Chowder Challenge – Chowder & Jazz

Sonoma ~ Mendocino Coast Whale & Jazz Festival presents

Jazz Concert & Chowder tasting, featuring Barnebey's Hot Four

Saturday, April 23, 2016, 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Coleman Auditorium

$20 advance, $5 more day of (for 15 tasting tickets & commemorative glass). Free admission for music only.

Calling all Chefs! Download the 2016 Chowder Challenge Application

Whale & Jazz Festival logoIn the tastiest event of the popular Whale & Jazz festival, local chefs & cooks will vie for the title of “Best Mendonoma Coast Chowder” in the 14th Annual Chowder Challenge.

Jeremy Tummel Cooking
Jeremy Tummel Cooking

This year, celebrity judge chef Jeremy Tummel will be replacing the past panel style of judging. Chef Tummel is Chef de Cuisine at the Stillwater at Pebble Beach Resort. He has an extensive education in the culinary industry and a wide-range of cuisine experience. Recently featured at the Four Seasons Tokyo as an ambassador of Central Coast food and wine pairings, he has a strong bond with the ocean, the land and the ingredients they provide.

Chef Tummel will be judging two categories, Traditional New England-style Clam Chowder and Open Class, whilst Challenge attendees vote for People’s Choice and Most Tasted awards. The open Class can included, but not limited to Manhattan-style Clam, Crab, Shrimp, Scallop, Lobster, Abalone, Salmon, or any other seafood combination. Vegetarian Chowders such as corn or mushroom chowder are also eligible.

Chowder ChallengeChowder Challenge

This family-friendly midday event includes a concert of traditional New Orleans jazz performed once again by the ever-popular “Barnebey’s Hot Four” of Sonoma County, returning to the Gualala Arts Center for the tenth straight year. The repertoire for the afternoon will include old favorites, the resurrection of some obscure musical gems from the golden age of jazz, and probably a few surprises for musicians and listeners alike, all in the tradition of the Big Easy. Those wanting to work off their chowder tasting with dancing will find themselves toe-tapping and boot-stomping as the infectious beats of New Orleans pushes them towards the dance floor!

Barnebey's Hot Four
Barnebey’s Hot Four

Barnebey’s Hot Four

The Hot Four continue to be the band of choice at the Whale & Jazz Festival’s Chowder & Jazz event, having returned every year since 2006. They had also appeared for many years in Gualala sponsored by Gualala Lions Club with Barnebey’s former Jazz Salvation Co. band. Tom Barnebey has assembled a group of versatile jazz musicians well versed in a good time, swinging, improvisational style: Robert Young on reeds & cornet, Carl Lunsford on banjo & guitar and Marty Eggars on string bass.

Tom Barnebey, cornet & trombone

Tom Barnebey
Tom Barnebey

Tom has been in trad jazz since the 1960s, when he began playing banjo and piano in pizza parlors around the Los Angeles area, and cornet with the then newly formed Jelly Roll Jazz Band. After moving to Sonoma County, he led the well regarded Jazz Salvation Company for 20 years. A highlight on the JSC’s schedule in last nine of those years was the annual Dixieland by the Sea concert in Gualala.

Tom is the currently the cornetist with the Zenith Jazz Band, leads a Roaring Twenties style quintet called “Beyond Salvation Jazz Band,” and fills in on various instruments with other trad bands in the Bay Area.


Tickets are $20 in advance; $5 more day of the event, and include commemorative wine or beer glasses and 15 chowder-tasting tickets, complete with hot bread fresh out of the oven and beverages, including local fine wines and microbrews as well as soft beverages. Additional tasting tickets will be available onsite for $1 each. Free admission for music only.

For advance purchase, visit Brown Paper Tickets. To purchase in person, visit the Gualala Arts Center or Dolphin Gallery in Gualala.