Results from the 2017 World Champion Abalone Cook-Off and Festival

World Championship
Abalone Cook-Off & Festival
Saturday, October 6th, 2018 ~ South Noyo Harbor, Fort Bragg

The Festival grounds open at 10:30am, abalone tasting, with a purchased judging ticket, starts at 11:30am


  • Buy a Judging Ticket and taste up to 10 abalone recipes: MAPA members are eligible for advance discounted tickets starting June 1st. Regular priced tickets go on sale July 1st. 
  • Just come enjoy the festival: FREE  
  • Participate as a competing cook: FREE


Photo Credit: Brendan McGuigan and Keith Wyner

October 6th, 2018, marks the twenty-ninth annual World Championship Abalone Cook-off & Festival.

Admission to the festival is free. Festival goers will enjoy live music, local beer from the North Coast Brewery, fine wines from Mendocino County wineries, a dockside crafts fair, silent auction, and tasty fare at“Gai’s Café” food booth.

The purchase of a judging ticket allows for the added pleasure of tasting up to ten abalone recipes prepared by chefs competing for the World Championship Trophy. Tasting begins at 11:30am and continues until 2:30pm. Competing in the cook-off is a huge commitment for the participating chefs. They must assemble their team of divers, travel long distances (we have had teams from as far away as Hawaii and Australia), follow the strictly enforced Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) regulations, and brave harsh diving conditions to get the abalone they need to compete in the cook-off.

This year, in response to a reduction in the abalone population, the Department of Fish and Wildlife cut the abalone season by two months and limited the total annual take per diver to 12 abalone rather than 18. Because of these restrictions, which are designed to help the abalone population recover, MAPA is making farm-raised abalone available to cook teams who request it. This will ensure that cooks who are unable to assemble a team of divers will still be able to participate in the cook-off. We have, by necessity, raised the price of a judging ticket by $5 to cover MAPA's added cost of purchasing farm-raised abalone from Ocean Rose Abalone Farms. This abalone is fed a diet of kelp and tastes almost identical to wild-caught abalone.


PLEASE NOTE: We will do our best to make sure that judging ticket purchasers can taste a good sampling of abalone recipes, however, there are too many variables for MAPA to guarantee that a full 10 tastes will be available per judging ticket; cooks can have family emergencies, illness can strike at the last minute, or diving conditions could make it very unsafe to dive on the weekend of the festival.

Members of the Mendocino Area Parks Association can purchase advance discount tickets beginning June 1st. To purchase member discounted tickets you will need to have your member number or "discount code"

General non-member tickets are available beginning July 1st.

This event is the main fundraiser produced by and for the Mendocino Area Parks Association (MAPA) to support natural and cultural history programs in the State Parks of Mendocino County, as well as park improvement projects, park advocacy, and the operation of Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area.

**Judging tickets are non-refundable.