A little lamb, a taste of baklava and a bit of belly dancing never hurt anybody.
In the spirit of the gods of Olympus and from the kitchen of Greek chef Tommy Arhontas comes the “Big Fat Greek Feast.” The feast will be held at the Freeland Eagle’s Aerie, from 5 to
7 p.m. Friday, April 18. Entertainment will follow dinner.
Chef Arhontas, born to Greek parents, grew up in Chicago, Ill. where he learned the fine art of cooking at an uncle’s Greek-American restaurant.
A stint as a cook in the Marine Corps kept him cooking for two more years and he said it’s been in his soul ever since.
“I still had cooking in my heart,” Arhontas said of his move to retire on Whidbey Island and fire up the grill again after a career as a mechanic.
Arhontas said he saw a need for ethnic food on the island and started cooking for the students at the Bayview School.
“I made them spaghetti and then later, they fell in love with my gyros,” he said.
That’s when he started what has become a familiar site to South Enders — Tommy’s Gyros — Arhontas’ Greek food on wheels.
“I like to talk to people. And I like to cook,” Arhontas said.
“I don’t have any other hobbies. This is my love and I’m fortunate to have a wife who enjoys doing it with me. This is our senior moment.”
“He likes people,” Irma Arhontas said. “It gives him a chance to do both; cook and talk to people.”
Arhontas was already busy at the Eagles club seasoning the chickens and lamb for the grill.
And busy talking, too, as always, joked Dave Moulton, the Eagles Aerie events manager.
“Dave is my right-hand man,” Arhontas said.
Arhontas said he wants to offer more ethnic evenings at the Eagles and is hoping to create an Italian dinner for the next event.
Arhontas will be serving a feast of spit roasted lamb or chicken, moussaka, spanikopita, Greek salad, roasted potatoes and, of course, baklava for dessert.
Dinner will be served from 5 to 7 p.m. followed by entertainment from belly dancer Safyea.
Safyea performs traditional, exotic belly dances complete with bells, castanets and veils; dances which she studied while living in Turkey.
Reservations are limited and guests are encouraged to call soon.
The lamb dinner costs $15; the chicken dinner costs $13.50.
Call 321-5636 for info and reservations.