Next month, the Fort Myers Beach Friends of the Arts will be bringing a unique experience to the island as they expand their mission from promoting visual and performing arts to include the fine art of creating a delicious meal – culinary art. Southwest Florida Sustains: A Regional Seafood Experience on Thursday, October 20 will give islanders and visitors a chance to taste sustainable seafood prepared by local chefs and learn about this practice that is growing in popularity as once plentiful fish stocks like grouper become more scarce.
“It’s important for us to produce arts-related activities during the off-season which helps the businesses on the Beach — one of our core values. It’s an opportunity to experience local sustainable seafood and celebrate our waters, while supporting the arts and local businesses. It’s a win-win for the arts, businesses and event patrons,” says Janeen Paulauskis, Fort Myers Beach Friends of the Arts board member.
According to Tanya Keller, PR person for the Friends of the Arts, “SWFL Sustains is chef-driven event, which includes live music by Joseph Bilardo Trio.”
Another Friends’ Board member, Carla Mandel explained that local restaurants like Pinchers, Charley’s Boat House, Smokin’ Oyster Brewery, Fish Tale Restaurant and DiamondHead Resort have signed up to present their sustainable seafood samplings and that she expects more to follow.
“Point Ybel Brewing Company will offer craft brew samplings as well,” she said. “And, thanks to Tanya’s contacts with the Smithsonian Marine Station in Fort Pierce, marine biologist and sustainability and coral reef expert Dr. Steve Box will explain what seafood sustainability is by giving a presentation about the importance of sustainability of the regional waters and catch during the event.”
To learn more, Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Guides will also be available for patrons at the event. There will be a small, related silent auction to help fundraising efforts.
Tickets for the event are $50 in advance and include tasting sustainable seafood samplings as well as live music. A cash bar will be available. For tickets, more information or to sponsor this first ever event, contact Friends of the Arts at (757) 618-3655, www.friendsoftheartsfmb.com or find them on Facebook.
Keri Hendry Weeg