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

"My good friend Gerry Dawes, the unbridled Spanish food and wine enthusiast cum expert whose writing, photography, and countless crisscrossings of the peninsula have done the most to introduce Americans—and especially American food professionals—to my country's culinary life. . .” - - Chef-restaurateur-humanitarian José Andrés, Nobel Peace Prize Nominee and Oscar Presenter 2019; Chef-partner of Mercado Little Spain at Hudson Yards, New York 2019

Gerry Dawes's: Customized Culinary, Wine, & Cultural Adventures in Spain

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"Trust me everyone, I have traveled with this man, if Gerry Dawes tells you to eat somewhere it's like Bourdain, believe it!!" - - Mark Kiffin, Chef-owner, The Compound, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Gerry Dawes, Tetsuya Wakuda, Rochelle Smith, Lidia Iaccarino, Janet Van Aken, the late Charlie Trotter, Norman Van Aken at Marisquería Rafa in Madrid on an outing I organized.

I have planned and/or led tours, outings, dinners and tapas crawls in Spain for such culinary stars as Chefs Thomas Keller, Mark Miller, Mark Kiffin, Norman Van Aken, Charlie Trotter, Michael Ginor, Rick Bayless, Michael Lomonaco, Tetsuya Wakuda, Rick Moonen, Christopher Gross, David Burke, Terrance Brennan, Michael Chiarello, Ryan McIlwraith;  restaurateurs such as Danny Meyer, Drew Nieporent and Cindy Pawlcyn; culinary figures including Michael and Ariane Batterberry, Rozanne Gold, Rick Bayless, the late Peter Kump, Michael Whiteman, Tim Zagat, Jeffrey Steingarten, Colman Andrews, Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page, John Sconzo, Ruth Reichl, Jim Poris and John Mariani; and such personalities as baseball great Keith Hernandez, Senator James Abourezk (D-SD)  and have given detailed travel advice to many other well-known chefs and personalities.

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"I have said this before and I’ll say it again, nobody knows Spain like Gerry Dawes. I sincerely doubt that there is another American, and very few, if any, Spaniards can approach, let alone surpass his knowledge of the people, food, wine and culture of Spain. He has been frequenting the depths, breadths and heights of the country as a second home for nearly fifty years, leaving no stone, and especially no wine, unturned during that time. I have come to know him as a good friend over the ten years or so and have now had the pleasure to travel around Spain with him on a number of occasions . . ." -- John Sconzo, Docsconz: Musings on Food & Life
For Current Specialized Tour Offerings 
& Tour Planning in Spain


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“The American writer and town crier for all good Spanish things Gerry Dawes . . .the American connoisseur of all things Spanish . . .” Michael Paterniti, The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge and The World’s Greatest Piece of Cheese

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"Gerry Dawes, I can't thank you enough for opening up Spain to me." -- Michael Chiarello on Twitter. 

"Chiarello embarked on a crash course by traveling to Spain for 10 days in 2011 with Food Arts contributing authority Gerry Dawes, a noted expert on Spanish food and wine.  Coqueta's (Chiarello's new restaurant at Pier Five, San Francisco) chef de cuisine, Ryan McIlwraith, later joined Dawes for his own two week excursion, as well. Sampling both old and new, they visited wineries and marketplaces, as well as some of Spain's most revered dining establishments, including the Michelin three-star Arzak, Etxebarri, the temple to live fire-grilling; Tickets, the playful Barcelona tapas bar run byFerran Adrià and his brother, Albert; and ABaC, where Catalan cooking goes avant-garde." - - Carolyn Jung, Food Arts, May 2013.

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"In his nearly thirty years 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. . . is adventures far exceeded mine in both width and depth..." -- James A. Michener, author of Iberia: Spanish Travels and Reflections
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Gerry Dawes has been traveling the food and wine roads of Spain for more than 40 years and is personally acquainted with hundreds of restaurateurs, chefs, winemakers and food-and-wine personalities.  

Tourist boat on the Sil River in the Amandi subzone of la Ribeira Sacra (Galicia).

On these tours,  Gerry will lead you to great food, in wonderful restaurants--traditional  ones with unforgettable regional dishes as well as those specializing in Ferran Adrià-inspired cocina de vanguardia, avant-garde cooking. 

Gerry Dawes (l) cutting oven-roasted lamb at Viña Pedrosa winery, Pedrosa de Duero.

A beautiful modern cuisine shellfish dish from Ca Sento in Valencia.

On our journey, we will meet a slew of  Gerry's often-close Spanish friends, including great chefs, restaurateurs and food personalities, exceptional winemakers and often ordinary Spaniards of extraordinary interest.

Super-star chef Ferran Adrià of elBulli and Gerry Dawes.

A couple of days into one of these trips, you will probably find yourself transported into another level of consciousness, one far from the madding crowd.  We will immerse ourselves in Spanish culture, get unique glimpses of Spanish history, see breathtaking countryside, visit exciting cites and take lots of great photographs.   

Windmills and castle at Consuegra, La Mancha.

Above all, Gerry Dawes's trips are downright fun.  Participants on these trips often experience a camaraderie that often develops into long-term friendships with fellow travelers and the experiences ripen in retelling into vintage nostalgia (who will volunteer to keep the memorable quips list?).

Commonwealth Club Taste of Spain Tour
at Viña Pedrosa winery, Pedrosa de Duero, Ribera del Duero.

Quotes from Commonwealth Club of California participants on the Taste of Spain Tour led by Gerry Dawes:

"Carol and I are still a bit woozy in the head from the time difference but we have been talking nonstop about our great trip and how it exceeded our expectations. Thanks for the adventure and getting us access to the best wineries and restaurants in from Madrid to Barcelona. Again thanks for everything." Thomas H. Burkhart, CEO, The Savant Group, San Francisco, CA 

"Thanks so much for guiding us through Spain and showing us your unique insider's view-it was a taste of Spain in more many ways than food and wine although that part was fantastic. We could never have had the experience of the country without your efforts and expertise.We believe(as do Tom and Carol Burkhart) that your knowledge as well as the friendships that you have developed is a unmatched asset." All the best,Celia and Steve Rosen, New York

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