Still Time to Sign Up for Chili Competition

Applications are still being accepted for the Conejo Valley Days 23rd annual Chili Cookoff on April 26, an organizer said.

More than 100 cooks are expected at this year's event, said organizer Mike O'Beirne. The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at a soccer field near the Moorpark Freeway and Janss Road in Thousand Oaks.

Prizes of up to $500 will be offered, with the winner advancing to a world championship in Nevada later this year.

The Conejo Days event is one of the best around, according to Jim West, executive director of the Newport Beach-based International Chili Society, which has 15,000 members from as far away as Australia.

Last year, more than 12,000 patrons sampled chili from more than 70 vendors. Organizers raised about $30,000 that went to activities sponsored by the Thousand Oaks Rotary Club.

Patrons need not worry about leaving the cook-off with seared taste buds, O'Beirne said.

"There's nothing that will burn your mouth out," he said. "Since it's a precursor to the world event, these cooks want people to enjoy the chili, not fear it."

For an application or for more information, call 495-7762.

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