Annual Abalone Festival & Cook-Off
Saturday, October 7th, 2017 ~ Noyo Harbor, Fort Bragg

The World Championship Abalone Cook-Off is open to every one! It's a fun and exciting way to help mendocino area parks association and support our parks.

  • Buy a Judging Ticket and taste up to 10 abalone recipes: $75/member; $90/non-member
  • Just come enjoy the festival: FREE  
  • Participate as a competing cook: FREE


If you have purchased a membership but are not sure of your membership number, call the MAPA office between 9am and 4pm Mon-Fri: 707.937.4700

For more information on becoming a member, visit our Membership Page
New Memberships may take a day or two to process.


About the Festival

This major fundraiser is really two events in one: 1) Abalone cook-off competition, and 2) the Festival. 

1) Abalone Cook-Off CompetitionCompeting cooks prepare their favorite recipes in hopes of winning a World Championship Trophy and/or Grand Prize.  Judging tickets allow the purchaser to judge up to ten delicious recipes in the competition and vote for their favorite dish. "Up to 10" means that MAPA cannot guarantee 10 tastes because ocean conditions might affect divers' ability to find abalone. The abalone prepared in the cook-off is wild-caught, not farm-raised, making this a unique experience. Judging is based on taste, texture/tenderness and presentation. 2017 Judging tickets are: MAPA members $75.00, non member $90.00.

2) Festival: Live music, beer from North Coast Brewing Company, food booth with clam chowder, silent auction, craft fair, raffle and wine tasting from Mendocino's finest wineries.

3) General Info: There are two ways to enjoy the Abalone Cook-Off. The first requires no tickets and is free to the public. The free entry does not include any tasting at all but allows the person or persons to enjoy the festival as a whole. The second way is to purchase "Judging Tickets" which allows the purchaser of the ticket to taste a variety of the cooks Abalone recipe's and to vote for the winner.

The cook-off is held in memory of Ken Tallman, and in honor of Sub-Surface Progression Dive Shop and the Tallman Family who donate the prizes.


A note regarding the Abalone Cook-Off Judging Tickets

The Abalone Cook-Off has a loyal following, including families and groups of friends, many of whom have been attending for over 20 years. This event has grown from its beginnings in Subsurface Progression’s parking lot to the world class event it is today.  

Competing in the Cook-Off is a huge commitment for the participating cooks. They must assemble their team of divers, travel long distances, follow the strictly enforced Dept. 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, DFW 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, 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 are, by necessity, raising the judging ticket price by $5.00 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. 

Of course, we still cannot guarantee that by purchasing a judging ticket you will be able to taste a full 10 recipes. There are just too many variables; cooks can have family emergencies, illness can strike at the last minute, or diving conditions could make it very unsafe to dive (if they opt to use their wild caught abalone) on the weekend of the festival.

Your MAPA membership allows you to purchase advance discount judging tickets for the World Championship Abalone Cook-Off; arguably one of the world’s most amazing parties and food events - you cannot experience this anywhere else. Member advanced discount price judging tickets go on sale June 1st, 2017, regular priced judging tickets go on sale July 1st, 2017. They are selling out faster every year!  We hope you will consider a membership at the $100 level or above.  You not only will enjoy increased member benefits, you will be making a positive impact in our local state parks!