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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)


4/28/2019

Gerry Dawes's Persistence of Memory Melting Watch Awards (With tip of my sombrero to Salvador Dalí, whose genius persists in memory).


* * * * *


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


For at least three decades, I  have been wearing a Salvador Dalí Persistence of Memory pin in my lapel whenever I  wear a jacket, suit or even a tuxedo.  It invariably attracts curious responses.  To women who ask, "Is that a banana?", the response is obvious.  Men, for some reason, don't usually ask that question.

After so many years of wearing these pins, which I buy in Barcelona, they have really become a part of my public persona, so I decided to begin using representations of the pin to denote experiences, people, places, events, dishes, wines, art, buildings, fiestas, etc. that persist in my memory.

Periodically, I will rate an experience, a person (or persons), a restaurant, a dish, a wine, an event, etc. with from one-five Persistence of Memory melting watches (from the famous Salvador Dalí paintings) that are, indeed, persistently memorable.  At the end of each year, I will compile my Persistence of Memory awards.  

Below is  a series of articles on restaurants, tapas bars, chefs, dishes and experiences from around Spain that I think, from my very personal experience, deserve Five of Five Dalí POM (Persistence of Memory) Melting Watch Award pins.  I frankly don’t give a damn about Michelin ratings, Repsol or any of the rest.  I have been traveling and eating and drinking wine all over Spain for nearly 50 years and I have been to the restaurants in these articles multiples times.  Yes, I am influenced by the friendly relationships I have with many of the chefs and owners of these establishments, but I would not have built these friendships if these chefs, restaurants and establishments were not as good as they are.  And I take into consideration the downside for those who might not be connected in some of the restaurants, hotels and people I am writing about.  Nonetheless, I personally have had repeated Five Melting Watch experiences in all the places I am writing about. 

*Note: From now on, I will be awarded only the five Melting Watches as my rating system for restaurants, dishes, wines, experiences and personalities.  I have had enough five Melting Watch encounters in my decades of traveling in Spain, that for what time I have left on this planet, it will probably take me that long to write them all up. 

My criteria is as follows:
1) I will not be rating many Michelin-star awarded restaurants, because they already have Michelin rating them.  However, Chefs, whether they have three Michelin Stars are not will be the objects of my ratings. 
2) I do not really worry about what other critics may or may not think about my five Melting Watch choices.   They are mine and my judgement and I will stand by them.
3) There will be lots of unheralded places, tapas bars, wines and events that I personally believe are worthy and thus will get my five Dalí Persistence of Memory Melting Watch Awards. 
4)  There will be lots of Spaniards, some unknown or relatively unknown who will get the awards and I will give my reasons.

This was my former rating system:

*Five Watches:  Exceptional Persistence of Memory
Four Watches:  Unforgettable, excellent.
Three Watches: Unforgettable, very good.
Two Watches: Memorable, quite good.
One Watch:  Memorable, good.

Any of these Geraldo-Dalí Persistence of Memory Melting Watch ratings signifies an experience, place, person, restaurant, dish, wine or event worthy of consideration. 

*The Persistence of Memory, a Salvador Dalí painting (1931).  

Since 1934, it has been owned by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York.

4/28/2019  El Torreón de Tordesillas: The Five Dalí Melting Watch Domain of "The Greatest Showman (El Gran Showman)," The Magnificent Jeremias de Lozar

4/20/2019 Vicente Leal, the Maestro de Salazones (Salt-and-air cured Fish, a Craft as Old as Civilization in the Mediterrean) at the Mercado de Abastos de Alicante.

3/29/2019  Madrid Classics: Casa Lucio, Cava Baja Update on Lucio´s Birthday Today - Five Salvador Dalí Persistence of Memory Melting Watches


3/12/2019 Quim de la Boquería, La Boquería Market, Barcelona. Five Dalí POM (Persistence of Memory) Melting Watches 

2/07/2019 Restaurante Campero, Barbate (Cádiz), Famous for its Almadraba, Tuna Round-up. Sensational Lunch at Camapero: Boquerones en Vinagre, Mojama de la Almadraba, Carpaccio of Zucchini, Seafood Rice and Black Rice with Basil All-i-oli, Plus 85€ per Person Almadraba-caught Tuna Tasting Menu Explained. Persistence of Memory* (Salvador Dalí) Fiver Melting Watch Awards

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)

2/11/2018  The Bar at Marisquería Rafa: A Five Dalí POM (Persistence of Memory) Melting Watch Award Experience

11/14/2017  Chinchón III: Upgraded to Five Stars! Back a La Balconada, One of My Favorite Castilian Cuisine Restaurants. Chef-owner Manuela Nieto Recio and her Husband Isidro Olivar. This time with John (Docsconz) and L. J. Sconzo

 5/03/2017 Restaurante d’Berto, O Grove (Galicia) One of the Best Shellfish Restaurants in the World

 3/07/2017 Upgraded to Five Dalí Watches: El Crucero in Corella (Navarra), Lunch with the Wines of Aliaga at One of the Great Restaurants of Navarra's Ribera Baja Wine-growing Region, Also Home to One of Spain's Finest Vegetable Growing Regions and Some of Navarra's Little-known, But Best Country Restaurants.

2/21/2017 Another Five Dali Melting Watch Award Restaurant: Casa Bigote, Sanlúcar de Barrameda (Andalucía)

7/15/2017 A Homage to Culinary Adventures with Juan Suárez, One of the Great Non-professional Cooks in Spain: Teaching Famous Culinarians How to Fry an Egg, Cocido Madrileño, Cooking in Napa Valley at Cindy Pawlcyn's, Cooking at Home for the Madrid Fusión Mejicano Contingent and a Magical Adventure at Kaia near San Sebastián

11/18/2016  Madrid Classics: Five Dalí POM (Persistence of Memory) Melting Watches to Casa González, founded in 1931, is a high quality bar-deli-gourmet food and wine shop with a wonderful old-fashioned air in Madrid's Literary Quarter.

 3/20/2014 Charcutería: The Soul of Spain by Jeffrey Weiss. Foreword by José Andrés. Highly Recommended. Five Dalí Persistence of Memory Melting Watch Awards

3/05/2014 Five Dalí POM Watches to L'Escaleta, Another Great Alicante Restaurant, One of the Best in Spain

8/15/2012  Sanlúcar de Barrameda, The Incredible Horse Racing on Bajo de Guía Beach in August Gerry Dawes's Persistence of Memory* (Salvador Dalí) Five Melting Watch Awards.

12/16/2009 To Hell with Michelin! I Have the GeralDalí 'Persistence of Memory' Watch Awards and I am Bestowing Five Watches, My Top Rating, on Restaurante Quique Dacosta (formerly El Poblet), Chef Quique DaCosta and Quique Dacosta's Staff

 More to come soon.

* * * * *
  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.
 

4/27/2019

The Great John Curtas, Author of Eating Las Vegas and the "Being John Curtas" Blog on My Opinions About The Michelin Guide and Spain and Three-star Chef Quique Dacosta


* * * * *
Bibendum, the Michelin Tire Man, with his foot on Spain's neck.

 John Curtas with one of my rosados from The Spanish Artisan Wine & Spirits Group at Ibiza Tapas Danbury (CT) in Curtas's hometown.   The jacket is just another example of Curtas's dedication to sartorial splendor and went exceptionally well with the red pants he was wearing!

"Gerry Dawes — Spanish food expert, guide, raconteur, writer, etc., (and a fellow so curmudgeonly he makes me look like Dora the Explorer*) — had these insights that are worth considering the next time you hear someone brag about their Michelin stars:

'Why do you think restaurants in Japan were suddenly given a surfeit of rosettes? Because Doughboy (aka Bibendum) wants to sell tires to Japanese car manufacturers! In Spain, France’s next door neighbor, who competes with them for gastro-tourism Euros, Michelin gives a miserable number of rosettes, about a fifth of what France has. I have proposed a boycott of Michelin tires in Spain unless the Guide gives out a significant number of rosettes to really reflect the quality of restaurants in Spain. Spain should make Michelin decide what they really want, to sell paper (the Guide) or rubber.'" - - John Curtas, Being John Curtas blog: Michelin Guides are Bullshit, March 27, 2019 (published the day I left for a month in Spain; see blog post for the link to the article). 

Photo is of Curtas with one of my rosados from The Spanish Artisan Wine & Spirits Group at Ibiza Tapas Danbury (CT) in Curtas's hometown. The jacket is just another example of Curtas's dedication to sartorial splendor and the jacket went exceptionally well with the red pants he was wearing!

*It should be noted that no one can make Curtas look like Dora the Explorer. Look up curmudgeon, with a baked-on crust, curmudgeon crème brûlée, in any visual dictionary and Curtas countenance will appear.
 

 * * * * *
What I actually wrote in December 2009 (when the Michelin Awards for 2010 were announced), about Michelin, its Red Guide and its coverage of Spain:

Quique Dacosta is probably the brightest culinary star of his generation and this year, he and his stunning restaurant and state-of-the-art cocina de vangaurdia food were yet again royally screwed by the Michelin Guide (2010), who failed to give Quique (and others) a deserved third star.  (Dacosta got his Third Star in 2012). 



[Quique Dacosta, whom I have known for more than 20 years, has long been a friend of mine.  I took Santa Fe Chef Mark Miller there for lunch on September 11, 2001.  While we were having lunch, I got a call from Chef Teresa Barrenchea, then a New York restaurateur, who was also in Spain.  She told me that an airplane had hit the World Trade Center.  I thought it might have been a small private plane gone astray.  Quique called us into the Bar at El Poblet, what his restaurant was then called, and we watched on a television set in the bar as the second plane hit live.]


 At lunch with Quique Dacosta at Casa Elias in Xinorlet (Alicante).

Gerry Dawes and Quique Dacosta at Quique Dacosta in Denia (Alicante).


Let's get it straight, at one point restaurants in France had received around 1,700 Michelin rosettes while Spain, in the same year, had less than 200.  The ratio is roughly the same this year.  Let's be gracious and call it eight to one in favor of France over Spain.

Taking into consideration that Spanish restaurants and Spanish cuisine--vanguardia, modernized traditional and traditional--have been recognized by far more credible judges than the Michelin Guide as among the best restaurants in the world and that France is in mortal competition with Spain for gastro-tourism Euros, why is anyone giving any credence to Michelin's shameful French-centric judgement any more?

In addition to the long-vaunted modern cuisine restaurants like Ferran Adrià's El Bulli, Arzak, Can Fabes, Martín Berasategui, San Pau, Can Roca and many others, Spain has a slew of traditional cuisine restaurants that merit one and two rosettes (usually called "stars") from Michelin, some of them three.  If Elkano and Kaia in Getaria in the Basque Country alone (Not to mention a slew of other Basque restaurants) don't merit two stars for stellar food, stellar service, ambience, wine cellar, etc., who does?  I go on on listing restaurants all over Spain worthy of Michelin's lofty ratings, but it is futile, since even the vociferous protests of Madrid's culinary press corps who have voiced their displeasure to the faces of Michelin representatives who invited them to press luncheons in Madrid to present each year's new Red Guide, apparently have had little effect. 

If I were the Spaniards--and I often feel like I am--I would get Michelin's attention quick. 

"Señores (Monsieurs y Madames), is it not true that the Michelin Guides originated as a way to help your company sell more tires?" 

"In that case, would you prefer to sell rubber or paper?  Because we intend to organize a boycott against your pneumaticos if you don't manage to award Spain at least, at the very least, 1,000 more rosettes by the next time your guidebook to Spain and Portugal is published."  





















Yes, we know there are Michelin tire factories in Spain.  Do you know how many people restaurants in Spain employ, how many farmers supply food to Spanish restaurants, how many wineries and winery employees provide them with wine?

  
* * * * *
  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.
 

4/21/2019

La Explanada de España: Alicante's Great Pedestrian Boulevard and the City's Communal Living Room

  
* * * * * 
 
The main pedestrian street in Alicante is the palm-lined Explanada de España, which has a wavy mosaic running its considerable length that is an optical illusion that even shows up in photographs. Those are not troughs on the Explanada, it is flat!

La Terraza del Gourmet, the casual, bar-restaurant-breakfast spot run by the Perramón-San Román family and featuring the exceptional breads of Chef María José San Román´s San Román bakery that is a block away and supplies all of the families restaurants--the Michelin-starred Monastrell, , a steakhouse in the suburb of Playa de San Juan.   Kay and I spent a fine Easter morning with María José, daughter Geni Perramón, who manages la Taberna del Gourmet, and daughter Raquel Perramón, who has opened a pizzeria with her husband in Playa de San Juan. 


La Terraza del Gourmet Delicatessen and Wine Bar, featuring the breads of Panadería San Román, on la Explanada de España, Alicante, Spain

Breakfast menu at La Terraza del Gourmet Delicatessen and Wine Bar, featuring the breads of Panadería San Román, on la Explanada de España, Alicante, Spain


Chef María José San Román at La Terraza del Gourmet Delicatessen and Wine Bar on la Explanada de España, Alicante, Spain


Geni Peramón, General Manager of la Taberna del Gourmet and one of her daughters, Catalina, at la Terraza del Gourmet on Easter morning 2019.

Sisters Geni Peramón, General Manager of la Taberna del Gourmet and her sister Raquel at la Terraza del Gourmet on Easter morning 2019.
Kay showing off her grandkids to Chef María José San Román at la Terraza del Gourmet on la Explanada de España in Alicante on Easter Morning 2019.


Horchata at the famous Peret Horchatería, Explanada de España, Alicante.
  
* * * * *
  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.
 

4/20/2019

Alicante's Monastrell Restaurant, Dinner at Chef María José San Román Pérez´s Jewelbox Restaurant


 * * * * * 


 Chef María José San Román Pérez, chef-owner of the Michelin-starred Restaurante Monastrell in Alicante, Spain, with her chicharónes del mar, billed as “Fish cracklings” on the English menu, actually eel cracklings.

Chef María José San Román Pérez is the chef-owner of the Michelin-starred Restaurante Monastrell, which is located at the far end of the pleasure boat port, in Alicante, Spain. María José, one of my dearest friends of more than 20 years, is a brilliant, dynamic chef who is a great student of food products and is always creating exceptional dishes--and always using the best possible products to do it. (Her la Taberna del Gourmet in Alicante is, IMHO, one of the greatest casual restaurants in the world and it is with some trepidation that I even add the word “casual,” since it is one of the best restaurants I have ever had the pleasure of eating in--now at least a dozen times.)

Chef María José San Román coming to greet us at Monastrell.

Classic ensaladilla (rusa) con aceite de cornicabra (olive variety) y bonito, classic Spanish “Russian” potato salad with cornicabra extra virgen olive oil and bonito tuna at Monastrell. 

María José showing us samples of her only partly polished (65%) rice, which retains the nutrients that are "polished" away during commercial rice processing. These samples are from three rice varieties: Bomba, Bahia and Carnoroli. 

 
Beberechos con puré de coliflor y plankton, cockles with a puree of cauliflower and plankton (Video). 
 
 This artichoke dish was simple, but brilliant. A thick-walled bowl, like a mortar bowl, was brought to the table with a glowing piece of charcoal inside. A small square metal grill had been placed on top with several pieces of tender artichokes and alongside was a green anchovy-laced sauce. I love these table-top mini-grills and am in the hunt for something similar. What a terrific dish and terrific presentation.  Video (6 secs.)

 Ventresca de atún con sal de Pinoso, tuna belly with salt from the nearby town of Pinoso.  The pink tuna belly slice is the edible part, the block of salt is not!
 
 Arroz seco socarrat con pata de vaca y garbanzos, variedad Bahia, "dry" (non-soupy) rice with cow's foot and garbanzos, rice variety, local Bahia rice, with the socarrat, or caramelized rice from the bottom of the pan, served on top.  No place does rice dishes better than in the Alicante and south of Valencia area of Spain.

Arroz meloso con atún, arroz Canaroli envejecido, risotto consistency rice with tuna, aged Canaroli rice.

 Crema helada de AOVE hojiblanca arroz de naranja, chilled crema Catalana made with hojiblanca Extra Virgen Olive Oil and rice flavored with orange, with a caramelized crème brûlée crust. This is a very Alicante inspired dish, since arroz con leche (Spanish rice pudding) is often served with a caramelized crème brûlée crust.

Nothing at Monastrell was over-the-top cocina de vanguardia.  All the dishes were riffs on traditional Spanish dishes, down with the best ingredients and presented with the imagination and seriousness of thought and research for which Chef María José San Román Pérez is known.  This one of the best meals I have ever had at Monastrell.

 * * * * *
  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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