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

"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

3/02/2020

A Taste of Hemingway’s Spain, July 16 – 27, 2020 With John Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway’s Grandson. A Customized Adventure Designed, Organized & Led by Spanish Gastronomy, Wine & Culture Expert / Hemingway Aficionado Writer-Photographer Gerry Dawes


* * * * *

July 16 – 27, 2020
(11 days, 10 nights)

A Taste of Hemingway’s Spain


 A window commemorating Ernest Hemingway at Casa Botín, an EH favorite which figured prominently in the final pages of The Sun Also Rises.


A Customized Adventure Designed, Organized & Led
by Spanish Gastronomy, Wine & Culture Expert / Ernest Hemingway Aficionado Writer-Photographer Gerry Dawes

Premio Nacional de Gastronómía 2003
(Spanish National Gastronomy Award)

* * * * *
With John Hemingway,
Ernest Hemingway’s Grandson
& Author of Bacchanalia:  A Pamplona Story

$4,995 per person; $5,995 single supplement
(without airfare) 



(All photographs, except where otherwise designated, by Gerry Dawes©2020.)

 * * * * *
“Please join me John Hemingway and Gerry Dawes for this exceptional trip through Spain following the footsteps of my grandfather Ernest Hemingway.  I am an expert on my grandfather’s legacy and literature and Gerry, a decades long follower and friend of several friends of  Don Ernesto, is one of the world’s top experts on Spanish gastronomy, wine and culture.” - - John Hemingway

About John Hemingway 

  (Photo, courtesy of John Hemingway.)

John Hemingway is a Canadian/American novelist and journalist. His memoir Strange Tribe (The Lyons Press, 2007) describes the often turbulent relationship between his father Dr. Gregory Hemingway and his grandfather, Ernest Hemingway. His recent novel Bacchanalia, A Pamplona Story (November, 2019) is a modern take on the Fiesta de San Fermin. It follows the activities of a group of expatriates as they live the nine-day festival to its fullest, running with the bulls in the morning, watching the bullfights in the afternoon and in between drinking, partying, feasting, flirting like there was no tomorrow. John has been to the Fiesta nine times and has run with the bulls seventeen times. His short stories have been published in magazines and literary reviews such as The Saturday Evening Post and Provincetown Arts. Currently John and his wife Kristina live in Montreal, Quebec with their black lab, Hugo.

 About Gerry Dawes


Gerry Dawes at Madrid’s Palace Hotel, one of Ernest Hemingway’s favorites.

"In his nearly thirty years (now forty) 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..." -- James A. Michener, author of Iberia: Spanish Travels and Reflections

Gerry Dawes received Spain's prestigious Premio Nacional de Gastronomía (National Gastronomy Award) and 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 (€14,000) for his article on Cava, 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.  He writes and speaks frequently on Spanish gastronomy, wine and cultural themes.  

Dawes has organized and led numerous gastronomic and cultural trips to Spain, including for the Commonwealth Club of California (twice), the mythical 61st Tactical Fighter Squadron (twice), The World Trade Center Club (NYC), The Club Chefs of NY & CT.  And he has led Spain trips for many top American chefs and culinary figures such as Thomas Keller, Mark Miller (six times), Michael Chiarello, Michael Lomonaco, Mark Kiffin, Ryan McIlwraith, Norman Van Aken, cookbook author Rozanne Gold, and many others, including baseball great Keith Hernandez.  

"My good friend Gerry Dawes, the unbridled Spanish food and wine enthusiast cum expert whose writing, photography, and countless criss-crossings 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.

Gerry Dawes had also traveled in the footsteps of Ernest Hemingway to all of the places we will visit on this trip (and to many EH favorites in France).  In all our travels, we will be dining in restaurants specially selected by Gerry Dawes for their relationship to Ernest Hemingway and his writings and, when the original places no longer exist, he will chose gastronomic experiences for their authenticity, quality, uniqueness and approximation to what Hemingway would have eaten in those locales.  Our meals will be accompanied by wines chosen by Gerry, who is one of the world’s top experts on Spanish wines,  to reflect the best aspects of each locale. 


A Taste of Ernest Hemingway’s Spain Itinerary

A complete prospectus and trip contract will be sent to each interested party.  Travel insurance is recommended.  Check with your credit card provider or personal insurance company.   Email : gerrydawes@aol.com

Please note:  All bullfight tickets are optional and not included in the tour.  If you wish to attended any of the designated corridas, we need to now so we can arrange for the tickets which must be purchased in advance and guaranteed by cash.    We may, depending on the schedules have the opportunity to attend 2-3 corridas on this trip. 

Day 00 Thursday, July 16 USA to Málaga, Spain

Flights directly to Málaga or Málaga via Madrid.

Day 01 Friday, July 17 Málaga

We will rendezvous at our centrally located Málaga Palacio hotel and, for those who arrive in time, have a casual tapas luncheon in the old quarter of Málaga, then stroll around the old quarter.

View of Málaga harbor from the Hotel Málaga Palacio.

In the evening, we will have drinks at the Gran Hotel Miramar, where EH, Ava Gardner, Elizabeth Taylor and others stayed.  The Dangerous Summer p. 167 has descriptions of the people at the Marimar after a Málaga bullfight.
Dinner will be at a seaside restaurant that Ernest Hemingway knew when he visited Málaga to see  bullfights and stayed with his friend Bill Davies at Finca La Consula in nearby Churriana.  

Hotel Málaga Palacio.

Day 02 Saturday, July 18 Málaga - Ronda

In the morning, we will see some more of the old quarter, the Picasso Museum and the home where Picasso was born, the bullfight museum in the Málaga bullring, visit some other notable sites in the city, then have lunch in one of Málaga’s great seaside chiringuitos, like the ones that Hemingway would have frequented in Málaga for Mediterranean fish dishes such as the famous sardinas de espeto, fresh sardines skewered on cane or metal spits and roasted over live coals. 

 Sardinas de espeto, fresh sardines skewered on cane or metal spits and roasted over live coals. 
 
After lunch, we will stop outside Málaga to visit Finca La Consula, the magnificent country home of Hemingway’s great friend Bill Davies, where Hemingway stayed during the bullfights in Málaga and shot cigarettes from Matador Antonio Ordoñez’s mouth.  La Consula has now been renovated and turned into the Escuela de Hostelería de Málaga, a hotel and restaurant school.

La Consula, Hemingway's friend Bill Davis's home a few kilometers outside Málaga. (Photo courtesy of laconsula.com)

After visiting la Consula, we will drive through rugged mountains to Ronda, a former bandolero (bandit-and-smuggler) mountain town much frequented by Hemingway and the hometown of Antonio Ordoñez.  Ronda has statues of Antonio Ordoñez and his father Cayetano, who fought bulls under the name Niño de la Palma and was the prototype for Pedro Romero in The Sun Also Rises and a central character in Death of Afternoon.  There is also a monument to Ernest Hemingway and to Orson Welles, who was a great friend of Antonio Ordoñez and had his ashes scattered on Antonio’s ranch near Ronda.   Antonio Ordoñez was also a friend of tour leader Gerry Dawes, who has great remembrances of the maestro.
 
Gerry Dawes in front of the Ronda bullring at the statue of his friend the late Matador Antonio Ordoñez, Ernest Hemingway's great friend and subject of The Dangerous Summer.

We will visit this exceptionally picturesque city, then relax in our wonderful hotel, which overlooks the mountains surrounding Ronda.  In the evening, we will have dinner in a restaurant that is a virtual bullfight photo-and-poster museum that also has photos of Hemingway in Ronda. 

 Ronda.

Flamenco dancer, Andalucía.

After dinner, we will offer the option of attending a Flamenco performance.

Hotel Reina Victoria (or comparable), Ronda.

Day 03 Sunday, July 19 Ronda – Córdoba AVE – Madrid

This morning we will visit a bit more of Ronda, then ride two hours north to Córdoba, where we will visit the famous Mezquita mosque, Median Azahara and the  Monasterio de San Jerónimo de Valparaíso, where Hemingway stayed as guest of the Marqués del Mérito, when he went to a corrida in Córdoba during The Dangerous Summer of 1959, then have lunch at an emblematic Córdoban restaurant in the old quarter.

We will send our bus ahead to Madrid with our luggage and our driver will handle delivering it to our hotel.

 
The Mezquita mosque in Córdoba.

In the afternoon, we will take the AVE high-speed train to Madrid, less than 2 hours arriving in late afternoon, and check into the Hotel Suecia, where Hemingway often stayed and we will visit the Palace Hotel, which was one of the settings in the final pages of The Sun Also Rises.

AVE high-speed train. 

We will have dinner at Casa Botín, an EH favorite which also figured prominently in the final pages of The Sun Also Rises. Gerry Dawes has long been a friend of the owners of Casa Botín, so we will get special treatment and Gerry will read the passages in The Sun Also Rises that are set in this famous restaurant, which is claimed in the Guiness Book of Records to be the oldest continually operating restaurant in the world.

Hotel Suecia (or comparable), Madrid.

Gerry reading scenes set in Casa Botín from Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises.


 
Cochinillo asado, roast suckling pig, one of Don Ernesto's favorites, at Casa Botín.

Day 04 Monday, July 20 Madrid

In the morning, we will have breakfast tapas at the Cervecería Alemana, a favorite Hemingway and taurine aficionado hangout that it still much as it was during EH’s lifetime.

 Cervecería Alemana, Madrid. 

Photo of Ernest Hemingway and Matador Antonio Ordoñez, Ernest Hemingway's great friend and subject of The Dangerous Summer.


We will take a guided tour of the great Prado Museum and see some of the paintings that Ernest Hemingway so admired.   

After the Prado Museum visit, we will haver lunch at a restaurant next to el Matadero, where Madrid's main slaughterhouse used to be, a place where a prominent scene in For Whom The Bell Tolls is set.  The restaurant is owned by Spain’s greatest cortador de jamones, Ibérico ham carver (he travels the world demonstrating how to carve these exquisite expensive hams should be properly carved) and sample the best jamón, personally selected by this superstar personality.  This great professional ham cutter, a great friend of Gerry Dawes, is a consummate showman.  (If he is not off traveling to some far away place to cut hams, he may join us and show us his unique style.   This will be our first introduction to jamón Ibérico, the world's best hams from acorn-fed, pata negra (black foot breed) pigs.  The woman chef, mother of the cortador’s restaurant partner, is a great traditional cuisine cook, so jamón will just be the intro to our meal.

Florencio Sanchidrián, Spain's top professional ham carver.

We will briefly visit the Plaza de Callao, where the Hotel Florida, where EH stayed during the Spanish Civil War, was located and other sites that figured prominently in Hemingway's stays in Madrid.  

In the evening, we will gather in our hotel and walk into a less visited section of Madrid, where we will have dinner at a taurine world restaurant, Casa Salvador, open since 1941, that EH likely visited, since Ava Gardner used to dine there.  The ambience of this restaurant takes us back to the days of The Dangerous Summer.


Photo on the walls at Restaurante Casa Salvador.
Hotel Suecia (or comparable), Madrid. 

Day 05 Tuesday, July 21  Madrid – Burgos – La Rioja
  
In late morning, we will be picked up by our bus and driven through the Guadarrama mountains, the setting for For Whom The Bell Tolls, to Burgos, a town that EH visited several times and wrote about bringing the queso de Burgos back to Paris on the train and giving to Gertrude Stein. 
We will have lunch on roast suckling lamb and other Burgos specialties, then ride about an hour through picturesque Camino de Santiago scenery to La Rioja, where we will check into the Parador de Santo Domingo de la Calzada on the Camino de Santiago, then visit a Rioja family winery, where some really wonderful artisan wines are made in manmade underground caves.  We will have dinner at the winery, lamb chops and chorizo cooked in a fireplace over grapevine cuttings, salad, Spanish tortilla de patatas and plenty of the bodega’s vino.  

Parador de Santo Domingo de la Calzada (Santo Domingo, La Rioja)
 

Rioja family winery where we will have dinner.


Day 06 Wednesday, July 22 La Rioja – Pamplona – Burguete

In the morning, we will leave Rioja and in about an hour arrive in Pamplona,   see the memorial bust of EH in front of the bullring and walk along the route of the annual running of the bulls and visit the sites that EH wrote about in The Sun Also Rises.  We will visit the Hotel La Perla, where Hemingway stayed in the later years; see the site on the Plaza del Castillo where Hotel Quintana (Hotel Montoya in The Sun Also Rises), owned by his great friend Juanito Quintana (also a friend of Gerry Dawes), was located; and the Hotel Yoldi, where the matadors stay and dress and where EH visited them before and after bullfights. 

A Morning's Pleasure: Running the Bulls at Pamplona (An Excerpt from Homage to Iberia: More Spanish Travels & Reflections by Gerry Dawes)
 
 
Restaurante Aralar, Pamplona, one of the places EH frequented for lunch or dinner.
Photograph by Jim Hollander.

Many of the establishments where EH ate and drank no longer exist, but others are still operating and we will have a drink at the bar of Cafe Iruña, which has a life-size statue of EH hanging out at the end of the bar.  And we will have lunch in an EH favorite down on Calle San Nicolas serving the great typical Navarra food that EH would have eaten such as menestra (a panache of local vegetables) and pochas cocn chorizo y codornices (wonderful stew of fat white beans, chorizo and quail) stew and we will drink the great Navarra rosados that EH always drank here.
 

Hostal Burguete, where EH stayed when he went trout fishing in the 1920s, featured prominently in The Sun Also Rises.

After lunch, we will ride an hour into the Navarran Pyrenees to the mountain town of Burguete, where we will check into Hostal Burguete, where EH stayed when he went trout fishing on the Irati River and immortalized in The Sun Also Rises and where tour leader Gerry Dawes has stayed half a dozen times.  

We will visit the nearby Monastery of Roncesvalles and make an excursion to the Irati River, where Ernest Hemingway (and his The Sun Also Rises character Jake Barnes fished for trout; no fishing today, the season ends in June).  We will then relax in this small village, stroll, take a siesta and then have dinner on similar fare, including trucha a la Navarra (whole local trout cooked with a slice of serrano ham in the belly), that EH would have known.  

 Roncesvalles.

Trout fishing in the Navarra Pyrenees.

Hostal Burguete, Burguete (Navarra).

Day 07 Thursday, July 23 Burguete – Roncal – Olite - Tudela 

In the morning,  we will drive through awesome spectacular Pyrenees Mountains scenery (Gerry wrote an article on this route that appeared in The New York Times Travel section) to the great cheese producing town of Roncal, where we will have lunch, sample Roncal cheese and drink the wonderful Navarra rosados that EH loved so much that he carried them with him on his travels around Spain following the bullfights.  

 Roncal.

Castle, Olite.

After lunch, we will continue south to Tudela, stopping for a brief visit to the charming castle village of Olite.  
 
Tudela will be having their annual fiesta, which will be as close as any fiesta in Spain to resembling the Fiestas de San Fermín in Pamplona during EH’s time.   Except for the mobs of foreign tourists, Tudela has everything that Pamplona has—running of the bulls, bullfights, processions, fireworks and great jotas, the wonderful typical folk singing of Navarra and neighboring Aragón, which is scant kilometers from Tudela.   In fact, many of the jota singers heard during the Fiestas de San Fermín in Pamplona come from Tudela.  We will check into our hotel and have a drink in the Plaza Mayor, which should be in full fiesta. 

Tudela monument to the Jota & Jota singer Raimundo Lanas (photo Bernardo Estornés Lasa).


Jota singer José Antonio Pérez Caro, Navarra, homage to the great jota singer Raimundo Lanas, a legend in the first half of the 20th Century.

For dinner, we will ride 15 minutes to the small town of Corella and have dinner with a Navarra winemaker at El Crucero, a  great un-sung restaurant that specializes in the vegetable-based dishes for which this region is famous, including alcachofas con foie (artichokes with with a seared piece of foie gras on top), the great pochas (beans with chorizo) and cardos con granada (cardoon stalks with pomegranate seeds dressed with local arbequina extra virgen olive oil) plus cabrito asado (roasted youing goat).  To accompany our meal, we will have plenty of the great Navarra garnacha rosados (made from free-run juice), that Don Ernesto loved to drink.  After dinner, we will return to Tudela and, for those still game, immerse ourselves in the sprit of a great Navarra fiesta. 

Hotel Cuidad de Tudela, Tudela (Navarra).

 
 Don Ernesto loved to drink great Navarra garnacha rosados, made from free-run juice.

Day 07 Friday, July 24 Tudela 

Today, we will live the Fiestas de Santa Ana de Tudela with the encierro (running of the bulls a la Pamplona) in the morning and in the afternoon there will be a novillada (for apprentice toreros), for those so inclined to attend.  The whole town will be in fiesta a la Pamplona in EH’s time.  

 Hotel Cuidad de Tudela, Tudela (Navarra).
 
 Plaza Mayor in Tudela during Fiesta.

Day 08 Saturday, July 25 Tudela – Valencia

We will leave Tudela in morning and take the long drive to Valencia, a la EH following the fiestas around Spain, to arrive in Valencia during their July Fiestas.  

We will check into our hotel, visit the Mercat Central, then have a paella lunch at La Pepica, overlooking the Playa de la Malvarrosa where EH ate when he was in Valencia. 

In the afternoon, we will have the option of attending the bullfight and / or visiting parts of Valencia's amazing futuristic City of Arts & Sciences, then in the evening, dinner will be at the exceptional tapas restaurant Casa Montaña (established in 1839), followed by optional fiesta and fireworks.

Hotel Valencia Palace (or similar), Valencia.

 Paellas at La Pepica,Valencia.

Photos at La Pepica of EH, Antonio Ordoñez and friends having dinner there during The Dangerous Summer.


 Owner Emiliano García and Gerry Dawes at Casa Montaña, Valencia.

 Casa Montaña, founded in 1836 in the working class/fishermens barrio of
El Cabanyal-El Canyamelar in Valencia.
 
Day 09 Sunday, July 26 Valencia – Chinchón 

In the morning, we will we will ride across La Mancha, stopping to see some of the windmills made famous in Don Quixote and arrive in the magical town of Chinchón in time for lunch in a great Castilian restaurant overlooking the Plaza.

Quixotesque windmills in La Mancha.

It is probable that there may be one of the famous bullfights in Chinchón's Plaza Mayor, which our tour participants will have the option to attend. 

We will spend the evening exploring this lovely town with its iconic Plaza Mayor and have our farewell dinner at another very special restaurant on the Plaza Mayor that has a dining room that is a taurine photo museum dedicated to the former owner’s friend, Matador Nicanor Villalta, for whom John Hemingway’s uncle John Hadley Nicanor Hemingway was named.  

Hotel Condesa de Chinchón.

 Chinchón's Plaza Mayor.

 Patio of the Condesa de Chinchón.


 Chinchón's Plaza Mayor.
 
La Balconada Restaurante, which overlooks Chinchón's iconic Plaza Mayor.
 
Day 10 Monday, July 27  Chinchón – Madrid - USA


Our bus will take our group to Madrid airport, just under an hour from Chinchón,  to catch our flights back to the U. S.  Anyone who books a very early flight will need ask us to help line up a taxi to the airport. 

'
 Madrid Airport, Terminal IV.


* * * * *
  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


In 2019, again ranked in the Top 50 Gastronomy Blogs and Websites for Gastronomists & Gastronomes in 2019 by Feedspot. (Last Updated Oct 23, 2019) 

"The Best Gastronomy blogs selected from thousands of Food blogs, Culture blogs and Food Science blogs in our index using search and social metrics. We’ve carefully selected these websites because they are actively working to educate, inspire, and empower their readers with frequent updates and high-quality information."  

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

 
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, last year, was 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.

Experience Spain With Gerry Dawes: Customized Culinary, Wine & Cultural Trips to Spain & Travel Consulting on Spain  

Gerry Dawes can be reached at gerrydawes@aol.com; Alternate e-mail (use only if your e-mail to AOL is rejected): gerrydawes@gmail.com

 * * * * *
If you enjoy these blog posts, please consider a contribution to help me continue the work of gathering all this information and photographs for Gerry Dawes's Insider's Guide to Spanish Food, Wine, Culture and Travel. Contributions of $5 and up will be greatly appreciated. Contributions of $100 or more will be acknowledged on the blog.

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