horseback herding cattle; and saw the amazing Marisma's cattle that graze on aqua-plants up to their bellies in salt water. 

Flamingos, Las Marismas.

 

Cattle grazing on aqua-plants in the water in Las Marismas.
 

The bird show continued back at Javier’s and Paula’s finca south of Sanlúcar, where Javier keeps ducks, geese, turkeys, Guinea hens, chickens including fiesty bantam roosters and a peacock that likes to fly up to the highest point of the homestead and shriek, often in the middle of the night, as peacocks are wont to do (see my article on Valladolid with photos of the semi-wild peacocks of the Campo Grande park in the center of town).



Ducks and ducklings at the Hidalgo finca outside Sanlúcar de Barrameda.

Javier Hidalgo loves animals and also keep three horses, which he exercises on local beaches and, during the spectacular annual thoroughbred races on Bajo de Guía beach each August in Sanlúcar, Javier, who maintains, still in his fifties, jockey weight, races his thoroughbred against much younger competition and has won a number of races.

 Other Articles of interest on Sherry.

Sherry’s Image Gets a Makeover



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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.
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 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.
 




4/18/2018

Gerry’s Dishes: Langostinos Cocidos (or a la Plancha) con Aioli (Garlic Mayonnaise


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(Recipes from the first broadcast on the Gerry's Dishes segment of Gerry Dawes & Friends, a weekly radio program on WPWL 103.7 FM Pawling Public Radio in Pawling, New York.)
  

 Gerry’s Dishes: Langostinos Cocidos con Aioli

I cook every night that I am at home and I will share the results of successful dishes on Gerry Dawes & Friends and the Gerry Dawes & Friends Facebook page. I will also post the photos and recipes of the dishes on the WPWL Pawling (NY) Public Raido website and on my Gerry’s Dishes Facebook page.

Raúl Aleixandre's Technique for Cooking Shrimp 

Raúl Aleixandre, formerly the Chef-owner at Ca Sento in Valencia, Spain taught me this technique. I get very good heads-on langostinos, prawns from Restaurant Depot in Newburgh, New York.

One dozen heads-on shrimp or prawns.
Coarse sea salt
Pot or pan with enough water to cover the shrimp
(preferably fresh shrimp or prawns with the heads still on).



Sometimes, I use frozen or refreshed shrimp from Ace Endico or DeCicco’s in Southeast or even purchased from local supermarkets. Nevertheless, the technique is the same and works well even without fresh shrimp. 

Put the shrimp a bowl in ice water with sea salt for ten minutes or put frozen shrimp in a bowl of water with sea salt for half an hour or more before cooking. 

Heat a pot or pan with enough water to hold all the shrimp, but do not let the water reach a full boil, just a simmer. 

Put all the shrimp you plan to cook in the water at once and set a timer for no more than five minutes, depending upon the size of the shrimp or prawns. Cooking properly may take 3 -5 minutes. 

Never let the water return to boil, just watch the vapors coming off the hot water and when they return to the state they were before you put the shrimp in, turn the flame off. 

Watch the shrimp turn a rosy color, then take out the shrimp with a slotted spoon and put them on a platter in a single layer. For a lot of shrimp you may need more than one platter, but the idea is to keep them in a single layer, so they do not keep cooking from their own heat. 

Let the shrimp cool a bit before serving, so you can peel them without burning your fingers. Put out a bowl for the shells. 

You can keep any prawns or shrimp cooked this way in the refrigerator for a couple of days. 

I also sometimes pat the shrimp dry in a paper towel and do them a la plancha style, but since I do not have a plancha-type grill, I grill them in their shells in a cast-iron skillet with a little Spanish extra virgin Olive Oil and some coarse sea salt, turning them once until the are cooked, but not overcooked. 

 Langostinos a la Plancha, done in a cast-iron skillet doubling as a plancha grill.

Gerry’s Aioli (Garlic Mayonnaise)

 Aioli (garlic mayonnaise)

Make an aioli* to serve with the shrimp as a dipping sauce. (Or serve a good cocktail sauce if you prefer or do both.)

(*Real aioli has no eggs, just olive oil, garlic and salt. If you make it like real back country Catalans and some do in Barcelona, it will curl your eyebrows, with its industrial strength pungency.)

I make aioli with a blender. If you enjoy martyrdom, you can do it in a mixing bowl with a whisk. 

1 fresh raw egg
splash of Chinese red chili oil
1-2 cloves of good quality garlic
1 Tbs. Dijon Mustard
Sea Salt (salt to taste)
I -2 Tbs lime juice or 1 Tb lime juice
1 cup Trader Joe's Extra Virgen Olive Oil


(Optional: add saffron to the mixture while blending or cilantro (not stems) or basil or make the aioli, spoon out some and mix in whatever herb you might want to flavor it with. My next stunt with aioli is going to be blending in romesco sauce (made with hazelnuts, almonds, nyora (or ancho) peppers, paprika, parsley, and Spanish pimentón [the best paprika in the world].)

Put a fresh, raw egg in the blender, add a splash of Tabasco sauce or Chinese red chili oil, which is what I use, and one to two cloves of fresh garlic, depending upon how much you like garlic. 

Add a teaspoon sea salt and a tablespoon of Dijon-style mustard (classic Spanish aioli recipes do not call for the mustard, but I use it and love it).

Start the blender and mix those ingredients and puree the garlic. 

Remove the small top cap from the center of the blender, start the blender on the blend setting and begin slowly adding about a cup of Spanish extra virgin olive oil – I use Trader Joe’s at $7.99 per liter--to the egg, chili oil, sea salt and garlic mixture. 

When you have added about half the olive and the mixture begins to thicken, add 1 Tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice or 1-2 Tablespoons of lime juice (lime is my preference, in Spain, cooks would use lemon) to taste. 

After the citrus juice is integrated, continue adding olive oil until the aioli gets thick and smooth. Your blender will tell you that it is about to choke, so shut it off and mix any un-integrated olive oil with a spatula. 

Pour and scrape with a spatula the aioli into a Pyrex type bowl with a cover, one that you can also use to serve the aioli with a spoon. 

Refrigerate until ready to use. I keep my aioli for about a week in the fridge, if it lasts that long at our house. 

Spoon some aioli onto your plate and dip the peeled shrimp into the spooned out dollop of aioli.  Do not dip your shrimp into the aioli bowl, not if you want to use the remainder again with another dish. 

Paco Dovalo's artisanal Cabaleiro do Val Albariño 2013 (or any other vintage from this great bodega) from Rías Baixas in Galicia is a superb match for this dish. Available from the Spanish Artisan Wine & Spirits Group (e-mail gerrydawes@spanishartisanwine.com) for more information.
 
Paco Dovalo, President of the Asociación de Bodegas Artesanas, and Gerry Dawes 
at the Encontro de Viño de Autor in Meaño.

Again, this recipe for shrimp with aioli (and other dishes that I make) can be found on my Gerry Dawes & Friends and Gerry’s Dishes Facebook pages and on my blog, Gerry Dawes’s Spain: An Insider’s Guide to Spanish Food, Wine, Culture and Travel at http://www.gerrydawesspain.com.
 
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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.
 

4/16/2018

Chefs, Drugs and Rock & Roll: How Food Lovers, Free Spirits, Misfits and Wanderers Created a New American Profession by Andrew Friedman


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“Much would change in the (American) chefs’ social landscape in the early 1990s, connecting them with each other and with their growing fan base in unprecedented ways. . .An early agent of change was Gerry Dawes, who hailed from southern Illinois, fell in love with wine, especially Spanish wines and culture. . .led Dawes to create a more intimate, periodic gathering of chefs who met once a month at each other restaurants, where the host chef would prepare a five-course lunch for the others. . . The name of the group: Chefs From Hell (Acrobatic Unicyclists and Winetasters Club). . .The original group included future culinary deity Thomas Keller, . . . Le Côte Basque alum Rick Moonen (chef a The Water Club). . .Tom Valenti (Alison on Dominick). . .Brendan Walsh (Arizona 206). . .original Union Square Café chef Ali Barker. . . Hudson River Club’s Waldy Malouf. . . and Rusty Staub (baseball great and owner of two Manhattan restaurants) . . . (Other members joined shortly after the inaugural gathering: Steve Lyle (The Odeon), George Faison (D’Artagnan), Michael Romano (Union Square Café), Don Pintabona (Tribeca Grill), Michael Lomonaco (‘21' Club), Mario Batali, Bobby Flay, Anne Rosenzweig, Rose Levy Beranbaum, Pamela Morgan, Martha Stewart and honorary member Julia Child.) Such a gathering is commonplace today, but at the time was uncharted territory. . .”

“Thomas Keller. . . says he believed in the cause: “It’s camaraderie. It’s the one thing that we did not do enough at any time throughout our careers. . .So the idea of bringing chefs together is an extraordinary thing. . . .Prior to Chefs From Hell, says Keller, New York chefs were too busy to connect. “Gerry brought it together just for the benefit of us, to have fun.” And Tom Colicchio is quoted as saying, “We would literally sit around and drink and laugh our asses off. A lot of these guys have their ‘chef personality.’ When you get together in a room with them they’re funny as hell. . .We had a good time. . .It was also in the light of day, which was just something that never happened. . .” - - Part of a ten-page treatment of me and the upcoming book, Chefs From Hell in Chefs, Drugs and Rock and Rock & Roll by Andrew Friedman (available at Amazon.com)



Gerry Dawes, Founder of The Chefs From Hell, with Chef From Hell Brendan Chef Brendan Walsh, Dean—School of Culinary Arts (behind Malouf, next to Nieporent), with the great Drew Nieporent, Founder-Director of the Myriad Restaurant Corporation and one of America's most respected and celebrated restaurateurs, former New York Times Restaurant Critic Bryan Miller, Culinary Institute of America President Tim Ryan, Author Andrew Friedman, (back row), Chefs Fron Hell member  Waldy Malouf, CIA Senior Director of Food and Beverage operations,  Chef Diane Forley, Meringue Shop (Scarsdale, NY) and Mike Colameco, chef, author, host of Real Food on PBS and Food Talk on Heritage Radio Network, at The Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, New York, April 11, 2018 prior to the panel discussion on Andrew Friedman's new book, Chefs, Drugs and Rock & Roll.  (Walsh and Malouf are original members of The Chefs From Hell Acrobatic Unicyclists & Winetasters Club, a group I founded in 1989.)   Photograph by Myriad Corp's Tony Torres©2018 with a Samsung Galaxy G9+ phone.

_________________________________________________________________________________________
 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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