Tag Archives: memoirs

The Clean Plate Club, Episode #15: Alex Witchel (Author of “All Gone”)

November 6, 2013 | By Adam Roberts | 3 Comments

When I had the opportunity to interview New York Times writer Alex Witchel about her beautiful new memoir All Gone, I spent a whole day reading the book and I positively tore through it, I found it so moving and powerful. The book details Witchel’s mother’s decline into dementia and Witchel’s struggle to recreate the recipes she knew and loved from her mother’s kitchen. What’s so original about the book is that, unlike so many food memoirs, it doesn’t pretend that food can cure all ills–in many ways, as Witchel discovers over the course of the book’s journey, it simply distracts us from our harsh reality. But it’s not all bleak: there are bright spots, including bits about Witchell’s marriage to columnist (and former theater critic) Frank Rich, how she became a writer for The New York Times, and–most amusing to me–her lunch with Elaine Stritch.

Life with an Oven Window

October 1, 2013 | By Adam Roberts | 11 Comments


Here’s a screenplay pitch (boy, I’m getting so L.A.): a young man lives for years without an oven window and then suddenly he moves into an apartment with an oven window. Are you sold yet? The oven window allows him to watch cakes as they cook so he doesn’t have to open the oven to check on them, keeping the heat trapped inside. It also allows him to watch chicken turn golden brown, vegetables sizzle on a baking sheet as they roast. Ok, ok, what if there’s a wacky neighbor played by Jack Black? A villainous oven repairman played by Vince Vaughn? You’re not sold. Fine. Maybe this works better as a memoir…

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Kim Severson’s “Spoon Fed”

April 15, 2010 | By Adam Roberts | 0 Comments


The blender arrived in the middle of our conversation.

Kim Severson, of The New York Times, was interviewing me for a story about crowdsourcing recipes (I didn’t have much to contribute but I was excited to chat with Kim for the first time) and in the middle of our lively chat, my doorbell rang.

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