“We’re fired up and full of exciting news,” says Johnny Fisher, the man behind Fisher’s at Orange Beach Marina. “We celebrate our third anniversary in May, and we’ve really come into our own as the premier dining destination along the coast.” There are plenty of accolades to back up Fisher’s statement – Southern Living magazine has named Fisher’s as one of its top thirty restaurants in the south for the second year running. Garden & Gun magazine has featured a recipe from Fisher’s in its new publication, The Southerner’s Cookbook – a new take on West Indies Salad developed by Chef Bill Briand. Perhaps most significantly, Fisher’s and Briand received a coveted invitation to cook at the James Beard House in New York. The sold-out event, entitled “Gulf to Gotham,” was a huge success, capped off by Briand’s marriage proposal to Fisher’s manager Brittney Ducote as the grand finale.

“There are more good things to come,” says Fisher. “We will continue our Southern Grace Celebrity Chef Dinners, which benefit the Southern Foodways Alliance, with participating chefs to be announced soon. The first two years we featured such big names as John Besh, Tory McPhail, Ryan Prewitt, Sue Zemanick, Justin Devillier, Adam Evans, and Donald Link, and the lineup for 2016 is absolutely incredible. Also, Chef Briand has been invited to do a stint as guest chef at Nashville’s highly rated Fifty-First Kitchen & Bar, on March 3, which is a real honor for him and for Fisher’s.”

With the advent of spring, Fisher’s Upstairs’ seasonal menu will change, and patrons will notice some new items among the standards. Downstairs at Dockside, the more casual part of the operation, there will be changes as well, with the addition of lighter, healthier options. “We listen to our guests and we work hard to offer what they want,” says Fisher. “But that doesn’t mean they can’t have a big juicy cheeseburger, or Mama’s Pot Roast, on occasion. Also we have developed a relationship with the folks who have Murder Point Oysters, farm-raised in South Mobile County, which have been getting great press.”

Fisher is particularly excited about another new venture that underscores his passion for food. “We are sponsoring a garden at Orange Beach Elementary School,” he explains. “It’s never too early to teach kids where food comes from, and how to use it, and most of all to respect the work that goes into growing and preparing it. We are thrilled about this project.”

“We have become a destination here in Orange Beach, not just for the locals, but for people from all around the southeast,” says Fisher. “We are in a beautiful location – I think it’s the prettiest spot around – and we have created a space that reflects that beauty. We’ve had help from people like local designer Melanie Martin, and lots of others. The two dining rooms – Fisher’s and Dockside – operate with the same philosophy, the same management, providing dining experiences that are distinct but similar – one roof, two restaurants. We like to think that the food is part of that – the food tastes like the restaurant looks, and vice versa.”

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