To prove that the waters of the Gulf of Mexico are pristine clean in spite of the Gulf oil spill, The Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau’s and Chef Fabrizio Aielli, owner and executive chef at the SeaSalt restaurant in Naples, joined forces with a new Web video series featuring the Gulf coast, called  Adventures in Paradise. The first episode in the series features Chef Aielli demonstrating a dish called Gulf of Mexico Pasta with linguine cooked in Gulf saltwater from Naples Beach, accompanied by a Florida blue crab sauce.    

The next episodes on will feature from outdoor excursions to sophisticated shopping, as well as interesting takes on local people, places and things to do when visiting the Paradise Coast region of Naples, Marco Island and the Gulf Coast Everglades.

For more information on The Paradise Coast – Naples, Marco Island and the Everglades, call 1-800-688-3600   or dial 1-239-225-1013 from outside the USA .  

Supply is plentiful and demand is high, according to commercial fishing industry index

TALLAHASSEE -- Early indicators are pointing to a good spiny lobster season, say Florida's commercial fishermen who began harvesting the prized seafood delicacy earlier this month.

Florida's commercial spiny lobster season opened August 6 and runs through March 31.  Spiny lobster is one of Florida's top commercial seafood products in dockside value.  Ranking third behind shrimp and stone crab claws, Florida's spiny lobster harvest was $13.2 million last season.  The bulk of the harvest comes from Monroe, Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

Spiny lobsters are abundant in supply and demand is strong, according to several of the state's largest lobster producers who provided data to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles H. Bronson said the optimistic outlook for the spiny lobster season was welcome news for the state's seafood industry, which experienced sales declines due to extensive news coverage of the Gulf oil spill during the spring and summer.

"The opening of Florida's commercial spiny lobster harvest is always a much anticipated event, and this year's is especially meaningful," Bronson said.  "I hope that consumers will pay a visit to their local seafood market or restaurant and enjoy this Florida favorite that is now being harvested from the pristine waters off Florida's southern peninsula."

The spiny lobster (Panulirus argus) is a crustacean related to crabs, shrimp, crayfish and the Spanish lobster.  In Florida, the spiny lobster is caught off the Keys and around the southern tip of the state from waters of the Atlantic Ocean near the Florida Reef Tract.

The spiny lobster is characterized by numerous spines on the body, two large, hooked horns over the eyes, a pair of long jointed antennae and five pairs of walking legs.  It has mottled coloring of yellow, brown, orange and blue markings over the body and tail.  The tail is segmented and can be rapidly curled under the body to propel the lobster backward.

Spiny lobsters are harvested using special traps at depths of 6 to 300 feet and are usually landed live.  They are marketed as whole lobster, lobster tails, split tails and lobster meat.  These products are available fresh or frozen, raw or cooked.  The term "green" is used to refer to raw lobster.

More information about spiny lobster and downloadable illustration:

Florida lobster recipes and downloadable photos:

Grilled Florida Lobster Surf and Turf with Shallot Butter:

Florida Lobster with Tomato-Herb Penne Pasta:

Grilled Florida Spiny Lobster Tail:

Spiny Lobster, Avocado, and Grapefruit Salad:

Lobster Bisque:

Florida Lobster Quiche:

Creamy Lobster Medallions with Wild Rice:

Crab-stuffed Florida Lobster:


Florida Spiny Lobster and Wild Shrimp Mango Ceviche:

Florida Lobster Roll:

Sunshine Lobster Salad Bowl:

Lobster Divine:

Lobster Carambola Citrus Salad:

Steamed Lobster:

Bananas Lobster:


irelands best chef stephan matzAshford Castle's executive chef Stefan Matz has been named 'Best Chef' in Ireland in the 2010 Ireland Good Eating Guide; it was announced recently at an awards banquet held at Dublin's Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud. The event, hosted by Tourism Minister Mary Hanafin, was attended by the "who's who" of Ireland's restaurant and hospitality scenes .

Chef Matz was appointed executive chef for Ashford Castle in 2003 and oversees the property's celebrated George V Room, Cullen's at the Cottage and the Connaught Room - available for private functions – where he has created food adventurers with local ingredients.

A native German, Stefan Matz has worked in several of the world's most prestigious kitchens and has received over 20 awards and accolades, including a star rating in the Michelin Guide to Great Britain and Ireland.

Ashford Castle, which dates back to 1228, is set on 350 acres of County Mayo, on the shores of Lough Corrib and the River Cong, with a spectacular backdrop of woodlands, lake, river and mountains. In addition to the 2010 Gold Medal from the Green Hospitality Awards, other recent awards and recognitions include Trip Advisor's 2010 top ten picks for European castle hotels and inclusion in Conde Nast Traveler's 2010 Gold List.

For more information on Ashford Castle or for other special offers, visit .

Fun Food Fact #1: In general, raw vegetables have a much higher nutrient value than cooked, though there are a few exceptions, such as cooked tomatoes. Cooked artichokes are very high in overall antioxidant value

Fun Food Fact #2: The smaller the size of a berry, the sweeter its taste.

Fun Food Fact #3:There is evidence that honey is the only food that cannot spoil. Archaeologists have tasted honey discovered in ancient Egyptian tombs, reporting that it’s edible.

Fun Food Fact #4:If you could eat only one vegetable for the rest of your life, eat spinach; it’s one of the highest ranking vegetables as far as overall antioxidant capacity, yet so versatile in recipes.

Fun Food Fact #5: Formaldehyde is the stinky liquid that’s used to preserve dead laboratory animals. This chemical is what the artificial sweetener, aspartame, breaks down into after being eaten.

Fun Food Facts #6: The closer a food is to its natural state, the healthier it is for you: An apple is better than apple sauce which is better than bottled apple juice which is better than apple pie.

Fun Food Fact #7: Saffron, which is made from dried stamens of crocus flowers, is the world's most expensive spice.

Fun Food Fact #8:Diet soda has yet to be proven as an aid in effective weight loss. Some studies in fact have shown the beverage as actually increasing appetite or hunger.

Fun Food Fact #9: In the US, more tomatoes are consumed everyday than any other vegetable or fruit.

These photos were taken at a wedding in North Carolina .

crab cake 1crab cake 2
  Get ready for this: It's a wedding cake!
  The crabs, corn, and even the container of Old Bay Seasoning are made of white chocolate.
  The sand is crushed graham crackers and vanilla wafers.
  The mallets are fondant, a confection used for decorating.
  The entire $700 cake is edible!
  Crab Cake is not always what you think!
  Where but in North Carolina  would you expect getting crabs at a Wedding Reception? (Well, maybe Southern MD or the Eastern Shore!!)

Food & Wine Talk Radio

Achile Sassoli, Director of Gelato World Tour
and Gelato Artisans:
James Coleridge, Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Abdelrahman Al Teneji, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Matthew Lee, Austin, Texas
Ahmed Abdullatif, Kingdom of Bahrain
Stefano Versace, Miami, Florida
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The House of Mandela Wines from South Africa


Chef Scott Conant: Scarpetta


Mark Schatzker, author of The Dorito Effect, The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor


Elizabeth Minchilli, author of  Eating Rome: Living the Good Life in the Eternal City.  


James Beard Award-winning wine journalist Lyn Farmer on: Garnacha from Carinena; the next great wine


Cindy Hutson,chef/owner, Ortanique and Zest, author of From the Tip of My Tongue


Lidia Batianich, celebrity chef, TV host, author and restaurateur 






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