Florida House -- the state's embassy in Washington -- and the state's tourism marketing agency are hosting an event tonight for Florida's congressional delegation, featuring Florida seafood to "demonstrate that its seafood is safe, delicious and available" -- post Gulf Coast oil spill.
The event is also to promote the notion that the state's beaches "are open, beautiful and waiting," organizers said.
The Florida Seafood Celebration will feature three Florida chefs preparing their signature creations:
Jim Shirley of the Fish House in Pensacola will prepare Grits a Ya Ya; Josh Butler, executive chef at the governor's mansion in Tallahassee will prepare Dog Island grouper sliders and Dean James Max of 3030 Ocean will prepare Sebastian Inlet Clams BBLT.
"Fresh caught seafood has attracted visitors to Florida for nearly 500 years and it is vitally important that our elected leaders at every level understand just how important the seafood industry is to Florida’s economy and continue to keep tourism and seafood high on their priority lists," said VISIT FLORIDA president Christopher Thompson.
Florida Ag Commissioner Charles Bronson said news coverage of the Gulf oil spill "has left some consumers with the impression that Florida seafood is unavailable or in limited supply. Our state’s commercial fishermen continue to harvest seafood daily from clean, unaffected Florida waters. They have seafood to sell, and they need customers."