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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

1/31/2021

Gazpachuelo: A Fish Soup from Málaga (Thickened With Mayonnaise) and Sardinas de Espeto (sardines roasted on a spit over a wood fire) at El Balneario de los Baños del Carmen and with Cookbook Author Janet Mendel at Her Home in Mijas (Málaga), Spain


* * * * *  
 
Gazpachuelo de callos (tripe) with pimentón (Spanish paprika) during the jornada de gazpachuelo at Balneario Baños del Carmen, Málaga, October 15, 2019.


On my birthday on October 15, I was traveling in Spain with my fiancée Kay Balun, cookbook author Rozanne Gold and Michael Whiteman of Joseph Baum & Michael Whiteman Restaurants Consultants, New York and we were we staying in the Andalucian city of Málaga for a couple of days.  One of Málaga's many attractions is its seaside restaurants, often originally modest beach restaurants specializing in seafood, especially sardinas al espeto, sardines skewered on metal or cane spits (espetos) cooked over a wood fire and seafood soups and stews such as gazpachuelo Malagueño, and such dishes as at Balneario del Carmen.

I had had gazpachuelo Malagueño at the home of Janet Mendel (see video below of Janet making gazpachuelo for American chefs Ryan McIlwraith (Bellota, San Francisco) and his then Executive Chef Joel Ehrlich) in Mijas, a spectacularly situated village 30 kms. west of  Málaga where I lived for nearly three years and had an art gallery back in the mid-1970s.  

I researched restaurants in Málaga, a city I have visited more in recent years than I did when I lived in nearby Mijas, and found that el Balneario Baños del Carmen was having their first Jornadas de Gazpachuelo, a two-week long promotion of this emblematic fisherman´s soup, so I asked Janet and her son Ben Searl to join us for lunch at the Baleneario in the Málaga beachfront suburb of Pedregalejo, 5 kms. (3 miles) from the center of the city.  (See my four-part series on the city of Málaga:

It was a gorgeous day, a bit breezy but wonderful, and we sat outside on the terrace at a table just a few feet from the Mediterranean.  I had called ahead and told the manager that we wanted to do a degustación of several different gazpachuelos (not to be confused with gazpacho, the classic cold tomato-based soup that is one of Spain´s best-known dishes, nor with ajo blanco [gazpacho blanco or gazpacho Malagueño], the cold almond-and-garlic based soup.  The restaurant was very accommodating, especially after I told them that I was bringing two well-known cookbook authors, Rozanne and Janet and the former Director of Restaurant Operations in New York's former World Trade Center.   They served us tasting portions of classic gazpachuelo Malagueño and three more variations on the theme:  gazpachuelo Viña AB (with clams, shrimp, peas, piquillo peppers and spiked with González Byass Viña AB Amontillado Seco Sherry); gazpachuelo de almejas, with clams and thicker with more mahonesa (house-made mayonnaise) incorporated into the soup; and gazpachuelo de callos (tripe) with pimentón (Spanish paprika).


Janet Mendel and Michael Whiteman of Joseph Baum & Michael Whiteman Restaurants  Consultants, New York at Baleneario del Carmen.

And, of course, we had a few plates of sardinas al espeto, sardines skewered on metal or cane spits (espetos) and cooked over a wood fire, a specialty of the coasts of Málaga province (see photos below).


 
Weeks en October dedicated to Gazpachuelo at El Balneario Baños del Carmen, Málaga.


Menu with my notes for the I Jornadas Gastronómicas del Gazpachuelo at El Balneario de Carmen, Málaga.

Gazpachuelo Malagueño during the jornada de gazpachuelo at Balneario del Carmen, Málaga, October 15, 2019.



Gazpachuelo a la Malagueña, a Spanish fish stew, thickened with mayonnaise, made by Spanish cookbook author Janet Mendel in her kitchen in Mijas (Málaga), Andalucía, Spain, cooked especially for Chef Ryan McIlwraith and his Executive Chef Joel Ehrlich, whom I took on a research trip before they opened Bellota in San Francisco in 2015. Video by Gerry Dawes©2014.

 Janet Mendel's gazpachuelo Malagueño served at her home in Mijas.


TWO CHEFS COME TO LUNCH (From Janet Mendel´s My Kitchen In Spain blog.)

Here’s how I came to make lunch for two American chefs. An old friend, Gerry Dawes, got in touch, saying he was taking two young chefs around western and southern Spain on a mission to explore regional Spanish cooking. One of them, Ryan McIlwraith, will be the executive chef for a new, Spanish-inflected restaurant  in San Francisco (at 888 Brannon), part of the Absinthe Group (name and opening date still not announced; Note: the restaurant is Bellota). The other, Joel Erlich, will be the executive sous chef there.

Lunch at my house: Chef Ryan McIlwraith (left) and Gerry Dawes, gastronome.
I know Gerry from way back in the 1970s, when he lived in Mijas,the same village where I live. Now he’s an expert on Spanish gastronomy, wine and travel, who does specialized custom tours for culinary luminaries.

Gerry said they would be traveling from Sanlucar de Barrameda via Ronda to Málaga and would like to stop off in Mijas so he could introduce the chefs to me and to my cookbooks.

Sure, I said, come for a late lunch.

Ohmygod. Whatever will I cook for a couple of chefs? This would be Ryan’s third culinary trip to Spain, so he was no novato. He was previously chef de cuisine at Michael Chiarello's  Coqueta (San Francisco) where he garnered experience working with Iberian-inflected cuisine.

“What do you know about gazpachuelo?” Gerry asked me. “Ryan wants to try a version of that while we’re down there.  Is there any place we can have it?”


GAZPACHUELO,  MEDITERRANEAN SEAFOOD CHOWDER RECIPE


This is the recipe for gazpachuelo that I served to the chefs. Following their suggestions, I’ve added more olive oil and Sherry to the recipe. Oh, yeah, and salt. Important to taste! The fish I used was merluza (fresh hake). I used the head, bones and trimmings to make a fish stock.

Serves 6.

1 egg, room temperature
¾ extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
8 cups fish stock
1 ½ cups diced potatoes
¼  cup shelled peas, fresh or frozen
1 ½  cups boneless chunks of white fish
¼ cup chopped serrano ham
1/3 cup peeled shrimp (3 ounces)
Roasted red pepper, chopped (optional)
½ cup Sherry (fino or amontillado)
Salt, to taste


Place the egg in a blender container. With the motor running, add the oil in a slow stream until it is emulsified. Blend in the lemon juice and salt. Set aside.

Put the fish stock in a soup pot and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes and simmer, covered, 10 minutes. Add the peas and cook 5 minutes more.

Then add the chunks of fish, ham, shrimp and Sherry. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.


With the motor running, ladle some of the hot soup into the emulsion in the blender. Remove the soup from the heat and whisk the emulsion into the soup. Serve immediately. The soup can be reheated, but do not boil. 

 * * * * *
 
 Sardinas de espeto at Balneario del Carmen, Málaga, October 15, 2019.


 Sardinas al espeto, sardines skewered on metal or cane spits (espetos) and cooked over a wood fire, a specialty of the coasts of Málaga province at Balneario del Carmen, Málaga, October 15, 2019.

  Sardinas al espeto, sardines skewered on metal or cane spits (espetos) and cooked over a wood fire, a specialty of the coasts of Málaga province at Balneario del Carmen, Málaga, October 15, 2019.


 Kay Balun and Janet Mendel's son Ben Searl at Baleneario del Carmen.

View of  Málaga from the terrace restaurant of Balneario del Carmen.

   

Comments are welcome and encouraged.

 
If you enjoy these blog posts, please consider a contribution to help me continue the work of gathering all this great information and these 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. Please click on this secure link to Paypal to make your contribution.

 
Text and photographs copyright by Gerry Dawes©2021.  Using photographs without crediting Gerry Dawes©2021 on Facebook.  Publication without my written permission is not authorized.

* * * * *
  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 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.
 

1/28/2021

Restaurateur Drew Nieporent at Elkano Restaurant, Getaria in Spain's Basque Country with a Whole Grilled Rodaballo (Turbot)

 
* * * * * 

May be an image of 1 person
 
In 2010, with my friend Drew Nieporent holding a platter with a whole rodaballo (turbot) fresh off the outdoor grills at one of the greatest fish restaurants in the world, Elkano, in Getaria, The Basque Country, Spain, 30 kms. west of San Sebastián.

Since we are all cooped up in our homes and cannot travel and I am undergoing Spain withdrawal, I am going to be posting a series of photographs taken in Spain on many of my wine and food trips there with some of the American, Spanish and international chefs and food personalities, winemakers and well-known people I have been with on trips, outings and excursions I have led and conferences I have attended. Comments are welcome.

All photographs are copyright by Gerry Dawes©2020 and, other than passing them along with credit on Facebook, publication is not authorized without my written permission.
 
____________________________________________________________________  

 Gastronomy Blogs
 About Gerry Dawes

Gerry Dawes is 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.
 

1/12/2021

Chinchón III: Upgraded to Five Geraldo/Dalí Watches! 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



* * * * *

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


A return to La Balconada for the second time in three months, this time it was Kay and I with my good friend John Sconzo (Docsconz: Musings on Food and Life and his son and equally good friend, L. J. (Ele Jota).  

 
 Alcachofas con jamón, La Balconada on La Plaza Mayor of Chinchón. Photograph by Gerry Dawes©2010. Contact gerrydawes@aol.com. 
 
 
Our steak, pieces of which were cooked over a super-hot piece of stone center table, La Balconada, Chinchón. Jan. 25, 2014. Photo by Gerry Dawes©2014 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest. Canon 5D Mark III / Tokina 17-35mm f/4. 

 
After-dinner Anís Chinchón Dulce (and Anís Chinchón seco) with Manuela’s arroz con leche and leche frita, two classic Spanish desserts at La Balconada, Chinchón. Jan. 25, 2014. Photo by Gerry Dawes©2014 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest. Canon 5D Mark III / Tokina 17-35mm f/4. 

 
Manuela Nieto, chef-owner of La Balconada, Chinchón is one of the best cooks in Madrid and Castilla-La Mancha. Jan. 25, 2014.   Photo by Gerry Dawes©2014 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest. Canon 5D Mark III / Tokina 17-35mm f/4. 

Kay Balun, Chef-owner Manuela Nieto, her husband and director de la sala, Isidro Olivar, John Sconzo (Docsconz: Musings on Food and LIfe) and L. J. Sconzo at La Balconada, Chinchón. Jan. 25, 2014. Photo by Gerry Dawes©2014 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest. Canon 5D Mark III / Tokina 17-35mm f/4. 

 
Mural in the stairway to the entrance to La Balconada.
Photograph by Gerry Dawes©2010. Contact gerrydawes@aol.com.

Manuela Nieto is one of the best cooks in Castile. Her alcachofas con jamón, artichokes cooked with Ibèrico ham; her huevos rotos con patatas, broken eggs over fried potatoes with a touch of vinegar; gazpacho; alubias con almejas, beans with clams; grilled asparagus and many other dishes are second to none. This is a serious, elegant, classical restaurant in a very charming, but touristy town. 

 
Chef-owner Manuela Nieto Recio and her husband Isidro Olivar of La Balconada.
Photograph by Gerry Dawes©2010. Contact gerrydawes@aol.com.
 

Alubias con almejas, beans with clams with a glass of Madrid D.O. vino tinto at La Balconada La Plaza Mayor of Chinchón.  Photograph by Gerry Dawes©2010. Contact gerrydawes@aol.com.
  
* * * * *
Constructive comments are welcome and encouraged.
 
If you enjoy these blog posts, please consider a contribution to help me continue the work of gathering all this great information and these 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. Please click on this secure link to Paypal to make your contribution.
 
Text and photographs copyright by Gerry Dawes©2021.  Using photographs without crediting Gerry Dawes©2021 on Facebook.  Publication without my written permission is not authorized.
 
* * * * *
  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 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.
 
 

1/09/2021

James Michener's Iberia: Spanish Travels and Reflections: More Autographs, Stories & Photos Behind the Signatures in My Copy. The late Queen of American Aficionadas Alice Hall and Her Hero Matador Diego Puerta, Pg. 659

 
 * * * * *

 Alice Hall, Bar Txoko, Pamplona, 1972.  Photograph by Photograph by Gerry Dawes©2021.
 
"After my manuscript was completed, I had the privilege of meeting in person that queen of American bullfight aficionados, Alice Hall of Georgia. Her preferences were so violent and so
persuasive that I modified certain opinions I had previously expressed in the taurine material."--Acknowledgements, Iberia: Spanish Travels and Reflections, James A Michener.
 
 
Signatures of American Aficionada Alice Hall (top) and Matador Diego Puerta (side).
 
Alice Hall with a picador in the Plaza de Toros de Pamplona with her Diego Puerta banner that she always carried.  Photograph by Gerry Dawes
©2021.
  
"It is (Kenneth) Vanderford’s opinion that ‘the best-informed and most dedicated foreign bullfight expert of either sex is Alice Hall.’ This tall, slim gray-haired spinster was, until her recent retirement, a teacher of Spanish in a fancy private school in Atlanta, Georgia.  She came originally to Spain for the laudable purpose of improving her pronunciation, little aware of what was in store.  Like any dutiful tourist she went routinely to a bullfight, had the good fortune of seeing César Girón on one of his great days, and promptly surrendered. Year after year she returned during her vacations and applied to bullfighting the tenacious scholarship which had made her a fine teacher. A friend says, ‘Alice feels intuitively what the bull and the man are going to do next…what they must do…and she is in the ring with them when they do it.’‘Each autumn when I go back to Atlanta and face my first class of girls,’ she says quietly, ‘I feel as if I have been sentenced to exile, that I am in a strange land surrounded by strangers. My heart was left behind in Andalucía.’"--Iberia: Spanish Travels and Reflections, James A Michener, p. 659.
  
 
 
Alicia Hall at Asador Olaverri, Sanfermines, early 1970s.
Photograph by Gerry Dawes©2021.
 
"My late ex-wife Diana Valenti Dawes and I  spent many wonderful sanfermines with Alicia Hall from 1970 through 1975 and in 1977 and 1978. Some years we began in Burguete before fiesta, staying at Hostal Burguete, which was Ernest Hemingway's inspiration for Jake Barnes' hotel during his trout fishing expeditions in The Sun Also Rises.  We would drive Alicia up there and spend a quiet relaxing time - - reading, walking out on the road to Roncesvalles to pick tiny wild strawberries to put on our ice cream after dinner at the Hostal Burguete and having long discussions about Spain over dinner with plenty of vino tinto. . .
 
. . .  One time we were on our way with Alicia to Pamplona (via Rioja and Burguete).  To avoid the maniacs driving southbound Hellbent for the North African-bound ferries in far off Algeciras on NR1, which was then just a two-lane highway, which with homeward bound cars passing in the face of oncoming traffic, causing us to often head for the highway shoulder (or a ditch).  After a few of these close calls, I opted for a back country road in the direction of Burgo de Osma in Soria in northern Castile.  After a few kilometers, Alicia spotted a bar at the entrance to a village. "Stop the car!" she said, "Let's go in there and have some fun." We went in, ordered some vino tinto and had some fun.  
 
Alicia used to have a Pobre de Mí party at Maitena overlooking the Plaza del Castillo on the last night of San Fermín. From there, after dinner, we could watch the fiesta began to wind down with the soulful lament of "Pobre de mí" followed by the joyous, self-renewing "Siete de julio, San Fermín!" One memorable year, over a dozen of us gathered around Alicia for dinner and, as I usually did, I sat next to her.  

But, to set the stage, two things must be kept in mind: 1) When I first met Alicia she did not use blue language, so I claim to have taught her how to cuss and 2) Ever since the Pablo Romero tienta during one memorable Feria de Sevilla, I had been encouraging Alicia to marry some aging bull breeder and do him in with sexual excess, so she could inherit the ranch and invite us to secret tientas. These two items were a running joke between us.

After dinner and plenty of tinto and clarete, Alicia asked me to fetch her some tobaco negro (a black tobacco cigarette), so I bummed a Ducado from Mike Kelly and gave it to her. Alicia was trying to act like a seasoned smoker, so she tried to tamp the cigarette on the table and she broke it.  I had to get her another cigarette, show her how to tamp it, and light it for her. 

"Damn, Alicia," I said, "first I had to teach you how to cuss, now I'm having to teach you how to smoke, and I guess if you marry that bull breeder, I'm going to have to teach you how to do that too."

Holding her cigarette elegantly between her fingers, this retired teacher (from a fashionable young women's school in Atlanta), looked at me with a gleam in her eye and, with total aplomb she said, "Fuck you!"

That same night, we watched from the balcony as the mad chef of Maitena went down to the Plaza and began directing traffic with a meat cleaver in one hand and an enormous raw chuletón steak in the other.

Later, we all drifted down to the Bar Txoko and I encouraged a Navarrese girl with a beautiful voice to sing a jota.  
Looking at Alicia, the young woman sang a wonderful moving jota that had the line, “Madre mia, madre de Navarra."   I looked at Tía Alicia and we both had tears running down our cheeks. It was one of the most magical moments I have ever known in 50 years of running the roads and fiestas of mystical Spain.  But when Alicia was around, magic was never that far away."--Homage to Iberia (a work in progress), Gerry Dawes©2021.
 
 
In 1985, Alicia took her namesake, my daughter, Erica Catherine Alicia, to her first and only bullfight. Photograph by Gerry Dawes©2021.
 
_____________________________________________________________________________________________  

 Gastronomy Blogs
 About Gerry Dawes

Gerry Dawes is 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.
 

1/06/2021

High Mountain Honey & a Christmas Card From Ezcaray (La Rioja)

* * * * * 
 
Looking back to April 13, 2011.  
 
This morning then years ago, for the first time in several months, I got out what's left of my jar of Miel de Alta Montaña ("Honey from High on the Mountain"), which I had purchased at El Colmado in the lovely town of Ezcaray in the mountains of southern Rioja. It is very good honey. I got it out to sweeten my coffee and put some on my toast. At breakfast, I began looking at a box of mail my former landlords had been so kind as to forward. Some of the mail was Christmas Cards. The first envelope I picked up from the box, no joke, was from my friends the Paniego restaurant and hotel family at the lovely Hostal Echaurren in Ezcaray.   You can't make this stuff up!
________________________________________________________________________  

 Gastronomy Blogs
 About Gerry Dawes

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.
 

1/02/2021

Travels in Spain With Gerry Dawes Reservations Form May 6-17, 2020 Western & Southern Spain Tour


* * * * *

Travels in Spain With Gerry Dawes

Reservations Form
 
(Note:  To all interested parties this form will be sent by e-mail as an attachment for you to fill out and return.)


Tour:  A Taste of Madrid, Western Spain (Castilla y León and Extremadura), Andalucía & La Mancha Tour With Acclaimed Spain Expert Gerry Dawes & Santa Fe Chef James Campbell Caruso October 6 – October 17, 2021



NAME(S)____________________________________GENDER (M/F)_____________


NAME(S)____________________________________GENDER (M/F)_____________

STREET ADDRESS______________________________________________________



CITY/STATE/ZIP CODE_________________________________________________

HOME PHONE_________________MOBILE PHONE:__________________                                

E-MAIL________________________________________________________________

SINGLE TRAVELERS ONLY (Please indicate):

I plan to share accommodations with ________________________________________
or ___            I’d like to know about possible roommates.  
or ___            I do not want to share accommodations.

PAYMENT:
Here is my deposit of $_______    ($1,000 per person) for ________ place(s). 
Enclosed is my check (make payable to Gerald E. Dawes). For Zelle payment transfers, email me at gerrydawes@aol.com or for PayPal debit or credit card payments, please see below.*

or  Charge my deposit of $1039.30 to my Visa  __  MasterCard __  AMEX__

(3.9% + .30 cents added to each credit card payment for processing.)

card#
________________________________
Expiration Date:______             

Security Code:___________________________


 authorized cardholder signature ________________________________________


date:_____________________

                       
Mail completed form to:


Gerry Dawes
370 Cushman Road
Patterson, NY 12563   Telephone:  1 -914-414-6982

Or e-mail filled-out form attached to:  gerrydawes@aol.com

I/We have read the Terms and Conditions for this program and agree to them.


Signature ________________________________________________________________________

If you have any problems or want a Word.doc copy of this form, let me know at gerrydawes@aol.com and I will e-mail it to you right away. 

 * * * * *

*PayPal payments:

1) Sign into your Paypal account and go to the send money tab;

2) IMPORTANT:  Click on Send Money to a FriendThis will avoid bigger fees for both of us, because it goes to me personally as the tour organizer, not as a business entity.  You can pay by credit card this way or through your bank account;  
 
3) Send the payment to gerrydawes@gmail.com, which I have set up for these trips on as a special Paypal account to hold funds just for the trips. (Note the gerrydawes@gmail.com address just for payments.)


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