The Amateur Gourmet

My Favorite Restaurant in L.A. Right Now Is Botanica

There’s this notion that there’s an objective answer to the question, “Where’s the best place to eat in (insert city name) right now?” Let me be the first to say that I don’t think it’s possible to be objective about such a thing. In fact, I’m …

The Tomato Test

Why is it that there are things in this life that we KNOW are good for us and yet we don’t do them? Even if they’re easy? Even if the minimal amount of work that they require will yield enormous results, ones that’ll absolutely transform our …


Lots of Seafood Cooked in a Big Pot with White Wine, Tomatoes, and Chiles de Arbol (Plus: Tahini Halva Brownies)

Cooking seafood for a crowd has never been my forté. The first time that I did it, over ten years ago!, I futzed around with a River Cafe Cookbook recipe involving potatoes cooked along with mussels, shrimp, and fish in a tomatoey broth. It was not a …

Teaching My Friend Jonathan How To Cook

The idea of me teaching someone how to cook a few years ago would’ve been pretty laughable. I am, after all, The Amateur Gourmet, not The Gourmet Who Knows Enough About Cooking To Teach Others How To Do It (try loading that into your browser). But, …


My Roast Chicken Secrets Revealed

A year or two ago, I got rid of my roasting pan. Not because I’m anti-roasting pan, or because I needed the space, but because I realized that my roasting pan had a non-stick surface and that I’d been scratching it up with a metal spatula over the …

Grapefruit, Blood Orange, Campari Sorbet

I once wrote a post on here called Ten Things You Should Never Serve At A Dinner Party that was mildly controversial. Craig’s sister Kristin was offended that I included “boneless, skinless chicken breasts,” so on my next visit to Washington State, …


Introvert’s Rigatoni with Sausage and Broccolini

People who meet me are often surprised when I describe myself as an introvert. On the surface, I come across as outgoing, exuberant even, but secretly I find human interaction to be very exhausting. Craig, on the other hand, finds human interaction to …

Love Is Like A Frito Pie

I had some very special guests coming over this past Wednesday and so I spent the weekend before that trying to figure out what to make. My first destination was the top shelf of my cookbook collection, where, as you now know, I keep the books I’m …


Everybody Loves Romano Beans

Recently on Twitter, someone named @Bobby Tweeted: “The worst writing online is those quirky 17-paragraph preambles recipe bloggers post before telling you what to put in your fuckin lasagna.” You might think that a Tweet like this (which has over …

A Trip To Bologna By Way of Rossoblu in Downtown L.A.

My friend Toby spent a summer in Bologna during college and over the past few weeks (months?) he’s been talking to me about going to this new Italian restaurant in downtown L.A. called Rossoblu that cooks food from the region. “Yes, we should totally …


You Know You Want To Stir Ricotta Into Your Pasta

You’re going to start calling me a broken record on here. In fact, me saying that “I’m a broken record on here” feels like something I’ve said before. Essentially, I’m going to hit a few of the same themes in this post I’ve been hitting lately: (1) …

Fun with Chiles

This will shock none of you, especially if you know me in real life, but I’m something of a wimp. Roller coasters? Terrifying. Horror movies? As if. (Though I do love Rosemary’s Baby, but mostly for Ruth Gordon). And, in the culinary department, I’ve …


Berry Blasted Oatmeal

There are two kinds of childhoods to have in America: the one where you’re allowed to have sugar cereal and the one where you’re not. I’m the product of the former sort of childhood and Craig’s the product of the latter. If scientists were to study us …

A Bold New Vision For My Cookbook Collection

Since you last knew me, I’ve developed a few food-related obsessions. The first one is plates. I collect vintage plates now on Ebay and Etsy and I have quite a collection (OK, here’s a peek on Instagram). I’m also obsessed with old cookbooks, usually …


Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know I’m late to the party with this one (the party being the “put tahini into your desserts” party) but I’ve also not been blogging for two years, so cut me some slack! The truth is, during my blogging hiatus, I was much more likely to make recipes …

A Most Excellent Breakfast Taco

One reoccurring theme you’ll discover on Amateur Gourmet 2.0 is that I watch a lot of PBS cooking shows. I learned how to make a daiquiri watching Simply Ming, and then, watching Rick Bayless’s show, I learned how to make a most excellent breakfast …


Saved By A Boston Shaker: A Perfect Lime Leaf Daiquiri

One of the best things about starting this blog again is the help that I get from you, my loyal readers. A commenter with a wonderful name, Adam, chimed in on my last post about cocktail-making (see: “The Time I Made A Lime-Leaf Infused Daiquiri But …

A Week in New York with Meals at Pearl Oyster Bar, Mimi, Flora Bar, Daniel, Bar Bolonat, Union Square Cafe, Cafe Altro …

Craig’s in the middle of editing his new movie ALEX STRANGELOVE for Netflix (can’t wait for you to see it) in New York and though I planned to just stay in L.A. for the duration of the edit, two things did occur to me when he asked me to come out for …


A Story For The Weekend

I’m sitting on a bench in the West Village, waiting for Craig to finish editing, and since I have some time to kill I’m going to tell you a story about something that happened to me a few weeks ago. I was at a party in West Hollywood on the top of a …

The Time I Made A Lime Leaf-Infused Lime Daiquiri But Couldn’t Open The Cocktail Shaker

I’m a big fan of Simply Ming on PBS (in fact, I’m just a big fan of cooking shows on PBS in general). But Simply Ming seems to be one of the only platforms on TV where real, heavyweight chefs can come and showcase a dish (Daniel Boulud and Shaun …


Anatomy of a Dinner Party (A Timeline of Caesar Salad, Spaghetti and Meatballs, and Flourless Chocolate Cake All Cooked And …

My friend Ryan O’Connell is one of my favorite people. If you don’t know who he is, hop on to Amazon now and check out his book, I’m Special, and come back here once you’ve bought it and read it. Not only did he write that book, but now he’s writing …

Pappa al Pomodoro (Or: How To Eat Tomato Sauce and Bread For Dinner)

I’ve been really into tomatoes this summer. Every Sunday I’ve been going to the Atwater Village Farmer’s Market, buying some juicy heirlooms, and using them in sandwiches, salads, tomato baths, you get the idea. You might think that now that August is …


Let’s Try That Again

If you had trouble loading up the blog this week, that’s because, in my naiveté, I thought I could just tear everything down without any consequences. Turns out: I screwed something up with the server and the blog stopped loading for most people. BUT! …

Oh Hi There

Funny story. Recently, I revived (and redesigned) my Hey, Adam Roberts blog, the blog I created when, two years ago, I got my first job as a TV writer and decided to throw in the towel as a food blogger. I wrote a post called “Blogging in 2017,” …


Oatmeal with Toasted Coconut, Almonds, and Golden Raisins

I’m no oatmeal expert, but I do make a lot of oatmeal. OK, maybe I am an oatmeal expert. For a while, I was toasting the oats in butter (a trick I once wrote about here) which kind of makes the oatmeal taste like buttered popcorn. When I’m feeling …

Meaty Mushrooms on Cheesy Polenta

Mushrooms are scary. Eat the wrong one, and it can kill you or make you think you’re Jesus (luckily, if you think you’re Jesus and it kills you, you can raise yourself from the dead). As a child, I absolutely loathed raw mushrooms in salads at pizza …


Popping Over To Portland (with Meals at Clyde Common, Sweedeedee, Aviary, Maurice, Ava Gene’s, and Tasty & Alder)

I’m not sure what the sequence was. Let’s say it was this: we were going to Bellingham, Washington for Christmas (as we usually do) and just before we left, Tom Sietsema, of The Washington Post, ranked the best food cities in America and put Portland …

Thinking About Soup (In Memory of Gina DePalma)

On New Year’s Day, I didn’t eat a salad, I didn’t hop on a treadmill, I didn’t write the annual letter to myself that I’ve been writing since I read about doing that in some magazine half a decade ago. This year, I grabbed the giant stock pot that …


When Your Friend Makes Sourdough, You Make Cioppino

My friend Toby grew up in Berkeley and whenever we see each other, we talk about all of the things we might cook together one day. It’s one of those conversations that happens over and over again but the plans never materialize, so at a certain point …

My Friend Josh

One of the best people that I know is my friend Josh Phillipson. You may recognize Josh’s name because he was the one who urged me to start The Amateur Gourmet in the first place. When I took Craig to Atlanta for the first time, Josh and his wonderful …


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