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For generations, families and friends have gathered together at a White Spot restaurant to share a meal, a laugh or to celebrate a special occasion. White Spot is as West Coast as our mountains and ocean. Today, White Spot continues to attract old and young because of chefs such as Danny Markowicz, Executive Development Chef, who are passionate about what they do. Here, Markowicz opens up about White Spot and himself.
Q) Where did you learn to cook?
I attended S.A.I.T in Calgary and took the professional cooking program. I did my apprenticeship at the Banff Springs Hotel, and have been cooking ever since. As a child, my dad would take my brother and me grocery shopping Friday after school, and we would cook dinner. Unknowingly, those were my first “black boxes.”
Q) Why did you want to become a chef?
At a very young age, I was led into the kitchen of my grandfather’s restaurant in Montreal. If I close my eyes and think about it, I can still remember the aroma. I was hooked.
Q) How do you describe your cooking style?
My style is globally inspired, using classic French techniques from my training. I often find myself on a certain kick, but whether its comfort food, Italian or Moroccan, or maybe Korean, Spanish or Chinese, it’s always the basics that speak first.
Q) What is the menu development process that you take to bring new menu items to life?
Once we decide on a platform for a promotion, we “blue sky” potential menu items. From that huge list, it gets paired down to a workable few dozen items. We try to work a year out, so that we’re working on a promotion within the same season it will launch. From that list, we internally taste all menu items, review plating, and build recipes accordingly. Once items are approved for test, we then train our test stores on the new items, and run the items for a few weeks. We gather feedback, and make decisions on how to move forward. Eight months later, those items could be at a White Spot near you…
Q) What is your favourite restaurant to dine at?
That’s a really tough question… The list is long….. But if I had to choose … In Vancouver, Kintaro is still one of my favorites. All I ever have is the BBQ Pork Ramen, but it’s always incredibly satisfying, and there’s something special about huge pots of simmering broth steaming up the windows.
Q) What food/dish could you never live without?
Cheese. Never! Don’t make me do it!!!