The Best of Lisa

Where would this blog be without my friend Lisa? She was the Gracie Allen to my George Burns, the Betty Comden to my Adolph Green. In our early days, we cooked together, we ate together, and we made crazy videos and songs about food that I posted enthusiastically on the blog. We’re still good friends but now she lives oh-so-far-away on the Upper West Side and here I am in Brooklyn; and while distance does indeed make the heart grow fonder, it makes it difficult–especially in the winter months–to get together to make even more zany food videos and songs. Lucky for us, though, my archives are practically bursting with classic A.G.-Lisa collaborations. Before we dig ’em up, let’s talk to Lisa for a bit about her history with The Amateur Gourmet.

Do you remember when I started the blog? What did you think?

I do remember – I was living in NY and you were still in Atlanta. I was glad that you were finding time to do something creative and fun outside of law school, and as an added bonus I got to see what you were eating and doing via the world wide web. I was curious about the cooking aspect, because when I lived in Atlanta you were all restaurants all the time and I wasn’t sure that you owned a pot. And I was jealous of Josh and Katy because they got to hang out with you and make food and document it and I was in stupid New York where there was no such fun to be had.

What’s your favorite video we made together? (Or some of your favorites.)

This is a tough question because all of our videos are brilliant. I think the best one to watch is probably Coney Island Days or MAYBE Miracle Almond Cake, but I think I had the most fun during the sillier ones where we are ridiculous and perhaps embarrass ourselves. Like the Fro Yo song/Bulimic Tomato/Corner of the Pie.

What are your favorite songs we recorded together?

Oops. Most of my favorite videos were also songs. The only song I remember without a video was Indy(an), which was also really fun for us but maybe not as amazing from the audience’s perspective…

What’s your favorite meal we had together that was featured on the blog?

I gotta say… though it was long ago and we’ve eaten scores of Amateur Gourmet documented meals since, I think the night we had the tasting menu at Babbo was the tastiest. Yum City.

[Note: The tasting menu we had at Babbo actually predates the blog, but I wrote it up on Chowhound here. However we did visit Babbo together again once the blog started and I wrote about that here.]

We used to argue a lot about olives and coffee [Lisa hates olives and coffee]; have your opinions changed at all?

I think they have, a little. I am much more tolerant of coffee in desserts, though if offered a choice I would still prefer the non-coffee’d version. But if you gave me chocolate cake or brownies with a hint of coffee in them, I wouldn’t throw them in your face the way I used to. I would still throw the olives (or anything tainted by olives) at you. And I’m fairly certain I will never enjoy a cup of coffee. Because it tastes like dirt.

Well thank you Lisa for that informative Q&A! Unfortunately, one of Lisa’s and my favorite videos–“The Fro-Yo Song”–is currently missing because the company that hosted it, Brightcove, has gone private and I don’t have the original. But I just e-mailed Brightcove to see if I can get it back, so stay tuned “Fro-Yo” fans!

Meanwhile, we’re not done with Lisa yet. Here are MY favorite Adam-Lisa collaborations, in no particular order:

* Ok, this is a classic Adam-Lisa collaboration: Five Important Moments from 2005 As Interpreted By Eggs in Lisa’s Microwave.

* Here’s where we learned that Lisa is a supertaster. Watch the riveting video:

* I really like this video of Lisa and I eating our way through Chinatown with our friend John.

* The video file is also missing (damn you, Brightcove!) but here’s an mp3 of a song Lisa and I wrote along with our friend Ricky about falafels called “Falafel Love.” I falafel love it!

* I really liked it when Lisa guest-hosted the blog, back in the day, and here’s a funny post from way back then called The Donuts of Our Lives. For other Lisa-hosted posts, click the links at the top of the post next to the word “Main” to see the rest.

* Here’s a carrot-fennel soup Lisa and I made together from Amanda Hesser’s book that I remember Lisa went nutso for. Meaning: she loved it!


* Here is an adorable, completely random and not-food-related recording of Lisa and I singing “Red Rubber Ball.” Isn’t it cute?

* One of our proudest moments is when Lisa and I made the Lemon Sabayon Tart from the French Laundry cookbook. Unfortunately, that post no longer has pictures (there’s a huge section of my archives without pictures; it’s a long story, not for now) but at least the writing is fun!

Oh there are so many wonderful Adam-Lisa Amateur Gourmet moments, but those are some of the best. If you’d like to peruse other Adam-Lisa posts, just look at the search results when you type Lisa into my search box. (That sounds dirty.)

Thanks to Lisa for five happy years of Amateur Gourmet collaborations–they’re definitely some of my favoritest posts I’ve done, and the ones I click on to amuse myself in my darkest Amateur Gourmet hours. Here’s to at least another five years more of Adam-Lisa goodness.

5 thoughts on “The Best of Lisa”

  1. So funny to read your tasting menu review on Chowhound today, since we finally went to Babbo last night. We enjoyed the Traditional Tasting Menu with the wines! Only word to describe the whole evening was: AMAZING!

    We also sat upstairs at a table for two dead center. I did comment to my wife that the only table in the room I would not like was the one for two on the way to the bathroom!! Yet the couple seated there didn’t seem to notice!

    Fabulous evening!

  2. It’s true, Lisa rules. You two always seem like you have a LOT of fun together. I’m so happy you posted Lisa’s favorite videos…I thought I had seen them all! Weeeee! AG discoveries abound!

  3. No doubt about it – FRO YO is our family favorite. My kids sing it for days after we watch and I giggle just thinking about it.


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