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AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. -- Foodies, rejoice! Amelia Island Restaurant Week kicks off on Friday.

Thomas Tolxdorf, the executive chef at the Ritz-Carlton in Amelia Island, is prepping to get dishes ready for the kick-off dinner on Thursday night.

The idea is to help the local restaurants bring people in during what is a slow time of year for business and show people everything Amelia Island and Fernandina Beach have to offer.

"I recommend to not just come once, but come at least two or three times and go to the different restaurants and try out some of the different styles of cuisine," Tolxdorf said.

The way it works is the 18 restaurants participating have a special, reduced-price menu that includes three courses and a beverage.

So you can get a great meal and a great deal!

"It brings people in not only in the off season, but also brings people in to try us out and they come back in the spring and summer," Stewart said.

George Stewart owns Sliders Seaside Grill and he says people are often surprised by how good the food is at the local restaurants, because it is fresh.

"It is from right out there," Stewart said pointing to the ocean,"a lot of what we use we source islocal food and local shrimp whenever we can."

Of course, preparation is key!

"You have to prepare it like you are cooking for your mother,"said Robert Debrule, the executive chef at Sliders SeasideGrill.

So bring some friends and an empty stomach, the Amelia Island Restaurant Week starts Friday.

See a full list of participating restaurants by visiting the Amelia Island Restaurant Week website.