When Adam asked me to host him on his book tour through cyberspace, the first thing that went through my mind was—“Adam Roberts? Who cares about him?”
Especially when his mom pals around with the big boys…
My goodness, if Adam pops up one more time in my RSS feeder, I’m going to bop him in that big old schnozola of his. Well, that’s not true. One of the highlights of my days (and nights) is when Adam posts to his fabulous blog, The Amateur Gourmet.
And for those of us who can’t get enough of him popping up in our In boxes and blog feeders, he just released his first book: The Amateur Gourmet: How to Shop, Chop, and Table Hop like a Pro (Almost), so you can keep Adam in your kitchen, bring him into your bedroom and even take him in the loo with you.
But until I get a restraining order, I’m going to remain his mom, Mrs. Roberts, biggest fan. And I’m so in awe of her that she was featured in The Perfect Scoop (page 73).
Ben had to go shave before leaving to meet his pal Matt, but Mrs. Roberts agreed to stick around and answer my questions. Believe me, even without Ben around, I felt like I’d died and gone to nice-Jewish boy heaven…oy gevalt!
Q: When Adam tossed aside his promising career as a lawyer and came out to you, as a budding gourmand, what was your first reaction?
Mrs. Roberts: “WHAT?!”
That as my first reaction. But then my reaction was that I thought it was great. He’s very creative, a very creative person, and he likes to write. He found an avenue to write and be creative so I was happy.
Q: Boy, my mother was ready to brain me when I tossed aside my promising career as a neurosurgeon to bake cookies. No wonder all those celebrities want to be seen with you.
Speaking of celebs, what goes through a mother’s head when she steps into a bookstore and sees a book by her infamous son?
I am kvelling. That’s all I can say. It’s…a surreal moment.
When I was in the Hamptons and I walked into the Westhampton book store and I asked if they had The Amateur Gourmet book and as I was asking it was right there on the counter display. It was unbelievable.
Q: Am not sure who The Hamptons are…are they anything like The Jeffersons?
Speaking of happy families, the Roberts clan was infamously dissed at Le Cirque. And personally, I was peeved as well just reading about it. What’s your worst peeve about restaurants?
Like when you have a reservation and they don’t seat you in a timely fashion at the time you have the reservation. Secondly, when you sit down at the table and they don’t come over for a long time. I hate that.
And another thing that bothers me is when waiters don’t write things down.
I have a lot of special requests—I like things on the side—and they go around the table and don’t write things down and they forget. It’s a big issue now: they do that at every restaurant these days. And if you have a women’s luncheon with friends, like I often do, and they don’t write anything down they’re in trouble.
Q: Since I live in France, I’m not sure what “on the side” means.
Would that be like asking for something special in a restaurant and having them do it for you? Do restaurants really do that?
It sounds a bit, um, dubious. I’ve met more than a few French men that are looking for something “on the side”, so I can understand how being surrounded by a tableful of gorgeous women would make any man get flustered. It’s like a smorgasbord!
Which celebrities were the most fun to meet?
We were in Ago in L.A. and I said to the waiter, “Are there any celebrities here tonight?” and he said, “Well, if you look at the person sitting right next to you it’s Elton John.” And we were so freaked out it almost ruined our meal.
Well, as Elton looked like he was about to finish Michael, my other son, got up to stand outside so he could intercept Elton on the way out and ask for a picture. I said, “Michael, you should stay here; I’ll talk to Elton when he walks past our table” but Michael didn’t listen and he went outside.
Well, sure enough, Elton got up and as he walked past our table I started talking to him. He was SO nice. I told him all about my other son (Adam) who played the piano, and how much we loved his music and then I mentioned that my younger son was standing outside hoping to get a picture with him. And Elton said, “Tell him to meet me by the kitchen door and I’ll take a picture with him.”
So we frantically called Michael and sure enough, Michael got a picture with Elton. He was great.
Q: Who was the worst celebrity?
The worst was Paul Simon.
He was just not nice about it at all. He had a puss on him.
[Note from Adam: "Puss" is a reference to his face, as in "sour puss." Thank you.]
Q: Unlike Adam, you’re often depicting as dieting, or being a fussy eater. What do you love to eat more than anything else?
Lobster. I love lobster. It’s my favorite food because it’s low calorie and it’s fun, I like taking it apart.
I enjoy the challenge of eating a lobster.
Q: Lobster is low calorie? What about all that butter?
Is there anything that you find disgusting that you won’t eat?
I don’t like liver, yuck. Frog’s legs. Mussels.
Q: Not even chopped liver? I bet you make a mean bowl of it, with onions crisped in schmaltz on the top…hmmm….
You must be very proud of your son who’s the poster child for being a nice Jewish boy, which is evidently a result of good parenting. Will you adopt me so I can finally be a nice Jewish boy too?
Yes, I would love to. If you cook for us.
Q: Are you kidding? I’ve seen Adam wield that poison pen, and heaven knows, I don’t want to be like Sirio and be on the sharp, pointed end of it.
Okay, at last.
The all-important question: Hermès or Vuitton?
I like them both.
Especially if you buy me something from each one.
I’ll make you a deal. You come to Paris with Adam, take us to Pierre Gagnaire, and we’ll talk.
Merci, and thanks so much for the chat. When Adam gets his first royalty check, I hope he uses it for a down payment on that alligator Kelly bag of your dreams.
To help Mrs. Roberts get her dream Kelly bag, and perhaps me dinner at Pierre Gagniere, check out Adam’s book—The Amateur Gourmet: How to Shop, Chop, and Table Hop like a Pro (Almost)
(All photos on this post are from the Roberts’ Celebrity Foundation Archive.)