In general, I wasn't impressed. Most of the recipes used beans and TVP, along with a smattering of spices. In some, the TVP was ground fine, while others used TVP chunks that approximated the texture of meat. One chili used canned mushrooms to poor effect, and a few really undercooked the beans, leaving them a little crunchy. I like the VNA entry, an Indian-influenced chili served with roasted pumpkin seeds; they got my audience vote. However, as my friend Charles said, we could probably enter this next year and own the place.
I met up with lizardprincess and her friend K.D. at the event, and the four of us went off to see the rest of the zoo. Austin's zoo is a habitat for rescued animals, with many of them having been former pets or circus animals. I saw lions, tigers, cougars, lizards, monkeys, deer, bears, goats, birds, wallabies, and lemurs. The tortoise exhibit was impressive, with a wide range of creatures; I commented that it was like a perpetual-motion rock garden, with most of them stationery on the ground or slowly moving around.