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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)


4/17/2019

Almería: Another Great Market Bar Breakfast at the Mercado Central


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Soon our waiter brought us our gambas rojas and the small clams that we had purchased in the market, grilled a la plancha.

We spent three days during Holy Week in Almería, a place I had been several times for Feria, but never for Semana Santa.  Besides having one Hell of time getting to our Hotel AC by Marriott Almería because the streets were closed off for the Holy Week processions and at 6 p.m. before the processions had begun, they would not even let us into the street that led the a parking garage.  Our hotel was way up the hill in this hilly town, so we had to leave our rental car at the bottom of the hill near the port and carry shaving and cosmetic kits and my camera bag and roll my computer bag a dozen blocks uphill.  To say that we were bummed is putting it mildly.  Finally, sometime after 11 p.m. we found a way to circumvent the processions, when some streets opened up and we were able to get our rental car with our luggage to the hotel parking garage, where a hotel employee took it from us an parked it in the bowels of the place, where we left it for the entire three days we were in Almería.

 Re-filling incense burner, procession, Holy Week, Almería.

I will relate other adventures and Holy Week later, but by our second day we had discovered the Mercado Central de
Almería.  The next morning, while touring the Alcazaba in Almería, we ran into an American couple, Larry and Sue, from Sonoma, California, who were in town for the day off a cruise ship and asked them to join us for lunch at the Café – Bar Express in Almería´s Mercado Central. 


Larry and Sue, from Sonoma, California, who were in town for the day off a cruise ship and whom we met touring the Alcazaba fortress and asked them to join us for lunch at the Café – Bar Express in Almería´s Mercado Central. 


At the Café – Bar Express, they will cook food purchased in the Mercado for a modest fee depending on how much food you have (it usually runs about 6 Euros) and serve it to you along with drinks, etc.   Larry and I purchased succulent gambas rojas (exquisite, heads-on Mediterranean shrimp), small almejas (clams), salmonetes (small red mullet), Raf tomatoes from nearby Cabo de Gata and a sweet onion. 
 
Salmonetes (small red mullet) in Almería´s Mercado Central. 

Salmonetes (small red mullet) purchased in the market and cooked for us at the market bar Café – Bar Express in Almería´s Mercado Central.   

From a butcher shop next to the restaurant, I picked up 100 grams of Beher (Bernado Hernández from Guijuelo, Salamanca) jamón Ibérico de bellota (cured hams from free-range Ibérico pigs fattened by grazing on acorns). We were soon seated at a table for four, ordered bottles of good Estrella de Levante beer from Murcia, white wine for the women mineral water (this time not Perrier!) and Larry and I began to cut up the onion and a pile of small raf tomatoes, which I dressed with Spanish Extra Virgen Olive Oil, vinagre de Jerez and sal gorda (sea salt). 
 
A salad of sweet onion and a pile of small Raf tomatoes, which I dressed with Spanish Extra Virgen Olive Oil, vinagre de Jerez and sal gorda (sea salt) and accompanied by good Estrella Levante beer. 

Soon our waiter brought us our gambas rojas and the small clams grilled a la plancha, then the salmonetes. By this time the raf tomatoes and the onion slices were beginning to marinate and tasted great. Yet another market cooked meal that was the lunch of Champions! Exceptionally good. The best food we have had in Almería so far. We finished with fresh watermelon for dessert.   The feast came out to about 15 Euros each.

 Almería´s Mercado Central. 


* * * * *

  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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