Where to Dine This Summer
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Great Southern School of Fish Restaurant Opens in Florida

Submitted by on May 7, 2009 – 1:46 pmNo Comment

windmarkflThe Great Southern School of Fish restaurant has opened in WindMark Beach’s Village Center in Port St. Joe, Fla., offering a menu created by chef and veteran restaurateur Jim Shirley.

Chef Shirley, a partner in the Great Southern Restaurant Group in Pensacola and the Great Southern Cafe in Seaside, Fla., brings his signature modern Southern cuisine to this Gulf front eatery.

Offering indoor and outdoor seating with scenic views of the Gulf of Mexico, School of Fish features local Gulf Coast seafood and down home southern favorites for leisurely lunches and relaxing, low-key dinners.

Always looking to mix and match flavors in new ways, Chef Shirley has come up with an eclectic batch of appetizers. He’s spicing things up with dishes like tequila-spiked chicken wings, oysters Arcadia (topped with a spicy Cajun sauté of crawfish, blue crab, sweet peppers, andouille and smoked Gouda) and soul rolls (chicken and collard greens served in a crisp wrapper with peach chutney, horseradish cream and Creole mustard).

Not to be missed is Chef Shirley’s signature dish, Grits a Ya-Ya, made with smoked Gouda cheese grits smothered with a sauté of applewood-smoked bacon, spinach, shallots, garlic, Portobello mushrooms and cream finished with spiced shrimp and sweet potato hay.

The son of a Navy pilot who was stationed all around the world, Chef Shirley has a wide knowledge of and a huge appreciation for cuisines from many cultures, but the Pensacola, Fla., native says it’s his grandmother’s traditional Southern cooking that he has always loved most. In addition to being a partner in the Great Southern Restaurant Group in Pensacola and the Great Southern Cafe in Seaside, Fla., Chef Shirley is also president of the Society of Great Southern Chefs and a member of the Southern Foodways Alliance.

For reservations at Great Southern School of Fish, call 850-229-1122.

WindMark Beach is a 2,020-acre residential and resort community in Northwest Florida that is being built alongside St. Joseph Bay, overlooking Cape San Blas. The community is located two miles north of the historic town of Port St. Joe, 22 miles west of Apalachicola and 39 miles east of Panama City.

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