On Saturday 6th November the Soufriere Pitons Lions Club in St. Lucia hosted a Lionfish Cookoff at the Soufriere Fisheries Complex. The participants were four young chefs from various hotels in the community; Chef Fenrick Dusauzay, Chef Enrique Joseph, Chef Tyan Bert and Chef Peterson Innocent. These chefs were taken away from their fancy, well equipped kitchens and given the task of preparing lionfish dishes on a small countertop stove. They were challenged to create an appetizer and main course using freshly caught lionfish and other local ingredients. The lionfish prepared in the event were caught in Soufriere Bay.
The event, which was livestreamed on YouTube, began promptly at 11:30AM. The chefs were given an hour and a half to complete the challenge. Chef Fenrick appetizer was Lionfish civiche while main course was Lionfish with mango and avocado salsa, sweet potato and pumpkin mashed. Chef Enrique appetizer was Coconut custard sweet potato lionfish croquettes while main course was Herb stuffed lionfish, sauteed vegetables and garlic butter with plantain salsa and avocado puree. Chef Tyan appetizer was Lionfish duo, fritters and civiche and main course was Pan seared Lionfish with vegetable squash and green beans. Chef Peterson appetizer was St. Lucia Lionfish civiche and main course was Pan seared lionfish fillet with ground provision cake and seasoned vegetables
The main judges for the event were Chef Roy Antoine from Stonefield Resort and Chef Elijah Jules, from Jade Mountian Resort. At 1PM, the chefs presented their dishes to the judges. After a lengthy deliberation, they announced the final results. Chef Tyan Bert impressed the judges the most with his culinary creations and captured the first place and a US$550.00 prize. Chef Fenrick Dusauzay placed second and received a US$370.00 prize. Chef Enrique Joseph earned the third spot and a US$275.00 prize.
This event was part of a larger lionfish population reduction project which is being undertaken by the Soufriere Pitons Lions Club and is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The project aims to reduce the population of lionfish in the waters off the coast of Soufriere by dispelling the myth that the lionfish is unsafe to eat and encouraging people to eat it. The club has also been hosting lionfish derbies where teams of divers catch as many lionfish as possible within a given time frame.Kudos to Soufriere Pitons Lions Club!