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About Whitecap Books

Whitecap Books is one of Canada's leading book publishers. Our diverse list features high-quality, visually appealing books on food, wine, health and well-being, regional history, and regional guidebooks.

History

In 1977, Michael Burch founded Whitecap Books in Vancouver, B.C. Initially, Whitecap produced full colour titles, largely on differant parts of  British Columbia, but soon expanded into gardening books and history books of local interest. In 1987, our current publisher, Nick Rundall, joined Whitecap as a partner. Also in 1987, Whitecap began distributing titles with the Australian Consolidated Press, the publishers of the world-renowed Australian Womens' Weekday Cookbooks, and soon after with companies in the U.S. and the U.K.

Whitecap has kept a strong indigenous publishing program then and now, with West Coast books like Michael Kluckner's Vancouver Remembered, The Curve of Time, Women of the Klondike, the children's books Storm Boy and Frog Girl, and A Pacific Alphabet and A, B, Sea, and expanded its subjects to include books on food and wine, now the centre of our list.

Whitecap has published historical and cultural cookbooks; books of barbequeing, smoking and planking secrets; illustrated books for those just starting out and those who with a special love of the whimsical in the kitchen; guides to the best wine, wine-makers, and beer recipes; books for ultimate health, books for those creating sugary confections, books on the cuisine of specific nations, books for those on special diets, and books of no-nonsense good cookery. Books like Kate Aitken's Canadian Cookbook and Setting a Fine Table, Canada's Favourite Recipes and the All-New Purity Cookbook; Pimentos and Piri Piri, The Ocean Wise Cookbook, and Quinoa 365; Healthy Starts Here, and The Power of Food; Everyone Can Cook Everything, Everyday Kitchen for Kids, and Everyday Indian; A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking, Soup, and The New Food Processor Bible; A Taste of Canada, Flavours of Prince Edward Island, The Five Roses Cookbook, and Whitewater Cooks; Halibut, Shellfish, Salmon, and Mussels; Starting Out, Back to Baking, and The Best of Chef at Home. 

In 2012, Whitecap Books was purchased by Fitzhenry & Whiteside. Whitecap titles are now available across North America, with distribution in the United States through Midpoint Books, and can be found in traditional bookstores as well as a variety of alternative retail outlets, including museums, clothing stores, and cookware suppliers.

Whitecap's books are distributed by Fitzhenry & Whiteside from Markham, Ontario, but the company maintains its west coast spirit and its editorial and production office in the heart of Vancouver's Gastown neighbourhood.

Awards and Recognition

Whitecap’s expertise in culinary books has gained us recognition in Canada and internationally. In 2014, Alice Eats placed second in the Best Illustrated Cookbook category at the World Gourmand Awards, and  Pimentos and Piri Piri won an Alcuin Award for Excellence in Book Design. In 2012 and 2013, respectively, Taste Canada awarded Spilling the Beans and Canada’s Favourite Recipes top honours for Food Writing, while The Vegetarian’s Complete Quinoa Cookbook took home the 2013 CBC People’s Choice Award. At the 2011 Cuisine Canada Culinary Book Awards, three Whitecap titles brought home awards, including Flavours of Prince Edward Island, which won the first place prize in the category of Best English Canadian Culinary Culture book. Kitchen Scraps by Pierre Lamielle won gold in the Best Illustrated Cookbook category at the 2009 World Gourmand Cookbook Awards.

Winning Personalities

At Whitecap Books, we are pleased to include internationally renowned chefs among our authors. We have launched several titles from Australia’s Donna Hay and Bill Granger. Claire Clark published her first book, Indulge, with Whitecap in the Fall 2007. Elizabeth Baird, who received The Order of Canada in 2013 for her contributions to Canada’s diverse food heritage, published Canada’s Favourite Recipes and Setting a Fine Table with Whitecap in 2012 and 2013. Whitecap’s list features titles by Rose Murray, Julie Van Rosendaal, Mairlyn Smith, and Rose Reisman, as well as many other voices in the Canadian food scene.

Whitecap maintains strong ties with the Food Network Canada. We are proud to have published each of Bal Arneson's three books, Everyday Indian, Bal's Quick and Healthy Indian, and Bal's Spice Kitchen. We also published Chef at Home by Food Network Canada's well-known host Chef Michael Smith and the sequel, The Best of Chef at Home, in Fall 2009. Anna Olson, another popular Food Network host, has published seven titles with Whitecap: Inn on the Twenty, Anna and Michael Olson Cook at Home, Sugar, Another Cup of Sugar, In the Kitchen with Anna, Fresh with Anna Olson and Back to Baking.