Carol Marquart's picture

Abalone King

The May 4 Docent Meeting will feature Tim Thomas, who will tastefully tell us the story of the abalone.  In the kitchen of his Alvarado Street restaurant in Monterey, Ernest Doelter, a German restaurateur, and a group of pioneering Japanese fishermen, took a large sea snail that was described as “like eating a rubber boot” and turned it into an epicurean delight.  This in turn, created a million-dollar industry that made Monterey the abalone capital of the world, and in 1908, "Pop" was crowned the Abalone King.

Working with red abalone collected by Monterey's community of Japanese divers, Pop dipped the foot in egg wash, added a secret ingredient, rolled it in cracker crumbs and cooked it quickly in olive oil. Tourists and celebrities alike sat down at Pop's table to enjoy his famous recipe, and eventually, he shipped the steaks on ice to hotels and restaurants throughout the state. Pull up a chair as historian Tim Thomas recounts the story of this innovative restaurateur who turned under-appreciated mollusks into the talk of the 1915 San Francisco World's Fair.  

Tim Thomas, fourth-generation native of the Monterey area, is a fisheries historian who has researched the fisheries of Monterey Bay for over twenty-five years, and has lectured extensively on Monterey’s fishing communities.  For sixteen years he was the Historian/Curator for the Monterey Maritime Museum. Tim is also the historical consultant for the Monterey Bay Aquarium and has worked and developed programs for Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and California State Parks.  

He is the co-author of Monterey’s Waterfront, author of the Japanese on the Monterey Peninsula, and author of The Abalone King of Monterey: Pop” Ernest Doelter, Pioneering Japanese Fishermen & The Culinary Classic that Saved an Industry.


Administrative's picture

Mission Statements


To provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation.

Docent volunteers serve as a visible representative of California State Parks at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve promoting the California State Parks mission.  These four simple words -- preserve, protect, educate and interpret -- sum up the docent experience. 


Our mission is to protect and nurture Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, to educate and inspire visitors to preserve its unique natural and cultural resources, and to strengthen the network of Carmel Area State Parks.

Docent Log-in

Docent led walks

  • Tue, 04/23/2019 - 8:30am
    Weston Beach
    Tide Pools
    Jack Arnold
  • Tue, 04/23/2019 - 11:30am
    Information Station
    Gregg Margossian
  • Wed, 04/24/2019 - 1:30pm
    Information Station
    Cultural History
    Cynthia Weick


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School Walks

To schedule a school field trip please contact Melissa Gobell, School Coordinator at:  (831) 625-1470

Interested in Volunteering?

Volunteers needed to be interpretive guides for visitors.  Interested?  For training schedule contact:  Melissa Gobell, Docent Coordinator  (831) 625-1470