A man named Nigel Coles recently made local headlines for killing his 10,000th lionfish. This culler has been helping to maintain this species’ population since the first fish was spotted on the island in 2009. As they’re a species with no natural predators, it’s up to local fisherman to keep their population at a manageable level to ensure that they cause minimal destruction to local reefs and vegetation.
Here at the Westin Grand Cayman, we understand the importance of keeping this breed of fish in check which is why we support local culling efforts by serving lionfish on our menus. It may surprise you, but this breed of fish has a delicious flavor when prepared properly and it’s completely safe to eat. While it is venomous, as long as you avoid eating their spines, the meat of the fish is safe for human consumption.
Our Executive Chef Sandy Tuason prepares this delicious fish in a variety of ways including a Salt Crusted Whole Fish that is delivered by local fisherman on a regular basis. This is prepared with Cayman sea salt, local callaloo, seasoning peppers and pumpkin from the island markets and farmers. The dish’s beautiful presentation does not give off the impression to diners that they are feasting on an invasive species, and the fish’s buttery flavor is always a crowd pleaser.
If you’re interested in learning more about local lionfish and our commitment to keeping this species’ population in check, be sure to check out some of our recent vlogs! We guide you through the process from catch to cook and have some fun along the way.
So the next time you visit the resort, be sure to check out lionfish on the menu! You may be surprised by how much you enjoy this “invasive” fish.