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Running Tab: Aw, shucks! Zona Blanca weekly fundraiser features guest chefs, oysters and beer and cocktails

Delicious oysters created by guest chefs, cocktails, beer and a photo booth all at a party for a good cause? Count me in.

These are the components of chef Chad White’s new fundraiser Chefs Shuck With Us every Wednesday at Zona Blanca Ceviche Bar through Feb. 26 to benefit Stand Up 2 Cancer.

Each chef shucks oysters from 5 to 8 p.m. and comes up with their version of raw and roasted oysters, while Zona Blanca bartenders pair cocktails and/or beer with the culinary delicacies.

“The fundraisers are going great. It was a little bit of a slow start, but I feel the word is getting out, and we’re gaining traffic and seeing return oyster lovers,” White said. “Each week, we are close to or sold out. The most common misconception I think is that it’s only oysters. However, our entire menu is available.”

How did the idea originate? “My stepfather Michael Lilley passed last year from cancer in his esophagus. He is not the only close person to me who has been taken far too early from complications with cancer,” White said.

“My stepdad and I didn’t have the best relationship; however, I owe a lot of my tenacity and work ethic equally to him as my mom. I didn’t realize just how hard it was going to be to lose him until just before he was gone.

“Chatting with friends who also have been affected by cancer, we wanted to do something to show support to those fighting cancer and their families.”

More than $3,000 has been raised. Spiceology and Electric Photoland are sponsors of the Wednesday event with Zona Blanca and CW Hospitality Group.

“Each chef has really brought it. It’s been fun sharing the kitchen, and each chef has different levels of experience with oysters themselves,” White said. “The standouts have been Aaron Fiorini from Market Street Pizza, Jennifer Davis from Scoop and soon-to-open Hidden Bagel and Tony Brown from Ruins, Hunt and Stella’s.”

Wednesday’s guest shucker is Amanda Hillman of Globe Bar & Kitchen, and her event is sold out. On Dec. 29, Maylin Chavez of Olympia Oyster Bar in Portland is the guest chef. White knows Chavez from his time in San Diego and Mexico and at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah.

I attended Chefs Shuck With Us featuring Luna chef Joe Morris on Nov. 17 and loved everything about the evening: the oysters, cocktails and beer, photo booth and chatting with Morris and White. I would absolutely return again. Also of note: Zona Blanca’s patio bar is finished and includes an 8-foot fireplace and heaters.

Info: 157 S. Howard St., (509) 241-3385, To purchase a $25 ticket to the Wednesday oyster shucking fundraisers, go to

From the Ashes Idaho

Speaking of White, he was one of the star pitmasters at From the Ashes Idaho in Post Falls in June. The event announced ticket sales Thursday and a return to a two-day event Friday, June 17, and Saturday, June 18. Tickets are available for purchase at

Guest pitmasters already are preparing the menu for 2022, and application station chefs, producer-partners and entertainment will be announced soon. Questions can be emailed to I attended From the Ashes Idaho for the first time in June, and it is a fantastic must-attend outdoor event for barbecue fans.

Sky and Skate Ribbon specials

Skate into Sky Ribbon Café, 720 W. Spokane Falls Blvd., in Riverfront Park for Happy Hour from 5 to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays featuring $2 off all drinks. For Cheap Skate Night, tacos are $2 every Tuesday at Sky Ribbon along with free skate rentals provided with each paid admission ($5.95) at Numerica Skate Ribbon through February.

The skate ribbon is hosting DJ Nights on the Ice every Friday in December and January (excluding Christmas Eve) starting at 6 p.m. And the skate ribbon is hosting Skate for a Cause nights for local organizations to skate at a discounted rate, with the cafe offering 20% off food and beverage (excluding alcohol). The first event was Dec. 15; stay tuned for future events.

To-dine list

I’ve heard that Dry Fly’s kitchen at Riverside and Monroe downtown across from The Spokesman-Review is finally open for business, and I’ve seen photos on social media of Scoop’s Davis making bagels in anticipation of launching her, ahem, schmear campaign for her new business Hidden Bagel on the South Hill adjoining Scoop, 1001 W. 25th Ave.