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A Catholic Foodie: Let’s Try Lionfish!

Meet Joanne Campbell, HR Manager by day, entrepreneur, and amazing cook by night!  A past pupil of Holy Faith Convent,  Couva, and a devout parishioner of Our Lady of Mt Carmel RC Church in Carapichaima.  She is also part owner of The Country Kitchen a home-based catering company in Chaguanas that was born in the pandemic 2020. Joanne says their motto is “made with love and tradition” and she believes that they capture the essence of West Indian cuisine.

Joanne shares that almost all her cooking skills came from her mother, but she does see cooking as a calling from God, she says, “It is one of my creative expressions that allows me to tell stories through our food and connects families and communities”

The Country Kitchen is most famous in central Trinidad for its amazing seafood sensations and seafood boils

Today Joanne shares with us one of her signature dishes. Recently Joanne and Country kitchen has been promoting the use of Lionfish. She says, “Eating Lionfish is not only a healthier choice because other than most other fish, as it has higher omega 3 fatty acids, it is also lower in saturated fats and heavy metals such as mercury, but it’s also a sustainable choice. Invasive lionfish threaten native fish and the environment in Atlantic coastal waters. Invasive species are capable of causing extinctions of native plants and animals, reducing biodiversity, competing with native organisms for limited resources, and altering habitats. Eating Lionfish, which is a local, versatile, tasty, and readily available substitute, allows our fishermen to conserve our ocean’s fish stocks while allowing them to continue to earn a living from the ocean. If you are interested in purchasing a Lionfish, we highly recommend The Lion’s Den Seafood at 793-4213”.

It is important to note that the Lionfish has a venomous spine that has to be removed but it is a very tasty white fish.

Joanne shares two quick and easy ways to prepare Lionfish that all of us can try at home


Whole Lion Fish Asian Slaw, sautéed vegetables and Kartoffelkloesse (German Potato Dumplings)

After rinsing and washing mildly with citrus,

  1. Season whole lionfish with Maggi Fish seasoning.
  2. Heat oil in a frying pan with whole garlic cloves.
  3. Dredge the entire Lionfish in flour, ensuring it is entirely coated.
  4. Gently shake off any excess flour.
  5. Place fish in the oil and cook over medium heat until browned on both sides.
  6. Enjoy with rice, steamed vegetables, or your favourite sides.

Perhaps the easiest way to prepare lionfish is to make tacos.

1. Fillet the fish, and cut the fillet into 3-inch strips

2. Combine flour, egg, milk, salt, black pepper, and powdered seasonings in a bowl as a batter

3. Coat strips and drop into oil in a pre-heated medium pan

4. Serve in tacos with the grated cheese, diced tomatoes, and shredded lettuce