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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)


1/29/2019

Lunch with Lucio at Casa Lucio, Cava Baja, Madrid. Ensalada, Lechazo Asado (Roast Suckling Lamb) and Plenty of Rioja Reserva Tinto.



* * * * *
 (Note:  All text & photographs, except when otherwise indicated, are by Gerry Dawes©2019.)
 
Gerry Dawes and legendary Casa Lucio owner Lucio Blásquez at lunch at Casa Lucio, Cava Baja, Madrid.

Today, I left Madrid Fusión early to have a late lunch (at 4:30 p.m.) at Casa Lucio, and because of the taxi strike in Madrid, I had to take three Metro lines an about 45 minutes to get the La Latina stop, which is around the block from Lucio, but it was worth it. I had been here Sunday night with my friend Harold Heckle and learned that my old friend,  the 86-year old legendary owner Lucio Blásquez, has because of his health and his age has now retired from dinner service and only comes to the restaurant during lunchtime, so I went specifically to see him.  

 Lucio's son Javier, General Manager of Casa Lucio, serving us lechazo asado, at lunch at Casa Lucio, Cava Baja, Madrid.

Lucio, his daughter Mari, son and general manager Javier and three of Lucio´s Chinchón card game* playing buddies made room for me at the family table. We had a superb lunch with lechazo asado (roast suckling lamb), great potatoes on the side, a good lettuce and onion salad, dressed with just the right amount of vinegar, Spanish Extra Virgen Olive Oil and sal gorda (sea salt), plus at my request they brought out a plate of excellent cherry tomatoes to put in the salad.  
 
Lechazo asado at Casa Lucio, Cava Baja, Madrid.

And there was plenty of Montecillo Rioja Reserva red wine from magnum. After lunch, Lucio and his friends began playing Chinchón, a card game that Lucio has played nearly every day (and many nights) of his adult life after lunch and/or dinner. 

  After lunch, Lucio and his friends began playing Chinchón, a card game that Lucio has played nearly every day (and many nights) of his adult life after lunch and/or dinner.

Casa Lucio is one of my favorite restaurants in Madrid. It is one of Madrid's best known restaurants and reservations are hard to come by, but Lucio Blásquez, Mari (his daughter) and Javier (one of his sons) treat me like a long-lost family member when I show up and somehow manage to find me a table. 

As usual, going to Casa Lucio was like coming home and after a year away from Madrid, seeing Lucio was long overdue.  (Kay and I and my great friend Harold Heckle and his girlfriend Ana Belén spent New Year´s Eve 2017 and rang in 2018 at another of Lucio´s restaurants, Viejo Madrid) across the street from Casa Lucio.)


 With Lucio, Mari and Javier Blásquez with their family and friends at Viejo Madrid celebrating la Noche Vieja (New Year´s Eve) 2018-2018.

 Harold Heckle, Kay Balun, Lucio Blásquezat Viejo Madrid celebrating la Noche Vieja (New Year´s Eve) 2018-2018.


(*Chinchón is a matching card game played in Spain, Uruguay, Argentina, Cape Verde and other places. It is a close variant of Gin rummy, with which it shares the same objective: making sets, groups or runs, of matching cards. The name is spelled Txintxon in Basque and in Cape Verdean Creole. -- Wikipedia)


* * * * *
  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.
 

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