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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)


3/20/2019

Mercado Little Spain Hudson Yards: The Food in Photographs Part One by Gerry Dawes (March 14-19, 2019)


* * * * * 
 (All photos by or courtesy of Gerry Dawes©2019. No publication of these photos without written permission.)

 "Estamos in Training" (We are in Training), super-star chef and partner Albert Adriá with two of the chefs at La Barra at Mercado Little Spain, March 18, 2019.

 Mercado Little Spain at Hudson Yards, New York City, is opening in stages, but the directors are currently training all the some 500 chefs and staff members at most of the stands in this $41,000,000, 35,000 square foot Spanish food hall.   

Even in training, most of the dishes are coming out as good as any food I have had in a Spanish restaurant in this country.  I have had more than a dozen dishes and can vouch for the fact that the food at Mercado Little Spain is not only authentic modernized traditional Spanish cuisine, but in the hands of maestros like Albert Adriá, one of the most brilliant, creative and hard working chefs in Spain, the legendary José Andrés of José Andrés's ThinkFoodGroup (operators of a slew of exceptional restaurants across the United States) and Albert Adriá's brother Ferran Adriá of elBulli fame the food here achieves levels seldom seen in New York.  

Another attractive aspect of these beautifully designed space is that the entrance is on 30th Street and thus you can avoid walking through the marble-floored vertical mall labyrinth that makes up the rest of Hudson Yards (bring your walking shoes, but take the elevator and have a meal at Michael Lomonaco's Hudson Yards Grill).  Mercado Little Spain is just spread across a 30th Street ground floor, has only Spanish food and culinary equipment stalls and no other outside commercial establishments, so you only have a horizontal Spanish culinary wonderland to walk through--with plenty of places to sit and eat--snacking on some of the best Spain has to offer as you go.

 
My long-time friend Rafael Vidal of Restaurante El Levante in Benisanó, is Spain’s greatest paella Valenciana maestro and the paella consultant for the Leña (wood-fired) paella and grilled and roasted meat stand at Mercado Little Spain.  During opening week, Rafael and his wife Fina Vidagany were offering a paella de  It has no seafood, but usually chicken, rabbit and duck, along with two kinds of beans, vainas (a flat green bean) and garrofós (a special white broadbean from Valencia). Rafael Vidal grows both around is restaurant and home 30 kilometers west of Valencia. 

Rafael Vidal, Spain’s greatest paella Valenciana maestro and the paella consultant for the Leña(wood-fired) paella and grilled and roasted meat stand at Mercado Little Spain. During opening week, Rafael and his wife Fina Vidagany were offering a paella de verduras (vegetarian vegetable only paella)and authentic paella a la Valenciana (this version just had chicken and rabbit, no duck, along with beans, vainas (a flat green bean)Rafael Vidal hopes to be able to bring in soongarrofós (a special white broadbean from Valencia), a beloved ingredient in Vidal´s paella Valenciana.

Ignacio Blanco, Owner & Culinary Director of Ibiza Kitchen Chappaqua (NY) and Ibiza Tapas Danbury (CT) looks over a selection of tapas at Mercado Little Spain. 


Gerry Dawes at Mercado Little Spain with a piece a really good tortilla española made with caramelized onions.  

Bikinis, grilled ham, cheese and truffle sandwiches at Mercado Little Spain.

Grilled navajas, razor clams.

Callos a la Madrileña (Madrid-style tripe stew) at Mercado Little Spain, Hudson Yards, NYC.

 Classic Rabo de Toro con patatas, rich oxtail stew with cubed potatoes. 


Mercado Little Spain Trainer Maggie Elmore serving from a carafe gazpacho con guarnición, Andalucian gazpacho with diced vegetable garnish at La Barra at Mercado Little Spain at Hudson Yards, March 19, 2019. Photo by Gerry Dawes©2019.


A. J. Ojeda-Pons, Beverage Director at Mercado Little Spain (a José Andrés, Albert Adrià and Ferran Adrià creation) Hudson Yards, expertly prepared two draft Vermouths at Bar Celona for John Sconzo and Gerry Dawes,  March 19, 2019. Photo by Gerry Dawes©2019.


 Vermouth at Bar Celona, Mercado Little Spain, Hudson Yards, NYC March 19, 2019. Photo by Gerry Dawes©2019.



 Exceptional high-quality shrimp in the gambas al ajillo (shrimp with garlic), Mercado Little Spain.
 


The live-fire paella pit at Leña paella and roasted meats stand at Mercado Little Spain.


Super star chef and partner Albert Adriá was making pan tumaca, tomato bread with olive oil and garlic topped with slices of serrano ham, bocadillos most of the night at Mercado Little Spain at Hudson Yards, New York City. — with Kay Balun at Mercado Little Spain.


Joshua Whigham, former chef de cuisine at SLS The Bazaar by Jose Andres in Los Angeles, helping out as a training consultant at La Barra at Mercado Little Spain at Hudson Yards, New York City, March 19, 2019.   #ChefJoshuaWhigham


John Sconzo (Docsconz) of Rascal & Thorn culinary travel at Leña paella and roasted meats stand at Mercado Little Spain.


José Andrés´s ThinkFoodGroup Maestro Cortador (professional ham carver) de jamón Ibérico de bellota "opening," Paco Carrasco, making the first cuts, for carving an  Ibérico ham  at Mercado Little Spain at Hudson Yards, March 19, 2019. Photo by Gerry Dawes©2019


 Employee making pan tumaca, Spanish bread with fresh crushed tomato, garlic, salt and olive oil, topped with thin sliced jamón serrano.  For part of the evening, Albert Adriá was helping him turn out sandwiches.


 Creative Director of José Andrés´s ThinkFoodGroup and John Sconzo (Docsconz) with a pot of arroz caldoso, a "soupy" seafood rice dish, at Mercado Little Spain at Hudson Yards, March 19, 2019. Photo courtesy of  Gerry Dawes©2019


 
José Andrés at Mercado Little Spain at Hudson Yards. 


* * * * *
  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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