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In 2019, again ranked in the Top 50 Gastronomy Blogs and Websites for Gastronomists & Gastronomes in 2019 by Feedspot. "The Best Gastronomy blogs selected from thousands of Food blogs, Culture blogs and Food Science. We’ve carefully selected these websites because they are actively working to educate, inspire, and empower their readers with . . . high-quality information. (Last Updated Oct 23, 2019)

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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

5/31/2021

Madrid, Fernando Blázquez & La Taberna de Los Huevos de Lucio, May 30, 2021. Sunset in a Glass: Adventures of a Food and Wine Road Warrior in Spain. Pre-Post COVID Road Warrior Adventure.

 
* * * * * 
 
Fernando Blázquez, family member and General Manager, La Taberna de los Huevos de Lucio, Cava Baja, Madrid.
 
The adventure continues, in Madrid. Yesterday and last night in Madrid, I got a big dose of what the effects of COVID have meant in Spain. Yesterday with my long-time BGF Gabriela Llamas, who told me that she, her husband and three grown children had all had the virus, as well as her 91-year old mother Clara Maria González de Amezua. With Gabi, I visited Clara Maria at her wonderful home in Puerta de Hierro. 
 
After a jet-lag siesta, I set out by Metro from Callao, just off the Gran Via, to Marisquería Rafa, where I could not call because my Spanish movil number was taken away because I have been out of the country for so long due to the COVID restriction on entry. I arrived to find Rafa closed on Sunday nights now, so I took taxi to Casa Lucio, my other habitual Sunday night in Madrid haunt. I had a terrific taxi driver who called Casa Lucio (at 10:30 p.m.) and Lucio daughter Mari answered. I talked to her and she told me Lucio also was closed now on Sunday nights, but La Taberna de Lucio, just across the street was open and her brother Fernando was there and that I should go. 
Click on title to see entire post.


Electric Scooters in Madrid, May 31, 2021. Sunset in a Glass: Adventures of a Food and Wine Road Warrior in Spain. Pre-Post COVID Road Warrior Adventure.

 
* * * * * 
 
One of the most popular electric scooter rental companies in Spain is called Bird.  Here are two scooters left on the Cava Baja street in old Madrid.  They can be ridden by anyone with an active Bird account.

Electric scooters have become the rage in metropolitan areas of Spain. You can pick a scooter about anywhere, since they are usually abandoned by the last user wherever his or her destination was. You can obtain a scooter by signing up with credit card with a scooter rental company, then activate your scooter via your mobile phone.
 
Click on title to see entire post.


Joining My Long-Time Friend Lucio Blázquez as He Receives a Well-Deserved Cubi Award at Madrid´s Hotel Wellington, May 31, 2021. Sunset in a Glass: Adventures of a Food and Wine Road Warrior in Spain The Pre-Post COVID Road Warrior adventure continues.

 
* * * * * 
 
Lucio Blázquez, gran tabernero and owner of Casa Lucio, Cava Baja, Madrid, with Gerry Dawes at Casa Lucio a decade ago.

May 31, 2021

I arrived in Madrid on May Sunday, May 30, hoping to repeat my long-time custom of going to Casa Lucio on Cava Baja for dinner.   If I am in Madrid on a Sunday night, that is where you will find me by evening´s close, even if I begin at the bar of Marisquería Rafa on the far side of the Parque de Retiro.

I found Casa Lucio closed, but I also knew that for a couple of years now, Lucio, now in his mid-80s stopping coming in for dinner, just lunch, so I would not get to see him at least that night.  He had survived COVID at his tender age and I was anxious to see him.   On Sunday night, Lucio´s daughter Mari sent to me to Los Huevos de Lucio, run by her brother Fernando and I had a marvelous time.  You can read about my experience here:  Madrid, Fernando Blázquez & La Taberna de Los Huevos de Lucio, May 30, 2021. Sunset in a Glass: Adventures of a Food and Wine Road Warrior in Spain. Pre-Post COVID Road Warrior Adventure.


 Click on title to see the rest of this article.

Madrid, Plaza Mayor, La Torre del Oro, Bar Andalu, Bullfight Bar, May 30, 2021. Sunset in a Glass: Adventures of a Food and Wine Road Warrior in Spain. Pre-Post COVID Road Warrior Adventure.

* * * * *
Warning: Graphic images of bullfighters being tossed and gored.  Not for the faint of heart.
 
 
Fermín Cruz, waiter at La Torre del Oro, on break.
 
La Torre del Oro, Bar Andalu, a popular tourist stop in Madrid's Plaza Mayor is a bullfight bar with hundreds of photos of bullfighters, bullfighting and bull's heads mounted on the walls.  But this place, which has been going ever since I remember--and that is a very long time, is a bullfight bar with a difference.  There are scores of pictures of bullfighters being tossed and gored, with one particularly horrid photo, which I have included here, but is not recommended viewing for the squeamish.  I suspect that these in-your-face photos are a sardonic on the aversion to bullfighting of many foreigners.  Those of you who root for the bull may change your minds after seeing some these spectacular tossings and gorings of bullfighters. 


Click on title to see entire post.

Birthplace of Cubist Artist Juan Gris, Hotel Europa, Madrid. Sunset in a Glass: Adventures of a Food and Wine Road Warrior in Spain. The Pre-Post COVID Road Warrior adventure.

 
* * * * * 
 
Plaque honoring the birthplace of cubist artist Juan Gris at the historic Hotel Europa located at the corner of Calle Carmen and Calle de Tetuán, just a block off the la Puerta del Sol, the Times Square of Madrid.  Photo by Gerry Dawes©2021.

"It was a spring morning.

At number 4 Carrer del Carmen, in the same building where our hotel (Hotel Europa) is located today, a woman was in labor pains. Her name, Isabel Pérez Brasategui. He already had a dozen grown children, but a special fate awaited the number thirteen.

Click on title to see entire post.


5/30/2021

Madrid, Clara Maria González de Amezua, May 30, 2021. Sunset in a Glass: Adventures of a Food and Wine Road Warrior in Spain. The Pre-Post COVID Road Warrior adventure.

 
* * * * * 
Madrid May 30, 2021 

Clara Maria González de Amezua.
 
Sunset in a Glass: Adventures of a Food and Wine Road Warrior in Spain. The Pre-Post COVID Road Warrior adventure. 
 
I soon as I got to Spain, I realized that it was not the castles, the cathedrals, the art museums and even the restaurants that I missed so much, it was the people, my dearest friends. After a shower and a short nap, I went to meet Gabriela Llamas, who offered to take me to see her mother, 91-year old Clara Maria González de Amezua, the grand dame of Spanish gastronomy. 
 
Click on title to see entire post.
 
 
 

5/27/2021

About Gerry Dawes Bio, Awards, Quotes from Famous Chefs and Culinarians and Custom Gastronomic and Cultural Tours to Spain

  
 * * * * *

Gerry Dawes, Juanito Bayen (owner of Bar Pinotxo) and the late Juli Soler (the front of the house genius behind elBulli) at Pinotxo Bar, Barcelona, Jan. 14, 2014.  Photo courtesy of Gerry Dawes©2014 / gerrydawes@aol.com / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest.  Panasonic Lumix DMC ZS30 43-86mm f3.3 – f6.4.
 
 
 
 "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.  At a time when most food journalists were writing about France and Italy, Gerry went off in his own direction to become the first to really tell the story of Spain. 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.” - - Chef-restaurateur-humanitarian José Andrés, Nobel Peace Prize Nominee and Oscar Presenter; Chef-partner of Mercado Little Spain at Hudson Yards, New York.
 
Click on title to see full post
 
 

5/26/2021

Custom-designed Gastronomic, Wine, Cultural and Photographic Tours of Spain Organized and Led by Gerry Dawes and Customized Spanish Itinerary Planning



* * * * *
 Specialized Tours of Spain & Tour Advice
 
 Gerry Dawes was awarded Spain's prestigious Premio Nacional de Gastronomía (National Gastronomy Award).
 
 For custom-designed tours of Spain, organized and led by Gerry Dawes and Spanish wine, food, cultural and photographic itineraries, send inquiries to: gerrydawes@aol.com   
 
 
 
 "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.  At a time when most food journalists were writing about France and Italy, Gerry went off in his own direction to become the first to really tell the story of Spain. 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.” - - Chef-restaurateur-humanitarian José Andrés, Nobel Peace Prize Nominee and Oscar Presenter; Chef-partner of Mercado Little Spain at Hudson Yards, New York.
 
Click on title to see full post
 
 

5/16/2021

Patxaran with John Ewing During Sanfermines in Pamplona: A Glorious Afternoon

 
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"Then there was the glorious afternoon of the 14th of July, 1998, I believe, when my Palisades, California actor-novelist buddy John Ewing and I brought two liters of patxaran that we had been given by the sisters who own Restaurante Hartza. I got the fine folks at Hotel Maissonnave in Pamplona to partially fill a garbage bag with ice, put the jug of patxaran in it and put that into a wine box. Somewhere we procured a couple of dozen plastic copitas so we could share the patxaran with the whole tendido. We took the box with us to our seats in Tendido 9 and after the merienda, we began distributing the iced-down, Hartza house-made patxaran to about 20 people around us. We indeed, lit up the whole tendido. After most of our tendido had cleared out Ewing and I lingered in our seats, telling stories and drinking more patxaran." --From Sunset in a Glass: Adventures of a Food and Wine Road Warrior in Spain by Gerry Dawes©2021
 
* * * * *
 
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.
 
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

Culinary Insider's Adventures in Spain with Gerry Dawes. Join a true expert who has led such figures as Chefs Mark Miller, Michael Lomonaco, Thomas Keller, Mark Kiffin, Michael Chiarello, Baseball Great Keith Hernandez and many more.

 
* * * * * 
 
Gerry Dawes with Chef Tetsuya Wakuka, Charlie Trotter's wife Rochelle, Lidia Iaccarino of Ristorante Don Alfonso (Italy), Janet Van Aken, Charlie Trotter and Norman Van Aken at Marisquería Rafa, Madrid.  Photo by Alfonso Iaccarino.
 
I have planned and led tours for such culinary stars as Chefs Thomas Keller, Mark Miller, Mark Kiffin, Michael Lomonaco, Michael Whiteman (Joseph Baum Michael Whiteman Restaurant Consultants), Rozanne Gold, Michael Chiarello and such personalities as baseball great Keith Hernandez and I have led on shorter excursions and given detailed travel advice to many other well-known chefs and personalities such as Danny Meyer, Drew Nieporent, Norman Van Aken, Charlie Trotter, Karen Page and Andrew Dornenberg, Christopher Gross, Rick Moonen, James Campbell Caruso and many others. 
 
Click on title to see entire post.

 

Javier Sánchez, Director Adjunto of Sobrinos de Botín, at Restauraunte Botin, Madrid

* * * * * 
 
My friend Javier Sánchez, Director Adjunto of Sobrinos de Botín, at Restauraunte Botin, Madrid. #RestauranteBotin
 
* * * * *
 
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.
 
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

Lechazo (roast suckling lamb) at Mesón El Pastor, Aranda de Duero, with Juanjo Balbás, Bodegas Balbás, Ribera del Duero

 
* * * * * 
 
Rodolfo Sancha (center), owner of Mesón El Pastor, Plaza de la Virgencilla, 11, 09400 Aranda de Duero, Burgos, with Gerry Dawes and Juanjo Balbás, owner of Bodegas Balbás, La Horra (Burgos), Ribera del Duero, with our serving of a quarter of lechazo (roast suckling lamb).
  
* * * * *
 
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.
 
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

5/06/2021

Picasso's Gernika and the Reina Sofia Museum of Contemporary Art in Madrid


* * * * *
 
 
 Detail of Guernica (Gernika), Pablo Picasso. Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Reina Sofía, Madrid.  All photos by Gerry Dawes©2012 / gerrydawes@aol.com.

 
In October 2013, I led a group of 26 Commonwealth Club of California Taste of Spain Tour 2013 participants, plus baseball great Keith Hernandez and Bon and Lisbeth Suyehira Hartline, Bon a new-found friend from my hometown of Anna, Illinois, on an eleven-day trip from Madrid to La Mancha, Córdoba, Sevilla, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Ronda, Granada, Almagro (La Mancha again), Toledo and for a final night and a farewell dinner in Chinchón, a magical 16th-century village 45 southeast of Madrid.

Here is the first entry on our visit to the Reina Sofia Museum of Contemporary Art in Madrid.  The star attraction here is Gernika, Pablo Picasso's immortal Spanish Civil War painting, but there is much much more.  When I was last there, there were no restrictions on non-flash photographs of Gernika (Dalí, Gris, Miró and Picasso can be photographed!). The Spanish bureaucracy is returning to their ways of yesteryear and photographing Gernika is forbidden.   My photos are from an earlier visit. 
 
 
Franco’s allowing Hitler's Nazi German Luftwaffe's Condor Legion and the Fascist Italian Aviazione Legionaria to bomb Gernika's civilian population had inflamed international opinion against his regime and inspired Pablo Picasso to create his now famous monumental anti-war painting, Guernica (Gernika), Reina Sofia Museum, Photo by Gerry Dawes. 
 
Highly Recommend Book on Picasso's Guernica (Gernika), Guernica:  The Biography of a Twentieth-Century Icon by Gijs van Hensbergen.
 
* * * * *
 
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.
 

5/05/2021

San Sebastián Gastronomika, A Basque Trilogy: Kaia-Kaipe, Elkano and Etxebarri


* * * * *
 
Persistence of Memory* (Salvador Dalí) Five-Watch Rating

* * * * *
A Basque Trilogy
by Gerry Dawes
 
(First published in Food Arts, March 2010)
I was on another multi-tasking mission to Spain last November, and high on my list was attending the San Sebastián Gastronomika 2010 chefs conference, where several New York City food folk—Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud, David Bouley, Drew Nieporent, Anthony Bourdain, Colman Andrews, David Chang, and Wylie Dufresne—would be appearing. Especially appealing was the prospect of seeing what the conference organizer, Grup GSR, run by the Catalan dynamo Roser Torras, had up its sleeves for the annual event.

   
Roser Torras and Drew Nieporent at Elkano Restaurant, San Sebastián Gastronomika 2010. Photograph by Gerry Dawes©2010. Contact gerrydawes@aol.com.

Nieporent and I planned to meet in Bilbao Saturday evening, November 20, the night before we were due at San Sebastián Gastronomika. I was to get us a dinner reservation at the legendary Asador (grill-house) Etxebarri, southeast of Bilbao. I called Victor Arguinzoniz, the now-renowned owner/grillmeister of Etxebarri, called by some the best restaurant in northern Spain, and heard, “Sorry, but I don’t have a single seat”—not even for Nieporent, the famoso restaurateur. My fallback was Elkano, which has been called the best fish restaurant in the world, located in the magical fishing village of Getaria, near San Sebastián. “Elkano is closed for vacation,” a voice message said. Fallback position numero dos was Kaia-Kaipe, also in Getaria and also famous for whole wild grilled turbot.

   
Whole rodaballo (turbot) grilling at Kaia-Kaipe, Getaria.
Photograph by Gerry Dawes©2010. Contact gerrydawes@aol.com.

At Kaia-Kaipe, we had house-cured anchoas (anchovies) and excellent txangurro (a classic Basque dish of centollo, or spider crabmeat, sautéed with leeks and garlic, spiked with brandy, put back in the shell and browned under a broiler). Our main course was whole wild rodaballo (turbot) grilled over wood coals and filleted at the table, a glorious dish for which Getaria is justly famous. We accompanied the anchoas and txangurro with Getariako Txakolina, Getaria’s slightly pétillant “green wine,” and with the rodaballo we had a still impeccable Monte Real Reserva 1970 at a laughably reasonable price. After dinner, Nieporent’s driver appeared and whisked him off to San Sebastián. Because my conference lodgings were unavailable until the next day, I had booked a room in Getaria at the charming Pension Getariano, just across the street from Elkano restaurant.

Sunday evening, after a press conference featuring a panel of Basque star chefs—Juan Mari Arzak, Pedro Subijana, Martín Berasategui, Andoni Aduriz, and Hilario Arbelaitz—16 emerging Basque country talents prepared some wonderful degustaciòn plates for a reception. I saw Boulud and Brazilian journalist Alexandra Forbes watching as chef Ramón Piñeiro from the Frank Gehry–designed Marqués de Riscal hotel restaurant in La Rioja Alavesa put the finishing touches on his soufflé of Idiazabal cheese with organic olive oil, herbs, and citrus. Huevo frito con patatas, a still liquid egg yolk wrapped in thin strips of potato, then flash-fried, from chef Beñat Ormaetxea of Jauregibarria was perhaps the evening’s top mouthful.

 
 Daniel Boulud and Alexandra Forbes watch Ramón Piñiero of Marques de Riscal 
restaurant put the finishing touches on his Souffle of Idiazabal cheese. 
Photograph by Gerry Dawes©2010. Contact gerrydawes@aol.com.

San Sebastián Gastronomika took place during Thanksgiving week, with the contingent from New York appearing for their big day on Tuesday, November 23. Bouley, Boulud, Bourdain, Chang, Dufresne, and Nieporent all played to large appreciative audiences. Andrews was there for the presentation of his book, Ferran: The Inside Story of El Bulli and the Man Who Reinvented Food. Also drawing large followings were the contingent of Spanish superstar chefs: Ferran Adrià, Joan Roca, Carme Ruscalleda, and Christian Escribà from Catalonia; San Sebastián home-grown estrellas such as Arzak, Subijana, Berasategui, Aduriz, and Arbelaitz (12 Michelin stars in total); Italian chef Massimo Bottura (Osteria Francescana, Modena); and Australian Neil Perry (Rockpool Bar & Grill, Melbourne). A conference highlight was the homenaje (homage) by all his fellow Basque chefs to Spanish television’s Karlos Arguiñano, who is probably more famous here than Adrià.

 Anthony Bourdain presenting at San Sebastián Gastronomika 2010. 
Photograph by Gerry Dawes©2010. Contact gerrydawes@aol.com.

Interwoven between the daily presentations was the star-studded scene at the Joselito Ibérico stand, where Spain’s ham king, José Gómez, and his crew of ham slicers served some of the world’s best air-cured hams, chorizo, lomo (loin), and salchichón (salami) trucked over from his aging plant in Guijuelo (Salamanca). Gómez likes to serve top Spanish red wines and French Champagne with his Ibérico pig products. It was not unusual to see the likes of Keller, Boulud, Adriá, and Arzak sitting together, toasting with flutes of bubbly while munching on Joselito’s stellar jamón Ibérico de bellota—air-cured hams from the acorn-fattened pata negra (black foot) breed of Iberian hogs.

  
 
 José Gómez, Joselito the Jamón king at San Sebastián Gastronomika. 
Photograph by Gerry Dawes©2010. Contact gerrydawes@aol.com.


To honor the New York presenters, Christian Escribà, the legendary Barcelona pastelero-chocolatero (pastry and chocolates) maestro, rolled on stage his large chocolate and marzipan creation of the New York City skyline with marzipan figures of the New Yorkers with their initials on their chef’s jackets. Andrews’ figure held a tiny copy of his book Ferran. “I really felt special, humbled, and honored to have Escribà’s amazing, extraordinarily meticulous New York piece presented to us,” Keller said. 

 
 Christian Escribà at San Sebastián Gastronomika 2010. 
Photograph by Gerry Dawes©2010. Contact gerrydawes@aol.com.

 
New York contingent posing with Christian Escribà's sensational pastry-and-chocolate creation of New York, New York at San Sebastián Gastronomika 2010. Boulud, Nieporent, Dufresne, Andrews, Chang, Keller & Bourdain. Photograph by Gerry Dawes©2010. Contact gerrydawes@aol.com.


Boulud cooked his famous foie gras/short rib/beef burgers on stage and passed out at least 200 portions to an appreciative audience in the VIP section of the 1,800 seat Kursaal Auditorium. Keller’s cooking demonstration was “certainly a departure. Everybody at San Sebastián Gastronomika 2010 was doing demonstrations based on formulas and  techniques,” he said. “Rather than trying to intellectualize or formulate something, my Per Se sous chef David Breeden and I went to La Bretxa market in the old quarter, and from ingredients available that morning, we just spontaneously prepared some beautiful dishes.” Beautiful indeed: citrus-cured mackerel with cipollini and compressed sour apples; uni with avocado, orange suprêmes, and arugula; Idiazabal with artichokes cooked sous-vide with compressed Paris mushrooms and watercress.

 
Three-star Michelin Chefs Juan Mari Arzak & Thomas Keller at San Sebastián Gastronomika 2010. 
I first took Thomas Keller to Arzak in 1990, before he opened The French Laundry. 
Photograph by Gerry Dawes©2010. Contact gerrydawes@aol.com.

As the conference broke for lunch, Arzak hailed me: “Gerry Adams! [that’s what he calls me], you have a rental car, no? I got a reservation at Etxebarri!” (See Departures profile of Etxebarri.) I jumped at the chance to have lunch there. It was after 3:30 when I pulled into Etxebarri’s parking lot in the Basque hamlet of Axpe. I hoped to photograph Arguinzoniz working at his specially designed grills, but I was informed by the woman running Etxebarri’s dining room that he didn’t want the distraction of photographers during service. Arguinzoniz’s style of grilling is a precise discipline that requires his full attention, especially when he performs such miracles as smoking caviar in a self-designed grill pan with microscopically fine mesh laser-bored openings that allow smoke to come through while holding in moisture.

 
Victor Arguinzoniz at the grills he designed himself at Etxebarri. 
Photograph by Gerry Dawes©2010. Contact gerrydawes@aol.com.

I opted for the shorter tasting menu: smoked house-made mozzarella perched on a single slice of eggplant; a perfect house-cured and seasoned anchoa on a thin strip of grilled bread soaked with olive oil; exquisite pieces of nécora crab grilled in the shell; a pair each of lightly grilled, rosy pink gambas de Palamós (highly prized shrimp from the Costa Brava); a pair of lightly smoky grilled oysters with oyster liquor espuma (foam), perched on a slice of pickled eggplant; and grilled becada (woodcock) with its detached head and beak presiding over an assortment of grilled fall vegetables, a chestnut, and carrot puree. My only caveat was the repetition of smoke in every dish.

 
Necora crab a la parilla at Etxebarrr.
Photograph by Gerry Dawes©2010. Contact gerrydawes@aol.com.

The meal at Etxebarri was yet another Spanish Basque triumph of exceptional product sourcing married to simple, but exceptionally refined, techniques, which, in the best places, trumps cocina de vanguardia sleights-of-hand nearly every time. In the hands of experienced maestros at Extebarri, Elkano, and Kaia, such dishes, because of their exquisite simplicity and pure flavors, remain etched in memory long after many of the cocina de vanguardia pyrotechnics evaporate like an espuma in the dessert. Perhaps that’s why so many Spanish vanguardia chefs have opened modernized traditional tapas bars in the past few years.

Fortunately, dinners begin late in Spain, which allowed a couple of hours after Etxebarri before dinner at Elkano (click to see Departures profile on Elkano, the third gastronomic thoroughbred in my trifecta. I arrived to find Elkano’s father-and-son owners, Pedro and Aitor Arregui, and their longtime grill chef, Luis Mari Manterola, sweating “la gota gorda” (the big drop) at the prospects of serving 130 people, including the culinary heavyweights attending the conference. 

  
 Luís Mari Manterola grilling turbot at Elkano. San Sebastián Gastronomika 2010. 
Photograph by Gerry Dawes©2010. Contact gerrydawes@aol.com.

From previous meals at Elkano, I had no doubts that they would impress even this crowd. And they did, serving us superb almejas (clams); a tartare of chipirón (small squid) with sea urchin and trails of chipirón ink sauce (a Getaria speciality); two preparations of kokotxas (hake glands), one grilled, the other battered and deep-fried, both ethereal; small samplings of fat sea-tasting percebes (goose barnacles); wood charcoal grilled langosta (lobster); and whole wild rodaballo (turbot) filleted at the table, all accompanied by light, refreshing small producer Txakolis from Getaria.  We finished by dipping into whole, wonderfully oozing Torta del Casar sheep’s milk cheeses from Extremadura and texturas de manzana reineta a la parrilla, a sensational grilled apple dessert.

   
Elkano owner Pedro Arregui, El Maestro, with two of the whole grilled rodaballo (turbot). San Sebastián Gastronomika 2010. Photograph by Gerry Dawes©2010. Contact gerrydawes@aol.com.

I sat with Nieporent, who agreed that Elkano was indeed the best fish restaurant in the world. Boulud took the microphone at the end of the meal and reaffirmed that appraisal. Chang was impressed: “The last thing I wanted to do was eat again, but I am so glad I went. It was one of the best meals I’ve ever had.” 

 
Wylie Dufresne and David Chang at the Elkano dinner. San Sebastián Gastronomika 2010. 
Photograph by Gerry Dawes©2010. Contact gerrydawes@aol.com. 
 
 (Portions of this article was first published in Food Arts, March 2010)

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Constructive comments are welcome and encouraged.
 
 
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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.
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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.
 
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
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