The White Spot Cookbook

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9780991858873: The White Spot Cookbook

Produced in celebration of White Spot’s 85th anniversary, The White Spot Cookbook is an engaging, visually rich collection of recipes, memories, and memorabilia, designed to showcase the legacy of one of British Columbia’s most enduring brands. This book conveys the spirit of the legendary restaurant and chronicles White Spot’s evolution from a single drive-in location in 1928 to a modern family restaurant with more than 65 locations in two provinces. Beautifully designed, The White Spot Cookbook takes readers on a journey through the restaurant’s history, showcasing White Spot’s enduring commitment to serving the finest, freshest food to people of all ages.

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About the Author:

White Spot is a Canadian restaurant chain based in Vancouver. These recipes are from the chefs of the White Spot through its long history. The story of the White Spot is told by Kerry Gold.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

The First 20 Years: A Boy, His Truck and a Dream

Our founder, Nat Bailey, was a young man with a big idea and a lot of drive. Like all great entrepreneurs, he saw beyond the status quo.
When Nat was getting started, in the 1920s, South Vancouver and Point Grey were separate districts that had just joined Vancouver, making it the third-largest city in Canada. Granville Street was a long dirt road that ran across the city to Marpole, where there were more trees than buildings. Vancouver was so new there were still farms and dairies in the city proper. The arrival of the automobile was hugely exciting, even though the only one you could drive was a Ford Model T.
With the emergence of the car, it became a favorite pastime to go for a long drive out to the country. People liked to dress up for their automobile rides. The men wore bowlers, and the ladies dressed in long skirts and flapper hats pulled down over their ears. Ever the savvy entrepreneur, Nat saw an opportunity in these carloads of people and capitalized on it by selling peanuts, hot dogs and ice cream out of his Ford Model T truck, which was plastered in menu signage and set up at Lookout Point on Southwest Marine Drive near the University of British Columbia. That was the place to stop and take in the view before you’d head on your way, bouncing down a dirt road in your prized automobile. Nat was a driven kid who was all about work, so it wasn’t long before he had his own crew of kids serving hot dogs and soda pops. Nat’s truck was probably Canada’s first food cart.
With his earnings, Nat purchased some property on the fringes of the city, around 67th Avenue and Granville, and opened a small BBQ chicken shack. He named it White Spot, and on the roof he painted a big white spot. He’d heard the name once before and liked it, and besides, it brought to mind the sort of sparkling clean place you’d want to eat at. He bought more property nearby, and on June 16, 1928, he launched what would become the first official White Spot restaurant.
He built a big, white log cabin restaurant with green trim, the now-legendary but long-gone building that many Vancouverites remember as children. That drive-in became the place to be, and as a result cars were soon lined up along Granville Street. The biggest rush came around 9 p.m., when the movie crowd got out and headed to the Spot.
White Spot wouldn’t have looked anything like the modern incarnation. Much of the 1920s was the era of Prohibition, that contradictory time when alcohol was verboten and yet the underground speakeasy was thriving. White Spot was born at the tail end of this crazy period, and at its inception, the menu would have been entirely of the era. People of the ’20s replaced any alcohol craving with sugar, which meant intensely sweet desserts, such as molded Jell-O, pineapple upside down cakes, rum cakes flavored with extract and sweetened with hard sauce, devil’s food cake, angel food cake, and maraschino cherries adorning everything. Soft drinks, punch, lemonade, Coca-Cola, ginger ale, Kool-Aid, and sweet iced tea were popular drinks. Tea houses were all the rage, with delicate tea sandwiches and their simple fillings, like ham, chicken salad, egg salad and cream cheese. Popular store-bought brands had entered the mainstream, and kitchen cooks had the help of Campbell’s soups, Aunt Jemima pancake flour, Heinz ketchup, Sanka coffee, Underwood Deviled Ham, Ovaltine and Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. For a good many, it was a prosperous time, and although it was certainly not a period of culinary adventure, the people of the 1920s and the early 1930s loved to socialize and indulge in the latest fad.
By 1938, when Nat expanded business with the sit-down Granville Dining Room, his menu included the simple foods of the era, a choice of fruit cocktail or tomato juice, homemade hot biscuits with greengage jam or honey, Delnor fresh frosted peas, and roasted stuffed young tom turkey with cranberry jelly. The dining room became another hit the place to go for a celebratory meal or a Sunday night dinner. It might have been the Depression, or the Dirty ’30s,” but Vancouverites were in the mood to be treated special. Nat’s White Spot filled a much-needed void, and our reputation for high-quality food and service started to spread.
That’s not to say it was smooth sailing for Nat and his wife, Eva, who worked at White Spot too. They saw White Spot through the tough times of both the Depression and the Second World War, and they worked a lot of overtime to keep the restaurants going through bleak economic times, supply shortages due to rationing, and under-staffing when many young men went off to war. To keep the operation running, Nat hired lots of women, and many of them worked at the commissary located in a building behind the Granville and 67th Avenue location. By 1948, the commissary had grown to 4,000 square feet and was a hub of cooking, baking and prepping using local ingredients delivered by truck from nearby farms throughout the day.
In those days, the pie lineup was the star of the operation: the boysenberry, blueberry, apple, raspberry and strawberry pies were all top sellers. Nat also refused to use any frozen or processed ingredients, and in order to follow his own policy, he bought a parcel of land in Surrey, B.C., and launched Newton Farms to maintain his high standard of chicken production.
Then there were the potatoes. We’ve been buying potatoes locally since Mr. Bailey shook hands with a potato farmer named Felix Guichon. Because the fries are a beloved White Spot tradition, the potatoes, and where they come from, matter a lot. By 1935, the Guichon family had started a potato co-op, and Nat became a regular customer. Our method of frying those potatoes hasn’t changed much since Nat’s day. Many modern kitchens use frozen fries because, to be honest, fresh-cut fries are a bit of a hassle. Potatoes have to be scrubbed and cut, of course. And then we fry them. And fry them again, because we want them extra crispy. You can imagine the inconvenience of all that cutting and double frying. But as we said, there’s a responsibility that comes with inheriting a legacy.
***

Excerpt: White Spot’s Future: Beyond B.C.’s Borders

Nat had an eye to the future, and as an innovative entrepreneur he was devoted to growing the concept that he believed in. We are carrying the torch for Nat as we continue to expand his B.C. tradition for great food, great service and raving fans into markets nowhere close to Nat’s old stomping grounds.
If Nat were here today, he’d be incredibly proud to see what we have planned for a business that began so humbly, out of a bbq chicken shack in the undeveloped outback of old Vancouver. In the last three decades, we’ve gone from 27 locations to 125 White Spots and Triple O’s, including our presence on major B.C. Ferries routes. There are 59 full-service White Spots in B.C. and 4 in Alberta. There are 53 Triple O’s in B.C. and Alberta. And our 30-foot Triple O’s on the go” mobile food truck has taken our burgers, fries and milkshakes to the streets and to corporate, community and charitable events. With the commitment of our franchisees, we have six Triple O’s in Hong Kong, two in mainland China and three in Singapore, and in 2013, we are opening yet another Triple O’s in Singapore as well as our first in the Philippines. That’s just the start.
In the next three years, White Spot will undergo major expansion throughout Western Canada. We’ll then move farther east, to bring the great taste of White Spot to Ontario, where we already know there’s big demand for our burgers from former British Columbians who’ve moved east for work.
Today, B.C.’s own Toigo family continues what Nat set out to do, which is grow the restaurant according to the needs of our guests by moving into new markets, updating our menu items, continuing to source ingredients locally and maintaining our position as Canada’s longest-running restaurant success story.
Their father would be pleased, says Ron. He’d feel good about the way things have turned out. He did all the heavy lifting, and he created this asset. One of our biggest strengths is we hire the best people we can and we support them when we can, and then we get out of their way. We have maintained that. Restaurants are a people business.”
Adds Peter Jr., We are working on the same principles as my father believed in as in, how to run a business. You just have to outdo the rest of the competition out there. You must have the best service, the best-tasting food, the freshest food, and you have to execute it consistently. To take your family to White Spot costs a lot less than you’d spend at one of the other major chains, and our guests expect that. You have to be on top of it all the time. There is no rest. It’s about service. The guest is always first. You have to look after your guests.
And you have to listen and if you do that, you won’t be out of touch. There’s a reason our company has been around since 1928.” Nat would be proud.

SAMPLE RECIPES

Butter Lettuce, Cambozola and Almond Salad
This simple and delicious salad, featuring Cambozola, a blend of Camembert and blue cheese, can be varied simply by changing the type of vinegar in the dressing. You will have about 1 1/4 cups of vinaigrette.
***
Serves 4
***
Basic Vinaigrette
3/4 cup canola or grapeseed oil
1/2 cup vinegar (we like Champagne, raspberry or sherry)
1/4 to 1/2 red onion, in 1/4 inch dice (1/3 cup)
1 Tbsp liquid honey
2 tsp grainy Dijon mustard
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 tsp coarse black pepper
***
Basic vinaigrette: In a food processor, purée all ingredients until well mixed and onions and parsley are chopped into small flecks. Will keep refrigerated up to a month.
***
Cambozola Salad
2 heads butter lettuce, leaves washed and patted dry with paper towel
8 oz Cambozola cheese, thinly sliced
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
***
Cambozola salad: Line individual salad bowls with butter lettuce leaves like beautiful flowers. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp vinaigrette.
Arrange cheese slices on waxed paper and microwave for just 5 to 10 seconds to soften but not quite melt them. Drape cheese over the lettuce and sprinkle with almonds. Serve immediately.
**

Wild Pacific Salmon Burger
Sockeye, coho or red spring salmon are all great options for this burger.
***
Serves 4
***
Lemon-Basil Aioli
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves (about 1/2 handful)
1 tsp minced garlic
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
***
Lemon-basil aioli: Whisk together ingredients and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavours to blend.
***
Lemon-Basil-Tarragon Butter
1/4 cup melted butter, cooled a little so that it doesn’t cook” the herbs
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tsp chopped fresh parsley
***
Lemon-basil-tarragon butter: Combine ingredients until well mixed and set aside.
***

Salmon Burgers
4 skinless, boneless salmon fillets, each 4 oz
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp coarse black pepper
4 good-quality, firm ciabatta or kaiser buns
4 butter lettuce leaves
2 vine-ripened tomatoes, in 1/4 inch slices, sprinkled with kosher and black pepper
***
Salmon burgers: Season salmon fillets with salt and pepper. Heat lemon-basil-tarragon butter in a nonstick pan on medium heat and pan-fry fillets for 4 minutes per side. Using a fork, pull apart the thickest part of the fillet along the fish’s natural seams. When 1/8 inch at the very centre is still a little dark pink and not milky, remove salmon from the heat. (The fish will cook through to just done as you are dressing the buns.)
While the salmon is cooking, toast the buns. Spread both cut sides with lemon-basil aioli. Top the bottom half of each bun with a lettuce leaf and 2 tomato slices. Place a salmon fillet over the tomatoes, close the bun and brag to your friends that White Spot taught you to make this!
**

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Book Description Figure 1 Publishing, Canada, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Produced in celebration of White Spot s 85th anniversary, The White Spot Cookbook is an engaging, visually rich collection of recipes, memories, and memorabilia, designed to showcase the legacy of one of British Columbia s most enduring brands. This book conveys the spirit of the legendary restaurant and chronicles White Spot s evolution from a single drive-in location in 1928 to a modern family restaurant with more than 65 locations in two provinces. Beautifully designed, The White Spot Cookbook takes readers on a journey through the restaurant s history, showcasing White Spot s enduring commitment to serving the finest, freshest food to people of all ages. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780991858873

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