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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)


2/02/2019

Casa Román, Located in the Heart of the Barrio de Santa Cruz, Sevilla--Famous for Its Jamones Ibéricos de Bellota. The Owner Was My Landlord for Nearly Four Years


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Jamones Ibéricos de bellota (hams from Iberian pigs that eat acorns as a part of the diet that fattens them for the market), tapas and the Goya-esque painting that has been on walls for more than fifty years at Casa Román, Barrio de Santa Cruz, Sevilla.   Photograph copyright by Gerry Dawes 2019.


I spent nearly four of the happiest years of my life living in the Barrio de Santa Cruz at calle Justino de Neve 3.  Just around the corner, in la Plaza de los Venerables, were two my most frequented tapas bars, Hosteria del Laurel, the famous setting for scenes in Don Juan Tenorio, and  Casa Román, a tapas and copitas (glasses of vino) bar specializing in jamones Ibéricos de bellota (hams from Iberian pigs that eat acorns as a part of the diet that fattens them for the market).  Román Castro Medina, the gravedigger-hard working, never smiling founder and owner was from Guijo de Àvila, a village just five miles from the great Ibérico ham curing town of Guijuelo in the province of Salamanca.  Román Castro was also my landlord.  He owned Justino de Neve 3 and rented it to me and my Spousal Equivalent, Diana Valenti, who subsequently became my wife while we were still living in Sevilla.   Later, I will elaborate about the fantastic times we had in that wonderful house on Justino de Neve, but for now, just a few photos that I took on another of my trips back to Sevilla in February 2019.  


The first home I shared with the late Diana Valenti Dawes at Justino de Neve 3, in the Barrio de Santa Cruz, the old Jewish quarter of Sevilla.  We lived here for almost four years.  ". . . .Nothing is calculated to interest the stranger as he wanders through Seville, than a view of these courts obtained from street, through the iron-grated door.  Oft I have stopped to observe them, and as often sighed that my fate did not permit me to reside in such an Eden for the remainder of my days . . . " - - George Borrow, The Bible in Spain, 1840.  Photograph copyright by Gerry Dawes.
Re-visiting Justino de Neve 3 in el Barrio de Santa Cruz, Sevilla during a trip in February 2019.
Photo by Kay Balun.


  Miguel Ángel Adarve Linares, the manager of his hotels and a friend during our reunion at the bar of Casa Román.

During our trip to Sevilla in February, I ran into my old friend Miguel Ángel Adarve Linares, the manager of his hotels and a friend in front of the Hotel Murillo, which Miguel Ángel owns, along with a famous family antique shop next to the Alcázar Moorish fortress in Sevilla.  Hotel Murillo and is just a block from Casa Román, so we moved our reunion to bar there, ordered some cerveza and jamón Ibérico and had a fine time reminiscing about the days when I lived in the Barrio de Santa Cruz and used to see and have drinks with Miguel Angel in the bar at Hotel Murillo, whose lobby was one of our hangouts.  In the bar of Hotel Murillo, I met numerous Americans, one of whom became a partner in Galeria Dawes, our art gallery in the village of Mijas on la Costa del Sol (Málaga).   We also met another American there, arranged for him to buy a wonderful village house in Mijas, then rented it from him while we were operating our art gallery.

Román Castro Medina, the gravedigger-hard working, never smiling founder and owner was from Guijo de Àvila, a village just five miles from the great Ibérico ham curing town of Guijuelo in the province of Salamanca.  Román Castro was also my landlord.

* * * * *
  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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