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

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



Dates and 2017 event information coming soon!

And the winners are...

2016 World Champions: Booth 21, "The Chuck Wagon" Mike Taaning from Redwood Valley Recipe: Breaded Fried Abalone

Team "The Chuck Wagon", Photo credit to Keith Wyner

Second place: Booth 7, Jack Beallo, “Team Beallo”, from Oakland,
recipe: Fire Abalone

Second Place Team Beallo *Photo credit to Keith Wyner


Third place: Booth 14, Mario Gardiea, “Stockton Fire”, from Modesto,
recipe: Bull Kelp Dumplings

Runners up:
Fourth: Booth 16, Nadie and David Edgecomb, "Edgecomb 1"
Fifth: Booth 18, Reynen Christo, "Carmel Belle"
Sixth: Booth 5, Erich Dauenhauer, "Team Dauenhauer"
Seventh: Booth 1, Dalton Albin, "Team Albin"

Winners of the Popular Vote, three 1st place winners:

Green Group: Jack Beallo, “Team Beallo”, from Oakland,
recipe: Fire Abalone.

Brown Group: Erich Dauenhauer, “Team Dauenhauer” from Point Arena. Recipe: Stupid Simple Abalone

Red Group: Reynen Christo, “Carmel Belle” from Reno,
recipe: Abalone Lettuce Wraps

2016 World Championship Abalone Cook-Off

Many Thanks to our Donors and Sponsors
Without your help the Abalone Cook Off wouldn't be possible

Sub Surface Progression Dive Shop
Little River Inn

Special Thanks to:

  • Sub-Surface Progression
  • Little River Inn
  • Fort Bragg High School Rotary Interact
  • California Conservation Corp
  • Noyo Harbor District
  • California Department of Fish and Game
  • California State Parks
  • Noyo Coast Guard

Donations By:

  • ACE—Manchester
  • Albion River Inn
  • Ananse Village
  • Café Beaujolais
  • Caito Fisheries Inc.
  • Charlie Lorenz
  • Coast Hardware
  • Django’s Rough Bar Cafe
  • Dolphin Isle Marina
  • Emerald Mini Golf
  • Epic Graphics
  • Family Hands
  • Fort Bragg Bakery
  • Fort Bragg Outlet
  • Frosty Ice
  • Harvest Market
  • Holiday Inn Express
  • Hwy 20 Feed
  • Laurel Deli & Desserts
  • Matsons
  • Mayan Fushion
  • Mendo Mill
  • Mendocino Cookie Company
  • Metallic Reflections
  • North Coast Brewery
  • Noyo Fishing Center
  • Ocean Rose Abalone Farm
  • Oh Baby!
  • Pippi’s Longstockings
  • Rossi’s
  • Safeway
  • Sea Pal
  • Shirley Washburn
  • Silver’s at the Wharf Restaurant
  • Surf Motel & Gardens
  • The Outdoor Store
  • Visit Mendocino
  • Whispering Pines Spring Water
  • Vaca’s Ocean Breeze Ocean Side Vacation Rental

Wine: Mendocino's finest wineries, like...

Beer: North Coast Brewing Company

Food: Gai's Cafe


2016 World Championship Judges

LORN RANDALL is a magazine food columnist; and a food, travel and humor blogger for his website www.roundtripkitchen.com. He travels extensively interviewing chefs and restauranteurs and pursuing his other passions, fishing and blues music. Highlights for Lorn in 2016 include: Red Carpet reporting of Bon Appetit Magazine’s 10 year anniversary of Vegas Uncork’d, covering the International Blues Competition in Memphis Tennessee, catching his first walleye and eating his first Kringle in Wisconsin.

DIANE PETERSON writes about food and wine, classical music and the arts for The Press Democrat and Sonoma Magazine. She grew up in Philadelphia but considers herself a transplanted New Englander, as both her parents and grandparents were born in Boston. After getting a B.A. in comparative literature from Brown University and an MJ in journalism from U.C. Berkeley, she started her reporting career in 1982 in Sonoma County. She joined the Press Democrat in 1984, where she also met her husband, columnist Chris Smith, who started his career in 1977 on the Mendocino Coast. They have a son, Max, 26. Diane’s New England roots have made her a great lover of seafood.

MARC DYM is Executive Chef and part of the fifth generation at the family-run Little River Inn. Prior to moving to the Mendocino Coast in 1998, Dym toured the global restaurant scene from Texas and Pennsylvania to Antigua and Zurich. He was seduced by this secluded stretch of coastline as much for its local harvests of fish and wine as for its tranquility. Dym brings a modern twist to the classic American-regional cuisine of Little River Inn. An honors graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Chef Marc continues to garner rave reviews from food writers and diners alike.

KIM BADENHOP was born and raised amongst chefs. He left his Wall Street career for a one-year stage at the restaurant Georges Blanc, in Southern Burgundy. Following that, he drove cross country to work in the kitchen of Café Beaujolais in Mendocino. In 1995, he took over Rendezvous Inn & Restaurant in Fort Bragg as chef/owner which quickly became one of the top-rated restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area/Wine Country where it remained till closing in 2011. It won Wine Spectator’s “Award of Excellence” for seven years straight, and was featured in “The Sommelier’s Guide to Restaurants in America.” He now runs a small catering business, KBistro, which allows him ample opportunity to experiment with sous vide cooking. He’s now in pursuit of the perfect sous vide abalone.

RANDY JACOBZOON grew up in San Diego and moved to Fort Bragg in high school where he traded body surfing for free diving. He's been free diving for almost 50 years, preferring it to scuba. He and his wife have a family reunion every Memorial Day weekend at their home in Redwood Valley where they've worked hard to perfect their abalone recipe, the same one they've brought to the abalone cook off many times in the past.

MEI IBACH was born and raised in a fishing village near Singapore. She learned very early on the art of cooking from the many ethnic cuisines that form the delicious melting pot of Singapore, including Thai, Chinese, Malay and the exotic “ Nonya” (which means “Food of Love”). Mei has been a chef instructor for many years at several institutions, including Santa Rosa Junior College, Homeward Bound Marin as well as private cooking schools and venues around the world. She has been a consultant to several restaurants at which she has provided menu development as well as facility design. She contributes her recipes to renowned cook-book authors like Chef John Ash and others, and has published food and recipes articles in the LA Daily Post and Press Democrat. She brings passion and an infectious enthusiasm to her work .

J. KENJI LÓPEZ-ALT is the Managing Culinary Director of Serious Eats, and author of the James Beard Award-nominated column The Food Lab, where he unravels the science of home cooking. A restaurant-trained chef and former Editor at Cook's Illustrated magazine, his first book, The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science is a New York Times Best-Seller, the recipient of a James Beard Award, and was named Cookbook of the Year in 2015 by the International Association of Culinary Professionals. He lives in San Mateo with his wife Adriana and two dogs, Jamón and Shabu.

JOHN KREBS is a Mendocino coast native Jon Krebs brings an abundance of experience to his first year as judge for the 2016 Abalone Cook-off. An avid abalone diver since the age of 14 Krebs has been entering the Cook-off since 2006. A Grand Prize winner in 2009 Krebs went on to become the World Champion Chef 3 out of the last 4 years, including back-to-back wins in 2012 and 2013. His passion for cooking and extensive diving history with over 15 years of restaurant experience make Jon Krebs an excellent candidate to judge this year’s competition.

CHRIS LANDROM is a general Contractor serving Lake and Mendocino County. Married to his wife Julie Landrum for 22 years, and has a 20 year old daughter, Sarah Landrum, which shares his passion of competitive cooking. An avid hunter, fisherman and diver with a passion for food and travel. Grew up in a bakery where his mother was a cake decorator. And at the age of 18, became an apprentice pastry chef, being taught by Chef Jack Elmer, President of the Chef’s de cuisine society of Oregon. Has competed in the Abalone cook-off eight times. Won first place three times and grand prize once.

2015 Abalone Cook-Off Pictures



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