Spanish Food Tour with Gerry Dawes & Yours Truly

Gerry Dawes & Doc Sconzo

Taste of Spain Tour

Nov. 27-Dec. 5, 2010  

Tour Organized and Led by

Writer-Photographer & Spain Expert 

Gerry Dawes

Premio Nacional de Gastronómía 2003

Food Arts Silver Spoon Award (Dec. 2009) 

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.   

Dawes writes and photographs:  

Gerry Dawes's Spain: An Insider's Guide to Spanish Food, Wine, Culture and Travel 
The Traveling Gastronomer: A Celebration of Food, Wine, Life, Photography & Quixotic Musings

Tour accompanied by Dr. John Sconzo,

food aficionado & photographer extraordinarío.

Author & photographer of  

Doc Sconz – The Blog: Musing on Food and Life 


Day 00 USA-Madrid-Bilbao Evening Flight 

    Evening departure from the U.S. 

Day 01 Saturday, Nov 27 Arrive Madrid, transfer to flight to Bilbao 

      Gerry Dawes will meet guests at the Bilbao airport.  We will take a short trip into Bilbao and see the Guggenheim Museum from the outside and have some tapas in the old quarter.


       Leaving Bilbao, we will make another short trip to have lunch at Exteberri, where chef-owner Victor Arguinzoniz has taken the  art of  grilling to a new level.  Some experts consider Etxeberri to be among the top restaurants in Spain. 

      After lunch, we will drive an hour to San Sebastián, where we will check into the magnificent turn-of-the-19th century Hotel Maria Cristina by 5 p.m. 

      Siesta time until dinner at 9:30 p.m. at either Restaurante Arzak, Juan Mari & daughter Elena Arzak’s three-star temple of gastronomy, or Martín Berasategui’s superb Restaurante Martín Berasategui in nearby Lasarte.  All three chefs are long-time personal friends of our tour organizer.   

Day 02  Sunday, Nov 28 San Sebastián 

   Hotel Maria Cristina, San Sebastián 

   Sunday morning will be free to explore the old quarter and walk the magnificent la Concha beach and esplanade. 

   Lunch will be a short ride outside San Sebastián at Mugaritz, where Chef Andoni Aduriz is considered one of the most innovative young chefs in the Spanish cocina de vanguardia movement. 

   We will return to San Sebastián after lunch and the afternoon will be free until evening when we will go on a tapas-hopping tour of San Sebastián’s best pintxos bars and restaurants, with optional gin-tonics, etc. at one of the city’s greatest bars.  

Day 03  Monday, Nov 29 San Sebastián  

   Hotel Maria Cristina, San Sebastian 

   In the morning, we will visit the colorful La Bretxa and Basque caserío’s markets & San Martín market, then have some tapas in the bars surrounding the markets, some of which may have as many as 50 pintxos lined up along the bar. 

   For lunch, we will take a drive west along the Cantabrian Sea coast of the Bay of Biscay to the wonderful Basque fishing village of Getaria, hometown of Elkano, the first man to circumnavigate the globe; Balenciaga, the famous fashion designer; and Placido Domingo’s mother.  First we will have several exceptional seafood appetizers at Elkano, then walk down the hill to Kaia, which has spectacular views of the fishing port from its perch on the hill and have whole turbot grilled outdoors over a wood fire, accompanied by wines from one of the most enticing wine cellars in nothern Spain.  Gerry Dawes has had multiple experiences in both restaurants and we will get special insights into Basque seafood cooking.


   After some post-prandial patxaran (Basque liquor), we will explore a little more of the coast, then return to San Sebastián where guests will be have free time until dinner. 

   Dinner will be at Rekondo, a game specialist and one of the few restuarants open on  Mondays.  Txomín Rekondo is a friend of Gerry’s and will show us his phenomenal wine cellar, which is one of the best in Europe.


Day 04  Tues, Nov 30  San Sebastian – Navarra – Barcelona 

   Hotel Duquesa de Cardona, Barcelona 

    In the morning, we will drive south about an hour and a half to visit the wonderful storybook castle-village of Olite in Navarra.  

   We will have lunch with a Navarra winemaker near Tudela at a restaurant in southern Navarra specializing in the famous vegetables of the Ribera de Navarra region. 

   After lunch, we will head for Barcelona, arriving in the early evening, and check into our hotel, La Duquesa de Cardona, which is conveniently located between the Port Vell (the yacht basin) and the beach and the lively Las Ramblas area, where we will visit often during our time in Barcelona.  

   We will check into our hotel and have time to relax before we head for dinner at a restaurant facing the Port Vell, El Suquet de L'Almirall, where chef Quím Marquéz turns out some exceptional interpretations of modern dishes based on traditional Catalan recipes.  Marquéz worked at El Bulli and is a very good friend of José Andrés. 

Day 05 Weds, Dec 01 Barcelona 

   Hotel Duquesa de Cardona, Barcelona 

   We will have breakfast at the fabulous Mercat de San Josep, La Boquería, where we will sample the cooking of two of the legendary market bars, Pinotxo and Quím de la Boquería, and explore the market, where Gerry will introduce us to several of the key players that make this market so special.  

   Lunch will be at Passadis d'en Pep, near our hotel, where ‘Pep’ and his crew will ‘sing’ the menu–no prices–and give us about what they damn well want us to eat.  This place is a legend.  Gerry had a never-ending lunch there 15 years ago with Mark Miller and Jimmy Schmidt.  The eleventh course was a whole wild turbot.  We will try to keep them under control. 

   For dinner, we will sample Joan Roca’s vanguard cuisine at MOO in the OMM hotel, one of the sexiest restaurant-watering hole combinations in Barcelona, then we will offer the option of sticking around for drinks in the muy movida bar.   

 Day 06  Thurs, Dec 02 Barcelona – Manresa – Barcelona 

   Hotel Duquesa de Cardona, Barcelona 

We will try to get our group into Ferran Adrià’s elBulli Taller workshop, but we can’t promise that yet.  However, Ferran and his brother Albert are opening an upscale tapas restaurant in Barcelona in November and the bar should be open, so we will visit that at some point. 

   By 11 a.m., we will head from Manresa to visit the Alicia Foundation, which Ferran helped to found.  This institution that explores the connection between Alimentacion (food) y Sciencia (science) is more about exploring the science and healthful aspects of food.  It is not a laboratory for creating the innovative new dishes that Ferran and the other vanguardia chefs are famous for, but it is a fascinating place that is not to be missed. 

   Right next to the Alicia Foundation is the Angle Restaurant, where one of the best young chefs in Catalunya (and all of Spain) cooks.  Gerry had an exceptional lunch there in March.   

   After lunch, we will return to Barcelona, where the rest of the afternoon will be free to visit this amazing city. 


  In the evening, we go on a tapas tour of Barcelona.  Later, we will have the option of having drinks at El Velodromo, a Barcelona classic that was renovated and revived last year, after many years of being closed, by Carlos Abellan, one of Ferran Adrià’s best known disciples. 

Day 07  Fri, Dec 03 Barcelona 

     Hotel Duquesa de Cardona, Barcelona 

    The morning will be free to tour Barcelona.  

    We will meet for lunch at El Raco d'en Freixa, where chef owner Ramon Freixa and his mother, who runs the front of the house, have made this restaurant the top-rated place in the city. 

    In the evening, in la Barceloneta, at Can Majo, we will have our farewell dinner on such wonderful dishes as first-rate traditionally prepared mariscos (shellfish), paella and arros negre (black rice) cooked with squid and colored with squid ink, along with some local Catalan wines. 

Day 08, Sat, Dec 04 Barcelona – USA 

Late morning flight to the U. S.  Option to spend more days in Barcelona. Airfare to Spain not included in price.


$10,000.00 Total Tour Price per paying guest ( if 2 or3 guests)   
Price drops to $7,000.00 pp if 4 or 5 guests
$6,000.00  pp if 6  guests
$5,250.00 if 7 to 9 guests
$5,000.00 if 10 guests
If interested, please email me via the link on the top left of the page.


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