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Gualala Arts

Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.

Archive of past events: 2004 through 2014

Whale and Jazz Festival logo Eleventh Annual Sonoma ~ Mendocino Coast
Whale & Jazz Festival

Chowder & Jazz

Barnebey's Hot Four

Gualala Arts Center
Saturday, April 12, 2014
11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

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2010 Chowder Challenge This family-friendly midday event includes a jazz concert of traditional New Orleans jazz performed by Barnebey's Hot Four of Sonoma County free to the public accompanying the 12th annual Chowder Challenge tasting competition.

Local chefs & cooks vie for the title of "Best Mendonoma Coast Chowder." $20 advance tickets ($5 more day of the Challenge) include Festival Logo wine or beer glass and 15 tickets for chowder tastings, hot bread fresh out of the oven and beverages, including fine wines and microbrews as well as soft beverages. Additional tickets will be available for $1 each at the Challenge.

For advance ticket purchase, go to Brown Paper Tickets or call them at 800-838-3006. To purchase in person, visit the Gualala Arts Center or Dolphin Gallery in Gualala. Special lodging packages which include tickets to this event are available from the Timber Cove Inn.

2010 Chowder Challenge A panel of 'celebrity' judges will determine winners in the categories of Traditional (New England Style Clam Chowder) and an Open Class (for all manner of seafood and even vegetarian chowders).

A "People's Choice" vote of the Chowder & Jazz patrons decides the most popular entry and there is even a cash award for the entrant with the 'Most Tasted' chowder!

This year the Chowder Challenge "People's Choice" and "Most Tasted" contests end promptly at 1:15 p.m. so the winners in all classes can be announced by 1:30 p.m., to give patrons a chance to sample the winner's chowders before they are all gone! Fred Adler from KTDE, 100.5 FM is music coordinator and emcee of the event.

Entry Form:
Calling All Chefs!

Winners of past years'
Chowder Challenges

2014 Chowder Challenge Chefs

Professional Class

  • Denise Souza, The River Grill at Garcia River Casino - Defending her triple-crown titles of 2012 and 2013 with her traditional New England Clam Chowder.

  • Chef Daniel Sanchez & Owner Tracy DuPont from Arena Cove's Pier Chowder House & Tap Room - Veterans of the Chowder Challenge, Daniel and Tracy will serve up two chowders, traditional New England Clam and Manhattan style Clam (Open class).

  • Mike "Bone Daddy" Thomas, Bones Roadhouse - A long time participant in the Chowder Challenge and tireless supporter of Gualala Arts, Bone Daddy enters as a non-competitive entry his traditional New England Clam. He will also have samples of his HoggNutz smoked almonds and HogFather's barbecue sauce as well as "pirate's booty" for the kids.

  • Tanya Radtkey, Black Oak Catering in Annapolis - A returning competitor, Tanya has entered two Open Class chowders, Salmon and Vegetarian Corn.

  • Lisa Smallen, new chef of Alexander's at Timber Cove Inn - Lisa is a first time Chowder Challenge competitor and brings a traditional New England Clam Chowder.

  • Richard Whipple, new chef at Black Point Grill at Sea Ranch Lodge - Richard is a first time Chowder Challenge competitor and brings a traditional New England Clam Chowder.

Amateur Class
Both of these amateur class contestants will be using the Gualala Arts Center commercial-grade kitchen to create their entries.

  • Sonoma's Pam B and her Belle's Sonoma Belle's Chowdah - traditional New England Style Clam Chowder.

  • Gualala Arts Friends of the Pizza Oven (FOPO) culinary group, including Jim Grenwelge, Jamie Edwards, Maurie Veys, Ben Klagenberg and Dick Balch - This culinary crew will be creating an Open Class chowder.

2010 Chowder Challenge 2010 Chowder Challenge

2014 Chowder Challenge Judges

Irma Brandt - Irma was very fortunate to work for several years as Executive Assistant for "Celebrity Chef" Bradley Ogden, observing the "lineup" before dinner service and absorbing the discussions of the different complimentary flavors and textures of the evening's presentations. "Bradley's adjacent office to mine allowed him to often stop by my desk with an idea for a new culinary creation and use me as his sounding board... as if I could ever have the right answer for his creative mind!! This, combined with a love of our local wild mushrooms and my underlying sense of alchemy in the kitchen, is the most probable cause of the development of my own culinary skills and I hope to be a discriminating judge for the Gualala Arts's exciting Annual Chowder event."

Michael Combs - "Chowder is as American as 'applehood and motherpie.' After traveling much and sampling the world's great cuisines, I know what I like: everything! Especially chowder. Growing up in Point Arena, it was abalone chowder; later, with money and abalone scarce, potato chowder sufficed. Finally, clam chowder arrived. Life is good."

Jeremy Crockett - Brother of Joel Crockett, and partner with him in the Go Local business Four-Eyed Frog Books in Cypress Village, Gualala. Joel explains that "Jeremy is the best cook in the family and has the most qualified palate. We are looking forward to Jeremy's judging skills this year."

Hall Kelley - Hall has designed the printed schedule and large posters for the Whale & Jazz Festival for the past several years and attends as many Whale & Jazz Festival events as possible. The Chowder & Jazz event is one of his favorites, and he is thrilled to be a judge again this year.

Chowder Challenge judges (2013)
Chowder Challenge judges (2013)

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.

Barnebey's Hot Four

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 the musicians and listeners alike, all in the tradition of the free and easy music of the Big Easy and great for New Orleans traditional dancing!
Tom Barnebey

Tom Barnebey, cornet & trombone

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.

The Gualala Arts Center, located at 46501 Old State Highway in Gualala, CA,
is open weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and weekends from noon to 4:00 p.m.
Please call (707) 884-1138 for more information, or email

Serving the coastal communities of northern Sonoma & southern Mendocino Counties.