I cleaned my first abalone this year. The gutting & cleaning alone took over an hour, and my job was easy – relatively. Beforehand, I watched from the shore as the divers went out to negotiate the seaweed and find the disguised shells along the ocean floor – on one breath of air. After the diving, cleaning, pounding and prepping, the abalone were sizzled on the grill with butter and garlic. So I’m sure you understand that when I excitedly stabbed a piece with my fork and it slipped & fell to the ground, I picked it up and ate it anyway.
It’s a lot of work. Plus, regulations today limit the amount a person can catch in a day, and for the whole season. Not to mention how dangerous diving can be. So when you eat abalone, you really want to enjoy it. Fort Bragg’s annual Abalone Cook-off is the perfect chance to do so…
The 16th annual Festival, to be held on Saturday October 3rd, is a celebration of this local North Coast delicacy. Chefs compete in the cook-off to execute the perfect recipe. To enjoy the fruits of their labor, all you have to do is purchase a “tasting ticket” to become a judge for the event. The event takes place in Fort Bragg’s Noyo Harbor, and also includes a silent auction, craft fair, wine, food and more. Hosted by the Mendocino Area Parks and Recreation, the Festival is a fundraiser for local State Parks.
For more details or ticket info, visit this site. Enjoy, and remember: don’t take your abalone for granted!