Thursday, March 24, 2011

Presenting Lionfish: Cooked at The National Aquarium

It was a night out at the aquarium. Flowing champagne, crepe cones of delicate salmon tartar, and some wonderfully fishy company.   

Guests of the National Aquarium’s sustainable seafood dining series participated in an ocean friendly gourmet experience amongst the eye catching pink and purple sea anemones, exotic tree frogs, and all the happy clown fish. 

French Chef Xavier Deshayes led a diving team in the Bahamas to catch the 9 fish served at the aquarium’s most recent Fresh Thoughts Dinner on March 3rd. The Lionfish is an invasive species to the Bahaman waters. With it's venomous spikes, it has no natural enemies in this new environment, lays 30,000 eggs every few months, and is eating all the other fish, thereby destroying the beautiful coral reefs. The Bahamian government is encouraging locals, and fish exporters to catch and serve these fish in order to control the population. 

The Lionfish was prepared for the first time in the United States at this event, and was served with crisp and salty “sea beans” (my new favorite), and buttery mashed potatoes. Diners were also surprised to find a venomous spike of the Lionfish holding together the fried cheese balls with truffle oil in their amuse bouche. The entire aquarium smelled like truffles for the whole meal. Also on the menu was a unique seafood sausage served on a light salad, and a daring curry and mango tart with a crisp mango chip on top. Come for the fish, come for the food, and come to protect the aquatic environment!

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