ChowderFest 2015 – A Treasure in the Harbor!


By Raven West

Pirate Captain Arata, First Mate Wolfe and Pirate “Darcy Blows” greeted an enthusiastic crowd of more than 700 who attended the 1st Annual ChowderFest 2015 to benefit the Channel Islands Maritime Museum in Oxnard.


Pirate Captain Arata, First Mate Wolfe and Pirate “Darcy Blows”


Maritime Museum director Julia Chambers and members of the Blue Gavel (an association of former yacht club commodores) organized the event.

140 volunteers representing the museum, as well as Yacht clubs in Ventura and Oxnard, were on hand with plenty of napkins, cups, spoons and oyster crackers to add to the delicious variety of chowders served by 17 local restaurants.

Three of Ventura County’s wineries: Sunland Vintage Winery in Thousand Oaks, Magnavino Cellars in Oxnard and Panaro Bros. in Ventura, poured their best chowder pairing wines. Firestone Walker Brewing Company served their signature 805 and four other ice cold beers for the thirsty crowd.







Along with their chowder, Spencer Makenzie’s provided a little kick with their in-house choice of “Sweet Chili Fire” and “Little Sweet, Lotta Heat”.

Spencer Makenzie

Spencer  Makenzie

Cathy Moreno, owner of “The Kitchen” served a potato, corn and bacon chowder.

Quincy Street was the only restaurant who not only served New England style, but authentic Manhattan (red) chowder. One happy ex-New Yorker remarked, “It’s just like my mother used to make”.

Quincy Street

Quincy Street

A real treat was served by Lookout Bar and Grill’s owner Pat Millman, who served their chowder in an eatable mini-bread bowl. It was so delicious and “You can even eat the dishes!”

Amanda and Tamara of Sea Fresh delicately poured their piping hot clam chowder with a smile and a choice of hot sauces; Verde, Caribbean and Original, while Moqueca Brazilian served Bo Bo De Camaroes, a spicy shrimp chowder.


Pat Millman of Lookout Bar and Grill

Michelle Kenny, owner of La Dolce Vita served a green onion chowder with Focaccia, perfect for dipping. For a choice in dipping breads, Pandora Bread offered a selection of four different varieties served by the U.S. Navy’s Naval Sea Cadets.

Advertisement- 740 South B Street, Oxnard, (805) 486-6878

Advertisement- 740 South B Street, Oxnard, (805) 486-6878


Pandora Bread

In the adjoining booth, an out-of-the-ocean shark was serving up his undersea friends in a huge vat of chowder prepared by Hook, Line & Sinker Restaurant & Fish Market.

Hookline and Sinker

Hookline and Sinker

Attendees at the Harbor street event were also treated to a free tour of the museum and live music by guitarist Theresa Russell and several other bands who kept things lively until long past sundown.


If you missed this event, be on the lookout for the date next year. ChowderFest 2016 will be a “Pirate Treasure” you will NOT want to miss!


We’ll keelhaul you, matey.



Raven West

Raven West

Raven West is a free-lance writer and published author who has lived in Ventura County for more than twenty years. She has an extensive knowledge of local wineries from Thousand Oaks to Ojai and will be covering special events which take place at the tasting rooms throughout the year.

Get Headlines free  SUBSCRIPTION. Keep us publishing – DONATE

Scroll Down to post comment


0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments