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The Amateur Gourmet: How to Shop, Chop, and Table Hop Like a Pro (Almost) Paperback – September 30, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“If you think foodies take themselves too seriously, you'll love tagging along as Adam embarks with his friends on one challenge after another on the road to gourmet-hood. This is a funny, helpful companion for anyone who's ever felt intimidated by the world of fine food.”—Clotilde Dusoulier, author of Chocolate and Zucchini: Daily Adventures in a Parisian Kitchen
"Adam Roberts is a delightful and compelling new voice in the food world. I'm a fan of his blog and am amazed to see how effortlessly and well his exuberant sense of food and cooking and the world translate to actual pages. What great company he is!"—Michael Ruhlman, author of Charcuterie and The Reach of a Chef
“Any one who's ever understood that eating well and living well go hand in hand will relish this tale of one man's personal food awakening. With humor and moxie, Roberts dives headfirst into the captivating world of food—from marketing to cooking to dining—to discover invaluable life lessons about appetite, culture, love and doing dishes. "—Molly Stevens, author of All About Braising
"Adam Roberts shares his step-by-step pursuit of becoming a true 'gourmet' with his inimitable wit and hard-won wisdom. From prepping pasta to dealing with the last dirty dish (and everything edible in between) follow Adam’s cleverly crafted journey from being an awkward amateur to a full-fledged culinary connoisseur." —David Lebovitz, author of The Perfect Scoop and The Great Book of Chocolate
“Adam's book is a knockout—great reading and great fun, packed with good ideas, even for an old time cook like myself. I love his failures and his triumphs. I love his good clear directions and his joy in discovering himself through food.” —Marsha Norman, playwright
“Sweet and smart and generously spirited, The Amateur Gourmet is a funny, honest gustatory coming of age saga. Like a lot of us who write about food, Adam Roberts discovered that the pleasures of the table and the kitchen really can save your soul.” —Ed Levine, founder of seriouseats.com
“Adam Roberts, the self-styled kitchen novice behind the popular blog amateurgourmet.com.... has become a sort of Rachael Ray for young foodie urbanites.”–Boston Globe
“Charming.... A kitchen travelogue.... The book’s primary feature is its delight in learning something new.”—Publishers Weekly
From the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
However, those people aren't the ones who are likely to buy Adam's book. His primary audience is bloggers and their readers. I like Adam's blog. It's entertaining, and sometimes even educational. However, I expect a book that purports to teach me to "Shop, Chop, and Table Hop like a Pro (Almost)" to be a little more educational and a little less anecdotal. Anecdotes are great for blog posts. They are ephemeral and quickly forgotten. Something that I'm going to pay for and place on my bookshelf should have lasting value, and that's not what I got from The Amateur Gourmet.
Had I liked it, I might point you to the fabulous chapter in which he attempted to get his friend to appreciate the glory of coffee and olives. His clever tactics to trick her into thinking they were, at the very least not-half-bad, would serve many of us well as we poke and prod our friends and relatives to try new things.
Or perhaps I would comment on Roberts' engaging sense of humor. More than any author I can recall his personality leaps from each page. Without actually having met him his openness regarding every facet of his life makes me feel as though I would probably know him better than members of my own family.
But, I did not like the book as I could not help but wonder why we needed it in the first place.
Adam D. Roberts' you see is a blogger. He is (go figure) The Amateur Gourmet. He has a large following of adoring fans in the online food community, and that was my issue with the book. I am one of those fans, and for those of us that read his blog each week, there is nothing dramatically different about this book than one of his longer posts. His personality which makes his web page such a success is obviously there, but do to the formality of a book, he loses a bit of the eccentricity that is the secret to his success.
This one time however, I will admit I was wrong.Read more ›
Roberts made me understand how the culinary experience - at each stage from the selection of ingredients to cleaning your plate - enhances life by encouraging an open mind, knowledge of oneself, a healthy affinity for risk taking, and a passion for your work. I will have to go elsewhere for step-by-step cooking instructions, but this book was a welcome introduction to "good eating and good living."
If you enjoy this book, I would also recommend Keith Ferrazzi's Never Eat Alone, which is about personal and professional networking and not about cooking. However, the chapters also read like short stories, the lessons stay with you, and both books encourage immediate action by exciting the reader with possibilities for the future.
It's not a bad book, given that it is one man's attempts at becoming an amateur gourmet. It's not the end-all of books about learning to cook and shouldn't be read with that expectation. It was a gentle little read, but nothing more.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great cookbook for an amateur cook as well as experience cook.Published 23 months ago by Kim Major Walker
I really like Adam's amateur videos and the way he describes the cooking process. When he starts becoming a chef queen and slinging big names about, he becomes kind of generic.Published on November 24, 2012 by bigbeard61
This took me by surprise by how SHORT it was! Same voice and situations as the website, but enough novelty to keep me interested. Read morePublished on November 14, 2010 by Jeremy Gabbard
I purchased this expecting something in the same vein as Molly Wizenberg's book, A Homemade Life. Self-proclaimed as The Amateur Gourmet ("amateur" being the operative word), I was... Read morePublished on October 31, 2010 by MonkeyFace
When I spotted the title of this book sitting on a shelf in a discount store, I was immediately drawn in. This is "just what I need." You see, I'm an "amateur gourmet. Read morePublished on March 28, 2010 by M. M. B.
This book was perfect for someone like me, someone who likes to cook yet gets easily intimidated by all the experts. Read morePublished on April 5, 2009 by Jenny S. Dawson
This book is very funny. If you read the Amateur Gourmet's blog, you'll understand the the humorous writing for his cooking experiences. It's very entertaining.Published on March 18, 2009 by Harvey T
I found this book only OK. I enjoyed some of Adam's antics and stories, but found a few a little hard to believe and relate to (who would be afraid to dine out in a fine dining... Read morePublished on February 16, 2009 by Deanne