The culture of treating vegetables as mere garnishes still burns strong, despite all the slow-fooding and farm-to-tabling in recent years. But vegetables don't need to play second fiddle, and there are four chefs to make that case at the Vegan Iron Chef on Thursday, March 19. The upside: It's all vegan, of course, and it pits professional chefs against home chefs. The downside: To watch the action live and take part in the after-party (code for vegan unmeat market, maybe?), foodies are going to have to trek to San Francisco. The other upside: There will be a live stream of the event available online (http://veganiron
chef.vegfoodevents.com) if you can't snag a ticket or make the trip. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door to see the chefs conduct vegetable orchestras in person—or just prop up your tablet in the kitchen, stream and cook along.