“To inspire wonder, discovery, recreation and stewardship of our

natural and cultural treasures in Mendocino County’s State Parks”



October 7th, 2017

Noyo Harbor, Fort Bragg, CA



Registration open by phone only.Contact Erin McBride at (916) 903-3450 to see if there is any available space and to register. There is no registration fee!

Table rentals (six foot length) are available for registered cooks for $10. Please reserve your table and pay here




Don't let the rules intimidate you. Cooks have been competing for years.

DIVING SAFETY: You are more important than any competition.  MAPA urges all divers to STAY SAFE! Follow smart diving practices. Do not dive in unsafe conditions or rough waters. 

Be sure to contact us if you have any questions: mapa@mendoparks.org, 707-937-4700.

Contact Erin McBride, MAPA Cook Coordinator for detailed cook questions at (916) 903-3450.



ABALONE CHECK-IN ARRANGEMENTS: (Your registration booth # at check-in will not be the same as the booth #  provided for the competition). 

You will be provided with the new booth #, hole punch and 2 free aprons by a MAPA representative prior to 11am on the day of the event.



    • Make sure all shell-tagged abalone have been checked in by the abalone committee before you begin preparation of your recipe. MAXIMUM OF 12 ABALONE PER BOOTH, and only one recipe per booth.  If you want to prepare two recipes, you will need to register two booths.


    • You may purchase FARM-RAISED ABALONE.  The count is 80 to 160 abalone at 3" to 5" in size.  80 abalone will do approximately 240 small servings.  160 abalone is approximately equal in weight to 12 7" or above wild abalone. This year, due to the condition of the Abalone fishery, MAPA is also giving cooks the option to receive farm-raised abalone instead of the $200 stipend we have been providing.  Cooks will not receive the $200 stipend if we are providing them with farm-raised abalone. Please call or email Melissa Shaw to discuss this option.

    • To purchase your own FARM-RAISED ABALONE contact Brad Buckley at The Abalone Farm—(805) 441-2024.  Be sure to mention the MAPA World Champion Abalone Cook-off.




You may check in your tagged abalone to one of the committee members on the Friday before at Noyo Harbor.  You must have one person for every three wild-caught abalone you are checking in.  The abalone, whether farm-raised or wild-caught, cannot leave the grounds once they are checked in.  When you leave, bring your own ice chest, with the abalone iced down, to the storage shed, with your name on it, and taped shut to leave it for overnight storage with MAPA in the storage garage where you checked the abs in. 


You may check in and/or receive your farm-raised abalone on Friday. The number of abalone will be counted and you must show your invoice to prove they are farm-raised abalone. If you opt to receive farm-raised abalone from MAPA you MUST keep your receipt with you at all times. The abalone, whether farm-raised or wild-caught, cannot leave the grounds once they are checked in.  When you leave, bring your own ice chest, with the abalone iced down, to the storage shed, with your name on it, to be checked and taped shut to leave it for overnight storage with MAPA in the storage garage where you checked the abs in.


    Alcohol as a garnish to your recipe is prohibited.  Cooks who serve alcohol will be disqualified.

    Rule Change for 2016

    Cooks may clean and prepare wild caught Abalone starting at 9:00 am on the Friday before, however there are strict rules and guidelines that the Department of Fish and Wildlife must enforce for early preparation of Abalone.  The Rules clearly state that Abalone which has been removed from its shell must be prepared for immediate consumption.  That being said, Abalone prepared a day before the event must be going through a marinating or seasoning process.  All cook teams who clean and begin preparing Abalone the day prior to the event must submit their recipes to MAPA in advance at erin@mendoparks.org.  

    Cooks are responsible for following DFW rules when cooking.  Contact Erin McBride at (916) 903-3450 for questions on early start approval.  
    Once in a marinating or seasoning mode Abalone can be stored overnight by MAPA in your sealed and labeled ice chest. The MAPA storage shed will open promptly at 5:00 AM on the Saturday of the event. We suggest that all Abalone be checked in on Friday, in the interest of preparation time. 
    There are no limits on preparing ingredients on Friday prior to the event that are not Abalone (crackers, spices, etc.). There are no cook start time restrictions on farmed raised abalone once they have been checked in.


    Your canopy and cook site may be set up on Friday. 

    ABALONE CLEANING: MAPA will provide abalone cleaning stations. Please dispose of all remains appropriately.

    HEALTH RULES: You must follow the California State Rules for food handling. https://www.co.mendocino.ca.us/hhsa/chs/eh/

    FISH & GAME REGULATIONS: You must follow all Deparment of Fish & Wildlife regulations pertaining to legal take, possession, cleaning and preparation of abalone.

    SATURDAY CHECK-IN: Cooks who do not register their abalone on Friday, may do so on Saturday beginning at 7 am.

    SATURDAY CLEANING AND PREPARATION: Cleaning stations will be available for cleaning your abalone.  Be sure to put the guts in designated containers. 


    ·       Start cleaning and preparing no later than 8 am.

    ·        Qty. of 8 abalone 8" or larger will make 300 3"x3" steaks.

    ·        We suggest you have at least four people per cook team which consist of a cook, a serving plate organizer, a server, and a judge ticket hole puncher. (MAPA will provide each team with a hole punch).

    ·        Register abalone on Friday

    ·        Pre-cut non abalone ingredients a day early

    ·        Bring a large trash can, bowls, knives, extra cutting boards, mallets, cooking utensils, pans, paper towels, tin foil, stove, fuel, butter, oil, paper plates for ingredients, serving plates, plastic forks, floor matt, tables, decorations, AND, your own ice chest to store your abs overnight if you check in on Friday.

    NAME OF RECIPE: Cooks must provide MAPA with the name of your recipe in advance, either by calling 707-937-4700, or emailing to mapa@mendoparks.org. We don't need the recipe, just the name.


    COOK SITE SIZE: 10' x 15'

    CANOPY & TARP: You should have a canopy with drop-down sides and a tarp covering the ground to meet health code. 10' x 10' canopy should be sufficient. We hope for the best weather for this event, but there's always the possibility of wind or rain, so you may want to bring plenty of secure tie-downs, just in case.

    VEHICLES: NO vehicles allowed in your site.



    You need to provide your own serving utensils.

    If you are serving soup or chowder, please provide your own tasting cups.

    Cooks need to provide the judges (public) with plates, forks, spoons and napkins.

    TABLES: You'll need a minimum of one table to lay out your food and equipment; two tables would be better. You will be cooking, and serving, so plan for your needs.  You may rent them from MAPA for $10 each.

    ELECTRICITY: Electricity is available at the cleaning station site. We also have a limited number of electrical outlets at the cook booths. First come, first serve at the time of registration.

    WATER: Potable water is available at the cleaning stations.

    # OF HELPERS: One person is needed in your booth for every three abalone, but you may have as many helpers as you want.

    ANIMALS: NO animals are allowed in your cook site as required by the health code.


    # OF SAMPLES:  Cooks are required to prepare at least 216 appetizer size samples. In the first round, 200 servings are for the Public Judges and 3 are for the World Championship Judges (3 World Championship Judges are assigned to each of the 3 color groups). If you advance to the final round of six cooks (two cooks advance from each color group), you will be required to cook one serving for each of the 9 World Championship Cooks. In addition, four samples will be prepared for volunteers of the event.

    # OF ABALONE:  6 to 8 abalone are sufficient for most cooks

    12 wild caught or 160 farm raised Abalone per booth are the maximum allowed. If you run out of Abalone during the preliminary round you will not be allowed to compete in the finals.


    Judging start and end times will be determined by the coordinator and each booth will be made aware prior to the event.


    Cooks and judges will be divided into 3 color-coded sections.  There will be new colors each year. 

    First, second, third and fourth place winners will be named in each color section.

    Each judge must present a punch card to receive a sample. Most cooks have a helper to punch the cards for them. People who don't have punch card can't vote, so you are not helping yourself if you give away tastes.

    Punch cards must be the same color as the color assigned to your booth, and the card must have your same assigned cook number on it that you will punch to verify that they have tasted at your booth. Other colors cannot vote for you.

    Judging Criteria

    Public Judges vote one time for their favorite cook team.  They are encouraged to consider tenderness, overall taste, Abalone taste, and presentation.  MAPA counts the number of votes to determine first through fourth place.  The first place winner advances to the final round.  In addition to a cook team advancing to finals as determined by the winner of the public vote, a second cook team from each color will be advanced as determined by the World Championship Judges (3 are assigned to each color). 

    In the event the World Judges tie with the Public Judges, the cook team who wins the second place Public vote will advance.  World Championship Judges use the following criteria: Overall taste 15 points, Tenderness/Texture Appropriate 15 points, Abalone taste 10 points, and Presentation 10 points.

    In the final round six cooks will prepare their recipes for all 9 World Championship Judges.   


    World Champion : Trophy

    Second through Sixth Place Finals Certificate

    PRELIMINARY ROUND/3 COLOR Groups, 8 to 12 teams per group, prizes are per color group

    All Teams receive a $200 check at the end of the competition to help cover the cost of cooking incidentals

    First Place: 2016 offered a stay at the Vaca’s Ocean Breeze Ocean Side Vacation Rental. TBD for 2017

    First through tenth place: 2016 awarded gift certificates from Sub-Surface Progression Dive Shop. TBD for 2017

    Best Decorated Booth $150