Downtown Crowd

The Arc Gateway 27th Annual Crab Cake Cook-Off

Feed your appetite while participating in a good cause at the 27th Annual Crab Cake Cook-Off on July 17. Held at Seville Quarter in downtown Pensacola, this long-standing tradition is hosted each year to benefit The Arc Gateway, a local non-profit organization that provides programs and services to more than 1,200 children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Serving as one the most iconic and well-attended local fundraisers of the year, the Crab Cake Cook-Off offers guests the chance to sample world-class crab cakes, indulge in desserts and sip wine and beer, while perusing fantastic silent auction items and handcrafted art made by Arc Gateway clients.

Your taste buds determine who gets the title as you sample all-you-can-eat crab cakes from 18 professional and amateur chefs, local restaurants and organizations from across the region as they compete for bragging rights and the title of “Best Crab Cake on the Coast.”

“We will have an extraordinary silent auction and live music for guests as they mingle around sampling the delicious crab cakes and vote for their favorites,” Arc Gateway Marketing and Communications Manager Lauren Volheim said.

Cook-off participants are required to compete in teams of three, with one person designated as the official team captain. Each team’s crab cake will be judged on taste, appearance and creativity. Attendees will also have a chance to weigh in on which team cooked up their favorite crab cake for the “People’s Choice Award.”

“Teams are required to cook on-site at Seville Quarter and must prepare three full-size crab cakes for the panel of judges and 350 quarter-sized crab cakes for attendees to sample. Prizes are awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners for Judges’ Choice and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place People’s Choice Awards winners,” Volheim explained.

Established more than two decades ago, the Crab Cake Cook-Off serves as one of The Arc Gateway’s most successful fundraising events of the year, providing invaluable funding for programs and services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. To date, The Arc Gateway has raised $59,250 of its $100,000 goal.

“We sell 400 tickets and the event sells out every year. Last year, the Crab Cake Cook-Off set a new record, with $103,000 raised to benefit The Arc Gateway,” Volheim said.

Enjoy tasty culinary treats and some friendly competition, while supporting a great cause on July 17 from 6 to 8 pm at Seville Quarter in downtown Pensacola. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online at

General Admission tickets are $75 and include all-you-can-eat crab cakes, dessert, live music, the opportunity to browse and bid on silent auction items and access to the cash bar.

VIP Experience tickets are also on sale for $150, which include early admission, access to the VIP Lounge and Bar and a complimentary signature cocktail served in a commemorative cup. This upgraded VIP experience also includes all-you-can-eat crab cakes, dessert, silent auction bidding and more.

Sponsorships are still available, and although there are only a few spots left, teams can still register to compete for free.

“The Crab Cake Cook-Off is more than just a culinary competition; it’s a celebration of our community’s generosity and a vital source of funding for our programs,” Volheim said.

For tickets and complete event details, visit Learn more about The Arc Gateway and its programs and services at