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

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.