Santa Cruz Clam Chowder Cook-Off Returns

Two Days of Clamtastic Fun

SANTA CRUZ, CA (February 23, 2018) – The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk hosts the Santa Cruz Clam Chowder Cook-Off this weekend, rain or shine. Forty-nine amateur teams will compete on Saturday February 24 and thirty professionals on Sunday, February 25.  The 37th annual event is a fundraiser for City of Santa Cruz Parks & Recreation programs.

Visitors will find both Boston (white) and Manhattan (red) chowders to sample, cooked with care at colorful booths along the Boardwalk.  More than just a cooking competition, the Clam Chowder Cook-Off is an entertaining event with costumed participants boasting punny team names like Knights of Clamelot, Yosemite Clam, Killer Klams from Chowder Space and Clamilton.

Restaurants participating on Sunday include first-time participant Discretion Brewing, and returning favorites   East Side Eatery,  Midgleys Public House, Ideal Bar & Grill, and Rosie McCann’s and Jack O’Neill Lounge at Dream Inn.  Other professionals include Team Sutter, Hotel Mission de Oro, and UCSC Chowder Slugs.  

Former Top Chef competitor, Michael Midgley is returning for his fourth Clam Chowder Cook-Off.  Midgley, who runs Midgley’s Public House in Stockton is no stranger to tough competition, in addition to Top Chef, Midgley has appeared on TV’s Knife Fight and Cutthroat Kitchen.

Admission to the rain or shine event is free; tasting kits are $10 for 6 samples. Preparation starts at 10am, cooking at 11am, public tasting is from 1pm - 3pm. Winners will be announced at 4pm at Neptune’s Stage.

All proceeds from the sale of tasting kits benefit the City of Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation Department. Last year the event brought in $89,500.00 for Parks and Recreation Department programs. The popular event has raised $1.3 million since it started in 1981.

Amusement park rides are scheduled to open from 11am to 6pm, weather permitting.

For more information including a PDF of the Program with full list of contestants,  please visit

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