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36. Gerry Dawes's Spain: An Insider's Guide to Spanish Food, Wine, Culture and Travel

"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; Chef-partner of Mercado Little Spain at Hudson Yards, New York 2019


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

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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.

6/06/2019  Valencia: Casa Montaña, One of Spain´s Greatest Bodegas & Tapas Restaurants, Five Geraldo-Dalí Persistence of Memory Melting Watches Award to Casa Montaña & Its Owners, Emiliano García Domene & His Son General Manager Alejandro García

5/14/2019 Casa Bigote & Chef Fernando Hermoso (and His Retired Brother Paco), Sanlúcar de Barrameda (Cádiz), Andalucía: Another Five Dali Melting Watch Award for Chef Hermoso and His Crew, Bar Bigote, Casa Bigote Restaurant and Unparalleled. Ambience

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.

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  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 and at

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.

1 comment:

  1. I have been to Tuscany two or three times and yes, it is wonderful, but this is a blog about Spain, not a place to push your own travel agenda in such an underhanded way. I am sure your cooking vacations are just great, so why not push them on Italian-oriented blogs. God, do you know how many of these self-serving attempts at comments I get every week?


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