It may seem like a contradiction in terms… Eating salmon to support Salmon Restoration, but the Salmon Trollers Association has been doing great work with this event for years. I’ve had the good fortune of participating in several different ways to support this event since I moved up here more than 20 years ago, but this year I think was the most fun, and I’ll tell you why.
Salmon BBQ Event 2022
Salmon BBQ 2022
Generous people, voting with their dollars to support a cause that has delicious implications.
This event is one of the largest events in Fort Bragg every year, often with a total of attendance of 3000 guests or more. Most of the folks who attend are tourists and most of the locals who attend are actually working on the periphery to make sure all these guests have a memorable experience. From the ticket takers, to the corn shuckers, to the salad spinners, to the garlic bread team with their bread mops soaked with that delicious stinking rose butter, and finally to the dignitaries wearing their best bright yellow rain gear, grilling up salmon to the delight of the masses.
(Image: Paul Katzeff on left, Joe Seta on Right)
So at the end of that buffet line you find musical entertainment, the ice cream from our local legendary Cowlicks ice cream parlor, fine craft beer from North Coast Brewing Company (also a certified B Corp.) and Thanksgiving Coffee. We had cold brew, three different hot brews and the ability for the first time to sell bags of coffee.
(Image: Crowed at the Worlds Largest Salmon BBQ, Fort bragg, CA)
The morning starts with coffee for the volunteers, who are all extremely appreciative. Then, at about 11 AM… The line forms. That line doesn’t stop until 6 PM. For the next seven hours, Paul and I look like a pair of octopus pals, each with eight arms going in every direction, telling stories while serving and explaining the difference between light roasts, dark roasts and cold brew. We live for that kind of connection to our audience.
Luckily, in the early afternoon, Jonah and Joan Katzeff arrived to give us a break, and allow us to feast like all the other salmon supporters. Wading out into the sea of picnic tables, all made by aspiring craftsman from Parlin Forks Conservation Camp, it’s inspiring to see the instant community that gets established, just by sitting next to someone from another place, from another experience, and all gathered together for the support of the salmon.
Back to it after the break, the audience primarily switched from hot brew to cold brew as the sun starts to reclaim its rightful position overhead instead of the often-present marine layer of clouds. Did I tell you that we were giving all this coffee away? Well, the coffee was ‘free’ in exchange for a donation, in any amount, to Salmon Restoration. When we took an average at the end of the day people were donating about six bucks per cup of coffee… Generous people, voting with their dollars to support a cause that has delicious implications. (Image: Momma Grows Funk Band with crowd at Worlds Largest Salmon BBQ, Fort Bragg, CA)
Below are the coffees that were served at the Salmon BBQ for you to enjoy at home.
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