Coast Hills

Chili Challenge nets $2,000 for local free clinic

by Joshua D. Scroggin
August 17, 2016
Wayne Copes Chili

Always the chili maid. Never the chili champ.

That was the story of Telecom/PC Specialist Wayne Copes. Until now.

Last year, Wayne grabbed certificates for both the people’s choice and hottest chili at CoastHills Credit Union’s inaugural employee chili challenge. But the overall prize still eluded him. This year, he regrouped, tweaked his recipe and came back to win it all.

The 2016 best-in-show victory broke a string of chili contests where Wayne had come close but no cayenne.

“I’ve done a few contests,” Wayne said. “And I’ve won the hottest, and I’ve won the people’s choice. Same thing as last year. It was nice to finally win the big prize.

“You always want the Oscar, not the Golden Globe.”

Wayne’s chili recipe (it’s at the bottom of this article!) bested 18 other entries from CoastHills employees in a fundraiser that’s proving to be one of our most anticipated events of the year. For every entry, the credit union pledged $100 to a local charity. After judging is complete, staff members can also make a donation, so they can taste test the chili for themselves.

Last year, the event benefitted Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children all throughout the Central Coast. While organizing the event this year, the CoastHills Culture Advisory Team elected for another great cause, the Conejo Free Clinic (CFC) in Thousand Oaks.

The CFC is a non-profit group that acts as a community safety net for about 4,000 underserved people each year. Care is free and is provided by an incredible group of all-volunteer physicians, nurses and support staff from nearby hospitals. A new free dental clinic is also due to open next year.

And it’s a block away from the site of the newest CoastHills branch on Moorpark Road in Thousand Oaks, our first in Ventura County.

With employee donations included, CoastHills is proud to present the CFC with a check for $2,000 from the Chili Challenge. That money will help fund a wide variety of CFC services, including lab tests, mammograms and other imaging and dental care for children and adults.

“I love the chili challenge because it’s an excuse for me to make chili,” Wayne said, “but it’s a lot more awesome that we’re doing something to make a difference, especially in a new community.”

Wayne’s Top Secret 2016 Chili Recipe



Ground Beef 3 LBS

Hot Sausage 1 LB

Regular Sausage 1 LB

Habanero Peppers 5

Serrano Peppers 5

Italian Tomatoes chopped 1 can

Jalapeno Peppers 5

Yellow Peppers 3

Tomato Sauce 2 cans

Diced Tomatoes 2 cans

Stewed Tomatoes 1 can

Vine Ripened Tomatoes 1 basket

Brown Sugar 6 TBSP

New Mexico Chili Powder 5 TBSP

Chili Powder 5 TBSP

Suzie Q’s Seasoning 6 TBSP

A Different Chili Powder 5 TBSP

Cumin 3 TBSP

6 pack of your favorite beer or ale (You will only use about 2, but you might get thirsty while cooking.


Start:               In a large 8-quart pot add:

                        12 oz. of your favorite beer or ale

                        1 Can of Tomato Sauce

                        1 Can of Stewed Tomatoes

                        2 quartered Vine Ripened Tomatoes

                        2 TBSP New Mexico Chili Powder

                        2 TBSP Chili Powder

                        2 TBSP A different type of Chili Powder

                        2 TBSP Suzie Q’s Seasoning

                        2 TBSP Brown Sugar

            Medium flame to start, reduce to Low when time is right.

Mix Ground Beef and both Sausages and sauté with Suzie Q’s until not raw, remove from heat and drain grease and add to large pot.

Discard ends of all peppers and boil the peppers with 2 quartered tomatoes and 4 oz of your favorite beer or ale.  Blend well when soft.  Add half of Chili sauce to large pot.

After 1 hour:     Add to the large pot:

                        1 Can of Italian Tomatoes chopped

                        1 Can of Tomato Sauce

                        1 Can of Diced Tomatoes

                        2 oz your favorite beer or ale

                        2 quartered Vine Ripened Tomatoes

                        2 TBSP New Mexico Chili Powder

                        2 TBSP Chili Powder

                        2 TBSP A different type of Chili Powder

                        2 TBSP Suzie Q’s Seasoning

                        2 TBSP Brown Sugar            

                        2 TBSP Cumin

            Low flame

Make your favorite baked beans….Mine do not have onions!   

Mine uses 2 cans of beans, some crushed pineapple, some Brown Sugar and some

BBQ Sauce.

Make this a little too sweet for regular BBQ Beans

Add more beans if you like more beans…


After 1 hour:   Add to the large pot”

                        1 Can of Diced Tomatoes

                        4 quartered Vine Ripened Tomatoes

                        1 TBSP New Mexico Chili Powder

                        1 TBSP Chili Powder

                        1 TBSP A different type of Chili Powder

                        1 TBSP Cumin

                        2 TBSP Brown Sugar

            Low flame


After 30 minutes:       Add to the large pot

                        BBQ Beans…get all the sauce

                        Dash of Chili Powder

                        1/3 Cup of Brown Sugar (If necessary

                        Add remaining chili sauce if necessary, or serve on the side for those who like it hot!

            Increased Low flame   Cook till at least 30 – 60 minutes more.

You're all done. Enjoy!
Similar topics: News, We Make A Difference

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