And Here’s To You, Mrs. Roberts Son

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…

Mrs. Roberts and Ben Affleck

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!

…with J. Lo and Puff Daddy…

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.

…with Julia Louis-Dreyfus…

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?

Inattentive service.
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.

…with…well, you know who they are…

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!

You’re famous for stalking…ermeeting celebrities and having your picture taken with them. And it was very gracious of you to let your Dr. Roberts pose with Pamela Anderson and her two friends.

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.)

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  • September 18, 2007 4:32am

    Sometimes I think I would like to stalk celebrities here in London, but then I think I’d have to spend more time on the tube…


  • September 18, 2007 7:05am

    OH my god this was the BEST EVER.

    Could that woman be more beautiful and sexy? Is that creepy and rude to say that? Hell, I’m a gay boy. It should be ok.

    My god she’s just lovely and beautiful!

    This was SO GREAT!

  • Andrew
    September 18, 2007 7:06am

    Please I hope you don’t get offended, but who are these people apart from being the author and mother of the author behind this book?

    Is it a United States thing?

  • September 18, 2007 7:09am


    I’ve never heard anyone use the words ‘beautiful’ and ‘sexy’ to describe Barbara Walters…but to each their own!

    And perhaps someone can describe for Andrew who everyone else is?

    I still haven’t been able to figure out what that Puff guy (or whatever his name is this week) does…

  • Alexandra
    September 18, 2007 8:31am

    Ehmm…David….for the US celebrity challenged..who is Mrs. Robinson ? Feeling very much out of the loop here as a fan of yours in les Pays-Bas.

  • September 18, 2007 8:40am

    Alexandra: And here’s to Mrs. Robinson, from the puss of Paul Simon (and Art Garfunkle.)

  • Sil Bs.As
    September 18, 2007 8:49am

    What a GREAT idea!! this was so fun, so original!! I loved it!

  • simona
    September 18, 2007 9:54am

    If Adam is the good Jewish boy who—Oedipus-Smoedipus—loves/adores his mother, are you then the “oiber-huchem”, slightly sarcastic/self ironic good (bad??) Jewish boy?

    Anyhow, from my Jewish mother’s point of view, both of you are not eligible anymore for her granddaughters :not a lawyer nor a doctor??? (well , there may be other reasons too..) But she had the same reaction as Mrs. Roberts !!

    “WHAAAT??”, when her Sorbonne graduated only daughter (me, married, Oy Vey, “only” to a journalist), told her, at the tender age of 40 (a long time ago), that she chose cooking as her new profession.

    She is still recovering from the shock and keeps it a secret from her 80+++YO friends.

    Shana Tova and Gmar Hatima Tova .

  • September 18, 2007 10:24am

    Must be a Jewish mother thing. My mom, of the “bridge and tunnel” set also is quite the autograph hound. She sat next to Colin Powell on a flight once and talked with him about being a City College graduate the whole time. (He’s also a NY City College graduate.)

    Our worst star experience was Steve Martin. We’d seen him in “Waiting for Godot” with F. Murray Abraham (yes, another City College graduate who spoke with my mom for at least 10 minutes on the subject), Robin Williams and a couple of other luminaries when the show was at Lincoln Center many years ago. Well, Steve wouldn’t even talk to my mom and Robin simply ignored her! She had some choice words to say about those men.

    During that performance, we were sitting in back of Rick Moranis and Harold Ramis. Need I tell you that my mother tapped Harold on the shoulder and asked him about “Stripes?” I nearly crawled under my seat.

    Great interview, by the way. Adam’s mom seems quite the charmer. Hope she goes to visit you soon.

  • September 18, 2007 11:50am

    Love it, and what a creative post title. I’m a huggge fan of Adam’s, which therefore makes me a huge fan of his mother! Thanks for giving us all the chance to meet her. Now I just need to meet the younger Roberts’ son :)

  • September 18, 2007 12:52pm

    Holy crap, David. That was amazing! Love it.

  • September 18, 2007 1:24pm

    Ahahaha, that was fun! I love how Mrs.Roberts can steal the show.

  • September 18, 2007 2:11pm

    David, you hit this one out of the park. I love Mrs. Roberts.

  • tom
    September 19, 2007 12:47am

    Umm..with all due respect, Adam is the greatest (I love his blog), and his Mom seems like a sweetheart, but if you have read his blog for a while, and noticed the number of high end eateries that she and her family have dined at for quite a while, I do not think that she has any problem affording a Kelly bag herself…just sayin’.

  • Andrew
    September 19, 2007 5:21am

    Alexandra, it looks like it’s just you and I who are out of the loop. Disclaimer: I cannot be held responsible for what i am about to type in case I insult Adam and his mother, Mrs Roberts… You guys have not helped in shedding any light on our query!! That’s a good enough excuse.

    So what I can work out, it seems her main claim to fame is that she is Adam’s (a food blogger that many of David’s readers are also quite partial to) mother.

    I speculate that she is not backward in coming forward in asking these celebs (and yes David, I know who these people are :-P) for a quick photo opportunity. I presume from other people’s comments, she goes to similar high end eateries that many celebs also enjoy.

  • September 19, 2007 5:50pm

    Oh, that was too cute. And her answers were great. What a riot! I bet she would be great dinner companion . . .

    Love the title!

  • September 20, 2007 12:49am

    Mrs. R-

    sounds like you need to write your own book! and i just CAN’T believe you are a Adam’s mom!!!


    ;-) just kidding!


  • simona
    September 20, 2007 9:13am

    Very nice and creative imaginary interview! You proved you are as good with fiction as with non fiction writing.

    Did BEN succeeded to shave before he went to meet MATT? And as obviously he came back to say goodbye to you and Mrs. Roberts (I would like to know her first name.. just curious), what do you think: does he look better with or without the hair on his face?

    Deb Shiff, I don’t think this inoffensive celebrity hunting mania/obsession is a Jewish (mothers and/or sons) thing, It seems to me more like an American thing, but I might be wrong.

  • September 20, 2007 6:21pm

    How is it that she’s met so many celebs? So curious… And the MOST clever post title.

  • September 21, 2007 10:49am

    Hee! This was hysterical. Mrs. Roberts is lovely!