What happens when you put a conservation scientist and a chef together? You get happy tummies and smart brains! July 28th at Gramps in Wynwood, COSEE Florida hosted a unique science and culinary event.
However, it actually started several days before at the Woody Foundation’s Lionfish Bash. Spear fishermen from all over south Florida joined together to cull harmful lionfish from the oceans in order to raise funds and awareness for the spinal cord injured community. During this fun tournament, we got a lesson from Dr. Evan D’Alessandro from the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences on how to safely handle and fillet lionfish.
The COSEE Florida science café was kicked off with a live demonstration from Chef Collin Bender from GB Catering. He made black grouper and lionfish fish cakes with an aioli sauce to go with it. Everyone went back for seconds it was so good!
With the audience munching on delicious fishcakes, Dominique Lazarre, PhD Candidate at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences discussed the impacts of lionfish on the ecosystem and commercial fisheries of south Florida. She discussed the fact that lionfish became a problematic invasive species fairly quickly. Their populations have gotten so big it’s now impacting the spiny lobster fisheries. The lionfish are getting caught in the spiny lobster traps, so lobster fishermen were losing money with every trip. Now there are incentives for fisheries to catch lionfish, which will hopefully reduce the population.
The science café was wrapped up with COSEE Florida sharing a two-page resource entitled “Lionfish: A Culinary Experience in South Florida” with detailed information on how everyone can help be a part of the solution by eating more lionfish.
If you weren’t able to make it out to this event and want to find out what was discussed, check out the storified twitter-convo.
For more science café events, follow COSEE Florida on Twitter @COSEEFlorida, on Instagram @COSEEFlorida, or on Facebook at COSEE Florida. Or search #COSEEMIA on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook for events in Miami.