Monday, January 13, TJ’s Seafood Market and Driftwood will present Dallas’ first lionfish dinner prepared by Chef Omar Flores. Together, TJ’s and Driftwood, along with Traditional Fisheries founder Dave Johnson (as seen on ABC’s Shark Tank), hope to introduce Dallas’ food purveyors, chefs and diners to this delicacy that is invading and destroying the North Western Atlantic and Caribbean.
Lionfish are non-native to the Atlantic and Caribbean, and while it is not certain how the species was introduced to these waters, it’s possible they are released aquarium pets. The invasion is incredibly dangerous to Atlantic and Caribbean ecosystems as lionfish eliminate organisms that fulfill important ecological roles within coral reefs. Native reef fish populations decrease by 80 percent when lionfish enter new areas. Dave Johnson found a solution to the problem – catch the fish and cook them.
Dave Johnson works with fishing cooperatives in Mexico and the Dominican Republic to source lionfish, hand speared by native fisherman. Traditional Fisheries is supplying lionfish to restaurants and chefs around the country and earlier this year appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank to help grow the company. The sharks didn’t bite, but Jon Alexis of TJ’s Seafood did.
“Dallas’ seafood community is as vibrant as any other city in the country,” says Alexis. “With this dinner, we want to introduce the Dallas community to a delicious delicacy and educate guests about this growing problem that will soon reach the Gulf.”
Driftwood’s Chef Omar Flores will prepare a five-course dinner featuring lionfish prepared four ways at Driftwood on January 13 at 7 p.m. Dave Johnson will share details of the lionfish invasion and its dangerous effect on the coral reef and Caribbean ecosystem. Seats are $80 with an additional $20 for wine pairings. For reservations call 214-942-2530. A credit card is required for reservations and seats are limited.
photo credit: Steve Rosenberg