Getting family and friends together at the same table can be difficult, especially if some are vegetarians and others omnivores. Rathbun (Good Spirits) and Holt, who has worked as a chef and bartender, have responded to this puzzle with an original approach. Chili con/non Carne uses both vegetarian patties and skirt steak—most of the recipe is prepared as one dish, but it is separated near the end of the process. There are also variations for making the entire recipe as vegetarian or with meat. Highly recommended.
A. J. Rathbun is a freelance food and entertaining writer and the author of Champagne Cocktails, Wine Cocktails, Dark Spirits, Luscious Liqueurs, Party Drinks!, and the International Association of Culinary Professionals Award-winning Good Spirits. Rathbun earned his MFA in creative writing from Western Michigan University, and has worked variously as a buyer for Amazon.com, an usher at the Art Institute of Chicago, a rock band roadie, an envelope stuffer, a marketing assistant, the director of the Poetry After Hours program at the Seattle Art Museum, an online editor, a waiter, and of course, a bartender. In addition to his cookbooks, Rathbun is the editor of In Their Cups and the author of Want, two poetry collections. Rathbun has been a guest, talking about drinks, food, entertaining, and kitchen products, on numerous radio shows, including Martha Stewart's Everyday Food satellite radio program and USA Radio, has done interviews with a variety of publications, including the Seattle Times, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and the Arizona Republic, and has contributed to the magazines Every Day with Rachael Ray and Wine Enthusiast, among others. He is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals and the Museum of the American Cocktail. He teaches cocktail classes at the cooking school Dish It Up, one of which was recently profiled in the magazine Traditional Homes. Rathbun lives in Seattle, Washington. To learn more about him and his books, and to read his blog, Spiked Punch, and check out a few of his drink-making videos, visit his website at www.ajrathbun.com.