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GOT LIONFISH?

Chef Laura Todd uses her creative culinary skills to tame this

Got Lionfish?

What is a Lionfish you ask? Lionfish are an invasive and predatory species from the South Pacific that have taken up residence in our warm Atlantic waters. They are covered in red and white zebra like stripes. Most recognized for their venomous fan like pectoral and dorsal fins that resemble a lion’s mane. Lionfish can live up to 15 years and a single female can produce over 2 million eggs per year. With no known natural predators Lionfish are wreaking havoc on our natural eco system. They prey on small reef fish that help clean and keep the reefs healthy. “Lionfish eat herbivores and herbivores eat algae from coral reefs. Without herbivores, algal growth goes unchecked, which can be detrimental to the health of coral reefs.” – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association “Lionfish eat herbivores and herbivores eat algae from coral reefs,” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. “Without herbivores, algal growth goes unchecked, which can be detrimental to the health of coral reefs.” Contrary to popular belief Lionfish are not poisonous. Once their venomous spines are cut off and removed you can prepare the fish for consumption. They are actually quote "are delicious and taste very similar to Snapper & Grouper." The white tender meat lends itself to numerous recipes. Prices on the fish vary through out the year but tend to stay between $9 to $13 per pound. Many of our local South Florida Chefs are taking notice of this reef crisis starting to offer Lionfish on menus. Chef Laura Todd, owner of Laura Ashley Catering & Events in West Palm Beach has created a “Got Lionfish?” campaign. Recently she was spotted at the 2019 The Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival offering up this tasty invader. This South Florida Native is encouraging restaurant patrons to ask their local restaurants to start offering Lionfish. “Many people have never tried Lionfish and know very little about it. We try to offer samples and open up conversation to educate consumers. They have a choice and their choice makes a huge difference in helping to protect our South Florida Reefs.” Many other corporations are starting to take action as well. Whole Foods Markets has recently started offering fresh Lionfish at their seafood counter. Whole Foods is attempting to simplify the process of eating Lionfish buy offering it in local Florida stores. Many other locally owned and operated fish markets are also offering the scrumptious predator. All you have to do is just ask, “Got Lionfish?“

  "Contrary to popular belief Lionfish are not poisonous. Once their venomous spines are cut off and removed you can prepare the fish for consumption."

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