It's become one of the ingredients most sought after by local chefs and food lovers: the lionfish.
This spiny, venomous and perniciously invasive creature — once prized only by saltwater-aquarium aficionados — is as elusive on area menus as it is prolific in South Florida's waters.
But Sunday, locals will get a rare chance to feast on this candy-striped invader during Lionfish Fest, a two-day lionfish roundup and cooking competition in south Fort Myers.
"I'm stoked to try out a new fish," said Brian Roland, chef and founder of Naples' Crave Culinaire which will compete in Sunday's lionfish cook-off. "I'm hoping if the demand starts to pick up here then more fishermen will try to start and source it."