FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 7, 2015


Contact: Chris Hines

Executive Director

912-509-7120, chris@nmsfocean.org



Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary Foundation Presents

A Fishy Affair: Malicious…but Delicious at The Landings Club



Savannah, GA—Tickets are now on sale for the new Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary Foundation’s inaugural Lionfish dinner: A Fishy Affair: Malicious…but Delicious. This unique dining event will take place at The Landings Club Plantation Ballroom on Thursday, September 24 at 6 pm. The event is open to the public and the cost is $60 per ticket or $600 for a table of 10. 


Four of Savannah’s most respected chefs will cook up their best Lionfish dishes in an effort to encourage restaurants to put Lionfish on their menus because they are invasive -- but tasty – creatures. Featured participating chefs include Chef Roberto Leoci of Leoci’s Trattoria and Pacci Italian Kitchen + Bar; Chef Drue Longo of 39 Rue De Jean; and Senior Executive Chef Matthew J. Roher and Sushi Chef Jin Kang, both of The Landings Club.


                                        



"I first cooked Lionfish in the Bahamas three years ago and created several delicious recipes,” said Chef Leoci. “If restaurants would offer Lionfish regularly, they could become crucial partners in the effort to curb the Lionfish invasion of the Atlantic Ocean.”


A Fishy Affair: Malicious…but Delicious will feature a full dinner, a short award-winning Lionfish film 'Ocean Invaders' by Mandee Mallonee, a live Lionfish, and a cash bar. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at www.graysreefnmsf.org/events/AFishyAffair. A portion of the ticket price is tax-deductible as a donation to Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary Foundation.


“Lionfish are threatening our ocean and our beloved Gray’s Reef,” said Kathy Levitt, a Foundation board member and Chair of the event. “We hope everyone in the coastal region will support the new Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and will plan to join us at

A Fishy Affair in September. It will be both an educational and entertaining evening; we will raise awareness about Lionfish, Gray’s Reef, and our new foundation.”


The Lionfish is native to the tropical waters of the South Pacific and Indian Oceans. They are popular in home aquariums, but are now invading ecosystems throughout the Atlantic coast and Caribbean. Lionfish damage our ocean by eating up to 20 small fish per day. With a very quick reproduction rate and no natural predators in Atlantic waters, they have multiplied quickly and threaten the natural biodiversity that provide economic and recreational opportunities. While completely removing lionfish from Atlantic and Caribbean waters is unlikely, reducing their numbers is critical to our ocean and for Gray's Reef.

“Fresh locally and sustainably sourced seafood when available is our chefs’ guiding principle for all seafood offerings at The Landings Club,” said The Landings Club Senior Executive Chef Matthew Roher. “This strong commitment to the stewardship of our waterways and seafood traditions are shared by both membership and employees. With the global issue of invasive species threatening habitat and reducing seafood stock, chefs have a unique opportunity to make a big difference by showing how many of these species can be reduced by simply making them available and delicious. This event is beneficial on so many levels; our chefs will get to showcase their culinary prowess, the funds will benefit the community and the foundation, and it sends a message that it is up to everyone to help control the Lionfish population. Chefs have a special obligation in this mission, and I’m happy we can help spread the word.”                


Sponsorship opportunities are available, and all proceeds from the evening benefit Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary Foundation to support ocean conservation, education, and Georgia’s own National Marine Sanctuary. The Foundation engages the Savannah community in ocean conservation and seeks to develop ocean stewardship and pride about Gray’s Reef, coastal Georgia’s amazing underwater park. Designated in 1981 as a National Marine Sanctuary, Gray’s Reef is the only protected natural reef off the Georgia coast. With dazzling soft coral and colorful sponge habitats, the 22-square mile sanctuary provides a home for a vast array of fish, whales, sharks and sea turtles. For more information, visit: www.graysreef.noaa.gov.


The Plantation Ballroom is located at The Landings Club on Skidaway Island. Visit www.graysreefnmsf.org/events/AFishyAffair or call 912-509-7120 for more information or sponsorship opportunities. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased here: www.graysreefnmsf.org/events/AFishyAffair. A Fishy Affair is sponsored in part by Savannah Morning News/Savannah Magazine, Chatham Orthopaedic Associates, Cathy J. Sakas, Sarah Fangman & Greg McFall, Mrs. Robert O. Levitt, WSAV-TV, Largo Beverage, VJL Seafood, Design More, Green Renewables, and Jackson Printing. 


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Note to media: media are invited and encouraged to cover the event, but must pre-register with Chris Hines to gain access to The Landings Club. Please contact Chris at 912-509-7120 or chris@nmsfocean.org or Kathy Levitt at 912-658-8220.