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Photo courtesy of Serritella’s

The “Clam Dynasty” team from Carmichael’s Serritella’s restaurant triumphed with their chowder recipe in Santa Cruz.

Mama Mia! Carmichael’s Serritella’s is chowder champ

Published: Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 - 12:49 pm

The cooks at Serritella’s restaurant, the neighborhood favorite on Fair Oaks Boulevard, better known for their lasagna, pizza and minestrone, are now champs when it comes to clam chowder.

Bonnie Prophet, Robert Contreras and their two children placed first in the category “Best Professional Boston Chowder” at the 33rd Annual Santa Cruz Clam Chowder Cook-Off and Festival.

Dubbing themselves “Team Clam Dynasty,” they donned costumes of fake black beards, hats and camouflage t-shirts on Saturday for the contest at the beach boardwalk in Santa Cruz (

“Everybody wears costumes so we thought we would do a spoof on Duck Dynasty,” said Prophet said in a press release. “And since it was our second year we knew a bit more what to expect. But we never in a million years thought we would win.”

More than 70 teams competed in two divisions, individual and professional. Each team created either or both styles of chowder: Manhattan and Boston. Teams from around Northern California competed.

“We will be back next year to defend the title,” said Contreras.

Call The Bee’s Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

Read more articles by Bill Lindelof

About Appetizers

Chris Macias has served as The Sacramento Bee's Food & Wine writer since 2008. His writing adventures have ranged from the kitchen at French Laundry to helping pick 10 tons of zinfandel grapes with migrant farm workers in Lodi. Chris also judges regularly at food, wine and cocktail competitions around Northern California. His profile of a former gangbanger-turned-pastry-chef was included in Da Capo's "Best Food Writing 2012."

Read his Wine Buzz columns here
(916) 321-1253
Twitter: @chris_macias

Allen Pierleoni writes about casual lunchtime restaurants in The Sacramento Bee's weekly "Counter Culture" column. He covers a broad range of topics, including food, travel, books and authors. In addition to writing the weekly column "Between the Lines," he oversees the Sacramento Bee Book Club, in which well-known authors give free presentations to the public.

Read his Counter Culture reviews here
(916) 321-1128
Twitter: @apierleonisacbe

Blair Anthony Robertson is The Sacramento Bee's food critic.

Read his restaurant reviews here
(916) 321-1099
Twitter: @Blarob

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