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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


James Michener's Iberia: Spanish Travels and Reflections: More Autographs, Stories & Photos Behind the Signatures. Brewster Cross, Pg. 515

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Inscription:  "Gerry -- I'd love to correct this paragraph -- but there just isn't space. I'm suddenly stricken with an acute case of Aristotelian catharsis. -- Brewster"

James A. Michener, Iberia: Spanish Travels and Reflections, Page 515.  (Photograph on facing page by Iberia photographer Robert Vavra is not of Brewster Cross, it is of Colonel Tom Nichols.)

American architect Brewster Cross, San Fermín 1973. Photograph by Gerry Dawes©2020.

The autographs and inscriptions in these posts come from my copy of James A. Michener, Iberia: Spanish Travels and Reflections.   I met, knew and photographed all these people when I lived in Spain for eight years from 1968, the year Iberia was published, until 1975, when I came to New York.

"The drabness of the Pamplona fights was underscored by the arrival that afternoon of Brewster Cross, an American architect, who during his years of work in Spain had learned to take such fine color photographs of bullfighting that they appeared on the covers of bullfight journals. For the past six years he had been seeing an average of ninety fights a year and during that time had turned down numerous promotions to work in other countries because, as he said, ‘I’ve discovered an ambiente I love and I’d be nuts to lose it so long as I can make a living here.’ He was delayed in coming to Pamplona, he told us, by a bullfight in Madrid. ‘I’ve been waiting through more than two hundred fights to see that one special thing. That afternoon which the Spaniards describe as culminating. Each time you enter the gates you say, “I hope this is going to be it.” But always you’re disappointed. The other day, however, Curro Romero was on the program, and although I’d never seen him in top form, I knew he had the capability. If the right bull came along. On his first bull, nothing. But on his last animal, the greatest single performance in the world of art I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen people like Horowitz and Menuhin.

It was the most evocative, the most elegant, the most artistic. When he finished with that noble animal, my palms were wet with tension and Aristotelian catharsis.’"--James A. Michener, Iberia: Spanish Travels and Reflections


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 About Gerry Dawes

Until 2019, Gerry Dawes was the Producer and Program Host of Gerry Dawes & Friends, a weekly radio progam on WPWL 103.7 FM Pawling Public Radio in Pawling, New York.

  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. 

In December, 2009, Dawes was awarded the Food Arts Silver Spoon Award in a profile written by José Andrés

". . .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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