All-you-can-eat crab feeds always a hit

Many fundraisers approaching
By: Krissi Khokhobashvili, Journal Features Editor
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Break out your cracking tools and warm butter – many crab feeds will take place in the area soon.

It’s Dungeness crab season, and that means hauls of up to 30,000 pounds according to Brand Little, owner of The Little Fish Company. Crab caught by his commercial boats in Bodega Bay Friday is cooked the same day and sold at the Foothills Farmers Market in Auburn Saturday.

“From late November through February, that’s when crab’s most readily available,” Little said. “That’s when people are used to eating it and it’s always popular this time of year.”

Newcastle Elementary School

Coming up first is the Jan. 21 feed at Newcastle Elementary School to benefit the History Club trip to Washington, D.C. There are 24 eighth-graders registered to go on the trip that costs about $2,200 per student, according to social studies teacher Mike Sarkisian.

The May trip goes along with the social studies curriculum of American history and U.S. government. Students will visit the Capitol and National Archives, and will travel with a charter bus and tour guide to monuments, including the Gettysburg battlefield and Arlington National Cemetery.

“We hit so many of the major historical sites back there,” Sarkisian said. “We go to the Smithsonian institutions, we go to the presidential memorials, World War II memorial, Korean memorial, Vietnam – it just really brings it into focus for the kids.”

To raise money for the trip, students, staff and volunteers put on the feed catered by Randy’s Creative Catering of Newcastle. Owner Randy Ubry said he’ll serve about 300 people up to 1,000 pounds of crab along with shrimp salad, prawn cocktail, penne pasta and bread. He donates his time and does everything at cost, he said, because he had three kids go through the school and wants to give back.

Crab feed organizer and mother of three Janet Jabusch said her daughter Ali will go on the D.C. trip this year. Students and their parents get involved in the crab feed by selling raffle tickets, serving the food and setting up and cleaning after the event.

“It’s a fantastic experience and it’s a fantastic crab feed,” Jabusch said.

St. Joseph Catholic School

A big appeal to serving crab in huge quantities is that it’s easy to prepare. Most crab feeds serve the main dish cold, along with pasta and salad side dishes. Bud Wuelfing, who runs the kitchen at Auburn’s St. Joseph Catholic School crab feed, said the students benefiting from the feed have a creative way to fundraise during dinner – they sell melted butter and butter warmers to the hungry crowd.

Wuelfing said the key difference in the crab he’ll serve at the Feb. 11 feed is that the crab he orders from Buzz’s Crab Shack in Redding is cleaned before it’s cooked, which makes a huge difference in taste.

The event sells out at 320 people, Wuelfing said, and they’ll eat about 900 pounds of crab along with shrimp cocktail, clam chowder, salad, pasta and prawns.

Wuelfing, now in his sixth year with the feed, said the 10-person kitchen crew arrives at 7 a.m., and parents and students start serving at 7 p.m. Another four or five people man the no-host bar.

He has two children at St. Joseph and said he’ll be involved with the crab feed at least until they’re through the eighth grade.

“It’s so much fun,” Wuelfing said. “It’s just great. We have a good group of guys in the kitchen and we have fun all day long, and then just to see all of that food going out the door and all of those people having a great time. And at the end of the day to sit down, relax and know that you did a good day’s work raising money for the school, and for people to have a good time.”

Reach Krissi Khokhobashvili at



Feeding frenzy: upcoming crab feeds

Newcastle Elementary School

When: Saturday, Jan. 21. Social hour 6 p.m.; dinner at 7 p.m.

Where: Blue Goose Packing Shed, 3550 Taylor Road, Loomis

Cost: $45

Tickets: Newcastle Elementary School district office or eighth-graders; (916) 663-3307, extension 222;; or at the door.


Del Oro 11th annual Crab Feed

When: Saturday, Jan. 21. Doors open at 5 p.m.; dinner at 6 p.m.

Where: Placer County Association of Realtors, 4750 Grove St., Rocklin

Cost: $40

Tickets: Main Leader Drug Store, 3685 Taylor Road, Loomis


Huntington’s Disease Society of America

When: Saturday, Jan. 28. Doors open at 4 p.m.

Where: Blue Goose Fruit Shed, 3550 Taylor Road, Loomis

Cost: $45

Info: Madalyn Guevara, (916) 927-4400 or


Gold Country Chaplaincy

When: 6-8:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28

Where: Roseville Veterans Hall, 110 Park Drive, Roseville

Cost: $36

Benefits: Gold Country Chaplaincy, a nonprofit organization providing chaplain services to veterans, first responders, businesses and the community.

Contact: Reservations and more information at or call (916) 259-1001


Sacramento Blue Star Moms

When: Saturday, Feb. 4. Doors open at 5 p.m.; dinner at 6 p.m.

Where: National Guard Armory, Corporation Yard Road, Roseville

Cost: $40 in advance; $45 at the door

Tickets: (916) 316-8602 or


St. Joseph Catholic School

When: Saturday, Feb. 11; happy hour at 5:30 p.m.; dinner served at 7 p.m.’ music and dancing until 11 p.m.

Where: 11610 Atwood Road, Auburn

Cost: $40 (adults only)

Info: Nicole Lopez, (530) 885-4490;


Rotary Club of Rocklin/Loomis Basin

When: Saturday, Feb. 11. Bar opens at 5:45 p.m.; dinner at 6:45 p.m.

Where: 2650 Sunset Blvd., Rocklin

Cost: $45

Tickets: Brad Meacham, (916) 677-6818,