17th Annual Chowder Challenge: Chowder & Jazz (Postponed. New date in 2021 TBD.)

Gualala Arts and Whale and Jazz present

The 17th Annual Chowder Challenge with Music by Barnebey's Hot Four plus one

This annual event will return in 2021. Check our website as updates will be posted as soon a they are available.

Gualala Arts Coleman Hall

$25 advance, $5 more day of (for 15 tasting tickets & commemorative glass). Free admission for music only.

In the tastiest event of the popular Whale & Jazz festival, local chefs & cooks vie for the title of “Best Mendonoma Coast Chowder” in the 17th Annual Chowder Challenge.

As per previous years, two categories will be judged, Traditional New England-style Clam Chowder and Open Class. Challenge attendees will vote for People’s Choice and Most Tasted awards. The Open Class includes but is not limited to Manhattan-style Clam, Crab, Shrimp, Scallop, Lobster, Abalone, Salmon, or any other seafood combination. Vegetarian chowders such as corn or mushroom are also eligible.

Whether you’re a local professional chef, a home-kitchen gourmet, or a chowder connoisseur, competition for the Golden Cup is expected from Mendocino and Sonoma County challengers vying for the golden cup and title of “Best Mendonoma Chowder”

We are hoping all of last years winners will be back to defend their titles, find registration form here

16th Chowder Winners

General Awards

1st Place Amateur, Open Class: Jeanine Pfeiffer

Runner up Amateur, Traditional: Christine Bussard

1st Place Amateur, Traditional: Michael Jolliffee

Runner up Professional, Open Class: Coast Kitchen at Timber Cove Resort

1st Place Professional, Open Class: Anchor Bay Thai Kitchen

Runner up Professional, Traditional:  Black Oak Catering

1st Place Professional, Traditional:  Vue Kitchen

Most Tasted Chowders:

1st Place: 172 Tickets: Michael Jolliffee: Traditional Chowder

2nd Place: 171 Tickets: Anchor Bay Thai Kitchen: Open Class: Tom Kha Coconut Chowder

3rd Place: 169 Tickets: Brandon Carr at the Gualala Hotel: Open Class: Red Chowder

Peoples Choice:

1st Place: Anchor Bay Thai Kitchen

2nd Place: Michael Jolliffee: Traditional Chowder

3rd Place:  Vue Kitchen: Traditional Chowder 

Judges Trophies:

Best in Open Class: Anchor Bay Thai Kitchen: Tom Kha Coconut Chowder

Judges Best In Traditional Chowder: Vue Kitchen: Traditional Chowder

Barnebey’s Hot Four plus one

In addition to the delicious flavors, the afternoon is an opportunity to enjoy traditional New Orleans jazz with “Barnebey’s Hot Four plus one” of Sonoma County, back for the twelfth straight year. The group’s repertoire includes old favorites, the resurrection of some obscure gems, and surprises for musicians and listeners alike. The group includes Tom Barnebey (trumpet & cornet), Robert Young (reeds & trumpet), Carl Lunsford (banjo & guitar), Marty Eggers (string bass & piano), and Glenn Calkins (trombone).

Event Sponsors:

Surf Market

North Coast Brewing Company


Tickets are $25 in advance; $5 more day of the event and includes 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.

Advance Tickets are available at Brown Paper Tickets. You can also purchase tickets in person at the Gualala Arts Center or Dolphin Gallery in Gualala.