Quick look: In honor of its 75th anniversary, Ivar’s, the iconic Seattle seafood eatery, has compiled a collection of favorite recipes, including its Famous Puget Sound White Clam Chowder and Legendary Clam Nectar, or clam stock. Ivar’s founder, or “flounder,” the late Ivar Haglund, was famous along the waterfront for his practical jokes and publicity stunts. Packed with puns, vintage cartoons and Ivar’s oft-repeated motto “Keep Clam,” the cookbook keeps with tradition, presenting some of Ivar’s most well-known pranks along with its history, or “fishstory,” and recipes for its sought-after seafood dishes.
What’s inside: There might not be a more quintessential Seattle moment than filling up on Ivar’s fish and chips while waiting in the rain for the ferry. This cookbook – a first for Ivar’s – not only offers the recipe for those famous fish-and-chips, it captures the spirit of the Seattle institution. The book’s 60-some recipes come with helpings of humor, pride and a sense of nostalgia. There’s a copy of a 1950s-era menu, lots of vintage photographs, and Ivar’s trivia.
Each recipe is topped with a short vignette describing its significance, ingredients, history or other Ivar’s tidbit. Most are also accompanied by colorful, mouth-watering photographs. There’s a mix of new and old, like Ivar’s Own Sports Illustrated Geoduck Fritters, published in the magazine in 1964, and Einar’s Viking Soup with cod, shrimp and Ivar’s Legendary Clam Nectar. Ivar’s enthusiasts will be happy to find recipes for its classic sauces, like Ivar’s Original Cocktail Sauce and Ivar’s Famous Tartar Sauce along with its clam stock. Seafood lovers will be tempted by recipes for succulent Alder-Grilled King Salmon, Dungeness Crab Cakes, Mushrooms Stuffed with Dungeness Crab, and – of course – Sautéed Clams.
Recipes are categorized by appetizers, entrées, sides and staples, desserts, and salads, soups and chowders. There are also tips for cleaning clams and mussels, advice for serving and substituting, suggested menus, and a list of some of Ivar’s famous guests – from Hillary Clinton to David Hasselhoff. There’s also a list of employees who have worked for the company for 10 or more years. The book itself is dedicated to past, present and future employees.
Spokane also has reason to be proud of the Seattle-based landmark. Not only does this region carry on the Ivar’s tradition – there’s an Ivar’s Seafood Bar in the Spokane Valley Mall – Ivar’s executive chef is a product of Spokane Community College, where he attended culinary school. Chris Garr joined Ivar’s in 2007. His House-Made Bacon and House-Made Bacon-Wrapped Halibut recipes are in the book.
What’s not: With six recipes, the dessert section is a little short. Other than that, the only things that seem to be missing are the saltwater and seagulls – and, as Ivar Haglund himself would do from Pier 54, fries with which to feed them.