Adam Roberts founded The Amateur Gourmet in January of 2004, at the dawn of the food blog revolution. At the time he was living in Atlanta, Georgia and attending law school at Emory University. He knew absolutely nothing about cooking at the beginning — many of his worst disasters are captured in the archives (see: disasters).
Upon graduating, Adam moved to New York to get an MFA in dramatic writing at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. It was there that he met his future husband, Craig Johnson. This is a picture of their wedding which happened years later in L.A., but we’re getting ahead of the story.
In the fall of 2006, Roberts sold his first book to Bantam Dell (a division of Random House) called The Amateur Gourmet: How To Shop, Chop, and Tablehop Like A Pro (Almost). The book captures Roberts learning the basics — how to shop at the farmer’s market (with advice from Amanda Hesser), how to use a knife, how to dine at a restaurant (with a cameo from Ruth Reichl) — and was hailed by The Daily News as “a funny little guide — thanks to Roberts’ comic timing and frequent kitchen flops — to savoring life’s flavor in pursuit of good eats.”
In 2012, Roberts released his magnum opus: a cookbook from Artisan books called Secrets of the Best Chefs that featured 150 recipes, adapted by Roberts, from the world’s leading chefs. For Roberts, this was like getting to go to real life cooking school; he cooked with Alice Waters, Jose Andres, Lidia Bastianich, Tom Douglas, Nancy Silverton, Michel Richard, Anita Lo, and many others.
The book was praised by David Chang as “an excellent resource for anyone who wants to learn from the best chefs in the country.” And The Daily Meal named it “the best cookbook of 2012,” though that post is no longer available so maybe they changed their minds.
Around the same time of the book’s release, Roberts moved to Los Angeles with his husband to pursue new opportunities in film and television. In the summer of 2015, Roberts became a staff writer on the ABC sitcom The Real O’Neals starring Martha Plimpton and Noah Galvin.
He went on to write three episodes and finished as a Story Editor in Season Two. Since then, his screenplay Seasoning — about a gay cookbook editor in New York — was optioned by Netflix. He’s currently working on several projects, including a multi-cam comedy about a catering company and a Y.A. novel about a fifteen year-old food critic.
Roberts and Johnson still live in Los Angeles — in Atwater Village, specifically — with their well-fed dog, Winston. You can keep up with Adam’s cooking adventures on Instagram, where he posts videos of what he’s making on an almost nightly basis, and catch glimpses of Winston praying for a bite.