Sundae toppings and baked potato fillers and guacamole ingredients may bump elbows in the competition to see what can have the most variations, but they're all outdone by the queen of the caliente crop, the one dish with almost limitless variations: chili.
Asking for "beans" or "no beans" isn't even the half of it, when it comes to hearty saucy tomato-based (or not-tomato-based) fare in a bowl. Cilantro, cheddar, onions, garlic, and about 908 different elements come into play.
Let us pause here to admire one whole fiery facet of chilidom, the vegan chili. Tony's Darts Away will do just that, on the afternoon of Sunday, Feb. 22, and a number of local Burbank and not-Burbank chefs and food experts'll show to make their very best unmeaty chili.
Tony's Darts Away's own Chef Caroline Concha shall be cooking, as well as Chef Roy Elam of SunCafe, Chef Doomie of Doomie's Home Cookin', Plant-Based Parties Chef Jennie Cook, and Vegan Yack Attack's Chef Jackie Sobon.
What to do, where to go and what to see
It's year three for this popular event, which gives a buck from every ticket sold to the Burbank Community YMCA. (The price, by the by: Pay a tenner and get five tastings at three ounces a pop.)
You can't get your ticket in advance, though -- "DAY OF ONLY" is in all caps on the Facebook page, with a vow that it shall sell out.
And why wouldn't it? A Sunday afternoon in February is practically custom-made for a chili taste-off. That the ingredients will be vegan, and the people at the pots knowledgeable about spices and flavors and vegan-y add-ins, is the non-dairy dollop of sour cream atop this savory socialize-and-sup stew.