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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)


3/22/2019

Mercado Little Spain Hudson Yards: The People That Make This Place One of the Most Outstanding Spanish Food Operations in the United States


* * * * * 

Mercado Little Spain Hudson Yards:  The People

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

The Directors of Mercado Little Spain have pulled out all the stops to make sure the launch of this enterprise goes smoothly and that the employees who will carry on once the stars leave are properly trained.  After the first month, you will not often see some of the best know most accomplished culinary stars you will see on this page, because they will have to finish training staff and get back to their regular jobs in both the United States and Spain, but, for now, they are working very hard to insure that Spanish cuisine puts its best foot forward at Mercado Little Spain, Hudson Yards, New York City.

The following is a photo album of the talent working during the opening weeks.


Albert Adrià--part of the three superstar chef team, along with José Andrés of José Andrés ThinkFoodGroup and Albert's super-famous brother Ferran Adrià of elBulli fame--also runs a El Barri, a brilliant five-restaurant empire in Barcelona that includes Tickets, Pakta, Hoja Santa, Bodega 1900 and Enigma. 


José Andrés, the driving force behind José Andrés ThinkFoodGroup, an empire of some thirty first-rate restaurant concepts in the United States.  José Andrés. a native of Asturias in northern Spain, is an immigrant who is now an American citizen, who proudly wears an I Am An Immigrant tee-shirt.  Andrés, who has performed Herculean humanitarian missions to feed earthquake, hurricane, fire and other natural disaster victims, has been nominated for the Nobel Prize and was a Presenter at the Oscars in Hollywood this year. 


Signs outside Mercado Little Spain proudly proclaim, "The Spanish Are Here!"
!Bienvenidos!


Ruben Garcia, director of culinary creativity for ThinkFoodGroup, at Mercado Little Spain at Hudson Yards, New York City, March 18, 2019.


 Formerly Director of Restaurants, Las Vegas at ThinkFoodGroup, Charlotte Robertson is now General Manager of Mercado Little Spain.
 

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. 



 







Two Quims from Barcelona in New York:  Quim Marquez, Chef-owner of Quim de la Boquería
in Barcelona’s wonderful Mercat de San Josep, better known by its popular name, Mercat de la Boquería , with Quim Marqués, former Chef-owner of el Suquet de L’Almirall in Barcelona. The second Quim Marqués is a consultant for Mercado Little Spain, the former in town for the opening.



 










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.





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










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.










My old friend John Sconzo (Docsconz; Rascal & Thorn), who has been on at least half a dozen trips with me to Spain, with the great Phillip Baltz, President of Baltz & Company, the Public Relations firm that was contracted to publicize Mercado Little Spain.





















Patches on chefs jackets for sale in the store at Mercado Little Spain.


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


Alex Vélez, Master Ham Carver for Fermín, an important Spanish ham and cured meat producer.


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.


Trés Huevos:  Quim Marqués, formerly the chef-owner of Suquet de L’Almirall in Barcelona, José Andrés and John Sconzo (Docsconz) at Mercado Little Spain (a José Andrés, Albert Adrià and Ferran Adrià creation) Hudson Yards, March 19, 2019.

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

Ferran Adrià, Albert Adrià´s older brother and ultra super culinary star, who was, with Albert, the creative force behind the now-closed, often cited as the Best Restaurant in the World elBulli, north of Barcelona, is one of the three main creative forces. Albert, Ferran and José Andrés and their teams are behind Mercado Little Spain at Hudson Yards.   

Photo of Ferran Adrià, whom I have been photographing since 1996, at Madrid Fusión 2019 by Gerry Dawes©2019.  Ferran has worked on this project for years, was not present during opening week.  Someone has to mind the restaurants back in Barcelona while Albert Adrià is in New York.


 "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.

* * * * *
  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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