Chef Greg Atkinson leads Whale Museum's Black & White Night progressive dinner Thursday

Greg Atkinson ... noted chef, cookbook author and educator leads The Whale Museum
Greg Atkinson ... noted chef, cookbook author and educator leads The Whale Museum's Black & White Night, Dec. 17.
— image credit: Greg Atkinson

Wear black, wear white, wear black and white. You don't have to wear a tuxedo. But the dinner and event is classy enough to be formal. And the proceeds support a good cause.

The Whale Museum’s Black & White Night is Thursday, 5:30 p.m., beginning at Friday Harbor House. Proceeds benefit the museum’s education and research programs.

The dinner event will feature Chef Greg Atkinson, noted author and culinary instructor as well as former chef of Friday Harbor House. Also featured is Jason Codding, the chef behind the new Bluff Restaurant.

The event begins with a reception in The Bluff Restaurant, followed by dinner in Friday Harbor House's San Juan Room and dessert in The Whale Museum gallery.

The appetizers: Taylor Farms Oysters with frozen Raspberry Mignotte, Gougeres with Arugula, Thai-Style Prawns, and Butternut Squash Mousse Bouchée.

The dinner menu: Killer Squash Bisque, and Mixed Greens Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette, plus a choice of entree — Alaska Halibut Poached in Olive Oil with Winter Vegetables and Aioli, Braised Ox Tail with Gnocchi, or Four Bean Pot Pie. Wine from Northwest Totem Cellars will be served.

For dessert: Greg’s Faux-Reos, Coconut Macaroons, Tuxedo Fudge, and Martinelli's for the toast.

Autographed memento recipe booklets will be given to each attendee.

Sponsors include Friday Harbor House, Harbor Insurance, Islanders Bank, Islanders Insurance, Northwest Totem Cellars, and Swanberg-Judkins Insurance.

Cost is $75 per person. Seating is limited. Reservations can be made in The Whale Museum’s store or by calling 378-4710, ext. 30.

Atkinson has been working as a chef in the Pacific Northwest since 1980. He has regularly contributed articles to regional and national publications (he was food columnist for The Journal in the 1990s), and received the M.F.K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Award from the James Beard Foundation in 2000.

He is the author of five cookbooks, including "Entertaining In The Northwest Style" and "West Coast Cooking." He is a contributing editor to Food Arts magazine and a regular contributor to Pacific Northwest magazine.

Around the Seattle area, he is probably best known for being the executive chef/menu consultant at Canlis Restaurant from 1996-2002. He was hired to revise the menu and oversee the transition of one of Seattle's premier restaurants from a traditional steakhouse to a state-of-the-art bastion of regional cuisine. In 2000, the restaurant received four stars and critical praise from national and local sources including Gourmet Magazine's "50 best restaurants," and Saveur's "Top 100."

He teaches at various cooking schools and directs Culinary Consulting, a recipe and menu development company that oversees the menu at Organic to Go. He has appeared on "Chef's A Field," the award-winning PBS cooking show, and is a regular guest host on "KCTS Chefs." His food commentaries can be heard Wednesday afternoon on "The Beat," KUOW 94.9.

Atkinson joined the Seattle Culinary Academy in fall 2007.

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