DESTIN, Fla. (WKRG) — The Lionfish Restaurant Week returns to Destin after pandemic delays. The event doesn’t only highlight local chefs’ creativeness with lionfish dishes but helps with the overgrowing population of lionfish in the Destin area.
Coastal Resource Manager Alex Fogg says, “Lionfish are just an invasive species that are just not supposed to be here and we are trying to figure out ways on how to get them out of the water.”
That’s how the event all started all in hopes to stop the overpopulation issue of Lionfish in the area.
The Lionfish Restaurant Week has turned into a growing tradition and not only helping the environment but boosting local businesses.
Fogg says, “It takes fish that are gathered from the beginning of February up until about now and those fish are fileted and we distribute them to a number of restaurants in the Destin nation and allow them to highlight the fish.”
Just last year, the Destin/Fort Walton Beach area collected about 20,000 Lionfish. They have made sure to use them in the best way possible.
La Paz Owner Chatham Morgan says, “We could sell Lionfish everyday of the week at our restaurant and every time we have ever carried them on our menu we have sold out. The issue is just having a reliable source of the fish.”
Using them in tacos, as main entrées, or any other dish… it’s become a favorite to many locals.
They hope to get about 10,000 of the Lionfish to bring to restaurants for this weekend.
Morgan tells WKRG, “You know you are doing good by the environment which is something diners these days look for and you can eat and feel good about.”
The restaurants participating this year include:
- Crab Trap Destin
- Marina Cafe
- Dewey Destin’s Harborside
- La Paz
- Harbor Docks
- AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar
For more information, click here.