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,” linked to it on Facebook, and suddenly got this huge gush of support from readers who’d been crouching in the dark, waiting for just such a dispatch. Turns out, people missed my blogging voice. That was very nice to hear. I resolved to keep blogging on Hey, Adam Roberts.

The next post I was going to write was, in fact, a recipe for Pappa al Pomodoro soup. I was all set to type it up and everything and then I remembered something: I have a food blog. A blog that I created (back in 2004!) to share just such recipes and cooking experiences and all other things related to food. Why would I put a recipe for Pappa al Pomodoro soup on a not-food blog? That wouldn’t make any sense!

Here’s the thing: sometimes you have to step away from something to understand what it is.

When I stepped away from The Amateur Gourmet in 2015, I was so excited to be done with food blogging the way I’d learned to do it. Which is to say: I was excited not to have to edit pictures anymore; not to worry about traffic anymore; not to craft posts to maximize key terms for Google searches (such as “broccoli recipe”), to think about SEO (whatever that is), to properly tag, and categorize, and label every post to serve the blog’s byzantine structure. Food blogging had become a job, not a joy, and writing a post felt more like an obligation than an opportunity to share something that I was genuinely excited about.

Which, of course, was the reason I created the blog in the first place: I was a third year law student who hated law school and who spent most of my time either watching “Molto Mario” or “Sara’s Secrets” on The Food Network, copying recipes out of Barefoot Contessa books at Borders (RIP), and experimenting with chili recipes in my kitchen. My friends Josh and Katy said I should blog about my newfound culinary obsession. And that’s why and how the blog was born and it was so much fun in the beginning. I made videos with Barbie dolls. I ate cat food. After the Superbowl, I went viral with Janet Jackson Breast Cupcakes.

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It’s a tale as old of time: with great breast cupcakes comes great responsibility.

The blog got bigger, jobs and books materialized, and basically it all became a mad scramble to stay afloat, to stay relevant, to stay click-worthy. It was exciting but also exhausting. And going from that into a writer’s room was a dream: instead of being a one man-band, I was now sharing the responsibility of being entertaining with a roomful of funny, talented people.

Now that The Real O’Neals is over (also RIP), I’m working on a variety of film and TV projects at home and have more time to cook and, potentially, to blog about what I’m cooking. So what if I treated my food blog the way that I used to treat my food blog, as a place just to share recipes and cooking stories and pictures of dinners out? Use it the way it was meant to be used: not as a business, but as a way to connect with people about food. That actually sounds pretty good.

I’m really into making cheese plates lately. My trick is to create levels with little bowls filled with stuff (dates, nuts). Oh that cheese is Manchego. Also: I’m experimenting with captions.

So here we are!

A few things:

1. You may have noticed, I completely redesigned the blog myself. One of the biggest burdens of blogging for me, in the past, was that I knew absolutely nothing about the back-end and always relied on super talented, generous, patient designers to field my questions, to put up with my urgent texts in the middle of the night that the site was down.

One idea that encouraged me to start the blog up again was that I could do away with the whole design and just use a WordPress template, one that I could tinker with myself. And so that’s exactly what I did. The up-side is that it’s the latest version of WordPress, so the blog looks really fresh and neat. The down-side is that I completely destroyed the organization. Nothing makes sense anymore. There’s no menu, no categories, no way to browse dessert recipes. Sorry! I’m OK with it, especially since there’s a search box. You can just go there, type “spaghetti,” and probably find what you’re looking for.

2. All my food stuff is under “Amateur Gourmet” again. I went through a bit of an internet identity crisis when I got the TV job, figuring that it would be smart to “become my name” (whatever that means) which is why I changed my handles to @heyadamroberts on Instagram and Twitter. But what was confusing about that was that I was still creating food content, but now it was under a name that had nothing to do with food. So: I’ve migrated the few food posts I did on Hey, Adam Roberts over to Amateur Gourmet, you can see them below (try the spaghetti with crispy chickpeas and preserved lemon, it’s pretty amazing). I also changed my Instagram back to @amateurgourmet, as well as my Facebook page, though somehow Twitter wouldn’t let me reclaim my moniker, so for right now I’m @theamateurgourm which sounds like a hobbyist Eydie Gorme impersonator.

And that’s that! If you see me writing here, it’ll be because I really want to be writing here, not because I think I have to in order to pay the rent. (And on that note: no more ads, except the ones I can’t get rid of in the comments. I’m working on it.) Here’s to Amateur Gourmet 2.0. Let’s have some fun.

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65 comments

  1. yay! so glad you’re back Adam. Have missed your voice on the internet and enjoyed instagram updates in the interim.

  2. OMG amazing, I follow you on instagram, and used to follow your old cooking blog. Looking forward to more posts.
    LOVE your writing!

  3. Thank GAWD!! I missed you! Though I did enjoy the other stuff, I identified so much with your experimenting and passion to try new things that I really missed the original content. Can’t wait to see what’s on your list to try out! (I’m currently obsessed with Ottolenghi books)

    Good luck!

  4. Just wanted to chime in and let you know that I too am super excited about your venture back into the realm of blogging. Following you on instagram is fun, but I really love your original content. And since I’m reading from Germany and couldn’t watch your tv shows, I’m even happier that you decided to come back to the internet otherwise I would have missed it completely.

  5. This is fantastic news! Last week I was actually thinking about your food blog and how much I missed it! Have enjoyed all your incarnations.

  6. yay! i am so thrilled you are back here. i love your writing, the way you think about food, your sondheim post about sunday in the park, your books you read this year posts (you didn’t do one last year- i am so sad! but it’s ok). i have learned tons from your exploration and love your insight, humor, and the way i am inspired to think about or consider things both food and non-food. happy return, adam roberts!

  7. Much better idea. Just a good old-fashioned blog. Who’d have thought we’d say those words! I look forward to reading it, again.

  8. Yay! He’s back! He’s back! I missed your witty remarks, kitchen “mistakes”, and fancy restaurant dinners.

  9. Oh my gosh, so glad to see that you’re back! Honestly, I think your laid-back blog posts are some of your best. I remember reading your post on late night lemon mousse and enjoying it so much; some of my best food memories are hanging out late with friends and randomly deciding to make some dessert with whatever we had on hand…so it was definitely nice to see all that captured in that post.

    Good to have you back, Adam!

  10. I have followed you since the beginning along your journey and am so happy that you are sharing recipes and stories again. Thanks for including us in this next chapter of your life!

  11. Yay yay yay!!! Smitten Kitchen just told me you’re back. I read your whole archive back in 2012 when I was submerged in life with a newborn. Now that kiddo eats food! and I’m always looking for things to feed him that we might like to eat, too. Welcome back :)

  12. So glad to have you back! Much like you, I’ve been struggling with whether I want to resurface…the blogging world when we both started (I was a bit later in 2007) was so ridiculously different. I miss it! So maybe if we all start reverting back to that style…? Who knows! But I’m thrilled to read your posts again and hell-to-the-yes on cheese plates!

  13. Oh my gosh, I’m so thrilled you’re back! I learned to make one of my very favorite recipes, spicy tomato soup with blue cheese, from your blog. There were some other recipe experiments I tried after reading your blog, but that one stands out because it was simple to make, everyone LOVED it, and importantly, it paired really well with the Spanish cava I happened to have on hand at the time. :)

  14. Will Mr. Lolita, your awesome Mom & Dad, and brother and sister-in-law pop up now and then? Funny how I missed them, too!

  15. yay! i’m so glad your cozy corner of the internet is back up and running! glad you’re going to have some fun with blogging again, will be following (and cooking) along. (ps your baked eggplant parm is still one of my fave recipes.)

  16. Welcome back!! Have missed your blog and am so pleased it is back. Look forward to many more years of “Amateur Gourmet”!

  17. Hi from Bellingham!! Beyond happy to have you back. Now that I’m doing some personal cheffing, I will look forward to your yummy recipes and great party ideas!!

  18. Adam, so glad to have your wonderful blog back with me .Your style and attitude is welcome here in the Dominican Republic as I tweek your recipes to fit what I have !And then theres your restaurant list for my next trip home to NYC!Thanks for finding a way to do it all!

  19. Adam: I’m so glad that you’ve brought your “The Amateur Gormet” blog back on line. I’ve really missed your recipes and newsy life updates.

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