Lunch Therapy

By Adam Roberts

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Description

Adam Roberts analyzes guests by asking what they had for lunch.

Episode Date
Ep. 18 -- James Rich's Drive-By Hummus Plate
01:11:39

James Rich grew up on a cider farm in Somerset, England, so it shouldn't be a surprise that he just wrote a cookbook called "Apple: Recipes from the Orchard." In today's session, James talks about getting engaged to his fiancé Pip in Palm Springs, how Yotam Ottolenghi was involved in their initial meeting, and why he's not eligible to go on The Great British Baking Show. We also get into the various breeds of apples, how cider is actually made, leaving Somerset for Barcelona and London, and how his feelings have changed regarding where he's from.

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Dec 02, 2019
Ep. 17 -- Karley Sciortino's Scrambled Egg Omelette
01:09:04

Karley Sciortino is the hilarious creator of the blog Slutever, which is now a TV show in its second season on Vice; she's also the sex and dating columnist for Vogue Magazine. On today's episode, we talk about the relationship between food and sex, how Karley differentiated from her food-loving family, and the journey she's gone on with her body image (it involves TJ Maxx and TCBY). We also cover her time living as a freegan in a London squat, why she refuses to eat tongue, and the most surprising thing she's encountered involving food and sex (it made me fall out of my chair laughing).

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Nov 25, 2019
Ep. 16 -- Lewaa Nasserdeen's Bunless Burger on a Bun
01:07:58

Remember the name Lewaa Nasserdeen: if he’s not running Hollywood in ten years, I’ll tear up my lunch therapy license! I met Lewaa when we were both staff writers on ABC’s The Real O’Neals and since then he’s been a writer/co-producer on Netflix’s Daredevil, starred in his own pilot, acted on NCIS: New Orleans, and gotten an overall deal at Skydance TV (where’s he developing all kinds of original content). In today’s session, we talk about growing up Lebanese in Alberta, Canada, where his mother — a professional pastry chef — showed love through food and the ripple effects that had for Lewaa later in life. We get into body image, developing a sense of humor as a defense mechanism, the first time he brought a boyfriend to his mother’s house for dinner, and why he wouldn’t dare try to recreate his mother’s food in his own kitchen.

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Nov 18, 2019
Ep. 15 -- Deb Perelman's Uzbeki Manti
01:16:26

You've been smitten with her since the early 2000s, and today Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen is my patient on Lunch Therapy. We talk everything from her efforts to recreate the brown bread she ate in Ireland, whether or not she's the heir to Ina Garten, and how her German-Jewish mother found salt and pepper to be "edgy." We also cover her brief career as an art therapist, what it means to have a food blog in 2019, and how she deals with people feeling like they know her.

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Nov 11, 2019
Ep. 14 -- Mark Harris's Bowl of Frosted Flakes with Blueberries
01:07:34

Mark Harris is the celebrated author of Pictures at the Revolution and Five Came Back, as well as a journalist for The New York Times, The Guardian, and Vanity Fair (for which he's covering the Oscars this year). In today's session, Mark talks about whether great food can rise to the level of great art, the truth about his typical day-to-day lunch journey, his favorite cookbooks, his favorite recipes, and how he and his husband (Angels in America playwright Tony Kushner) offer feedback when the other one cooks. Mark also waxes lyrical on his love for sandwiches -- sandwiches that know no bounds (Chinese food on a sandwich!) -- as well as the elements that truly make a sandwich great.

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Nov 04, 2019
Ep. 13 -- Melissa Clark's Apple of Truth
01:05:29

Melissa Clark is one of the most prolific food writers working today: she's the author of 43 cookbooks, as well as a weekly columnist for The New York Times AND a new podcast host ("Weeknight Kitchen with Melissa Clark"). She also turns out to be the perfect Lunch Therapy guest because both of her parents are psychiatrists. During today's session, we talk about how she comes up with a recipe, how she empowers people to have "personal responsibility in cooking," how she deals with criticism online (including for the famous pea-guacamole, denounced by TWO presidents, that wasn't even her recipe). We also go deep on how she used cooking to get her parents' attention, how she cultivated her voice as a writer, what she gets out of reading Proust, and whether or not baking brownies made her popular in high school.

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Oct 28, 2019
Ep. 12 -- David Lebovitz's Leftover Vegetables with Chicken
01:01:53

The man, the myth, the legend: David Lebovitz himself is this week's Lunch Therapy patient! The author of The Sweet Life in Paris, L'Appart, My Paris Kitchen, and The Perfect Scoop, David generously met with me when I was in New York and filled in the blanks about his life before he moved to France: his childhood in Connecticut, his years as a film student at Ithica (making doorknob slasher films), working at the Cabbagetown Cafe, traveling through Europe, and arriving in San Francisco just as it was becoming America's most exciting food city. Learn how he charmed Alice Waters during his interview, how he got lured into the world of pastry, and how he finds balance both in his cooking and in his life.

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Oct 21, 2019
Ep. 11 -- Christine Vachon's Hotel Room Snacks
00:57:46

Christine Vachon is one of the most celebrated producers in the world of film and if I told you some of the movies she's made, your head would spin: Carol, Still Alice, Far From Heaven, Happiness, Velvet Goldmine, Kids, Boys Don't Cry, I Shot Andy Warhol, Craig's favorite movie ("Safe" by Todd Haynes) and one of my favorite movies ("Hedwig and the Angry Inch" by John Cameron Mitchell). On today's podcast, find out what she eats for lunch, what she considers the cinematic equivalent of a chicken Caesar salad, what she cooks for her family, and how she deals with the food Nazis at her daughter's school. We also cover her favorite food films (not what you'd guess!), her favorite food city in the world (spoiler: it's San Sebastian), and why one of the worst nights of her life was dinner at Blue Hill Stone Barns.

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Oct 14, 2019
Ep. 10 -- Jeremy Fox's Beef Plate with Extra Beef
01:00:29

In 2008, The New York Times named Jeremy Fox's restaurant Ubuntu (in the Napa Valley) the second best restaurant in the United States. On today's Lunch Therapy, you'll learn how the pressure of that led Fox to leave the restaurant, re-examine his life, and to start all over again in Los Angeles, where he now runs three restaurants: Rustic Canyon (where my husband and I got engaged!), Tallulah's, and the newly opened Birdie G's. We also cover how he comes up with his novel food ideas (see: white chocolate and peas), reading Yelp, why explaining food to people is like explaining a joke, which foods he hates, and why folding towels is a key skill if you're working in his kitchen.

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Oct 07, 2019
Ep. 9 -- My Mother's Disappointing Latke
01:02:54

Batten down the hatches: today's Lunch Therapy guest is none other than... my mother! Yes, Heidi Roberts is visiting from Boca Raton, Florida and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to put her in the Lunch Therapy chair. We talk everything from cruises to diners to Weight Watchers to selling pickles with her mother at the Roosevelt Field Flea Market. We also get into more emotional territory towards the end (though we did have some technical difficulties; don't worry, you can still hear everything). So crack open those Sweet n' Low packets and enjoy today's session with my mom.

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Sep 30, 2019
Ep. 8 -- John Riggi's Night Salad
01:02:39

If I told you that there's a person who's not only written for 30 Rock, but also for The Comeback and The Larry Sanders Show, you'd say: "Such a person couldn't exist! Those are three of the greatest comedies of all time." Well such a person DOES exist and his name is John Riggi. In today's session, John talks about his mother's Italian restaurant in Cincinnati, Ohio, the link between comedy writing and cooking, feeding the 30 Rock writer's room on the Chopped set, connecting with his Italian roots, and recreating his mother's tortellini by touch. We also cover negotiations with spouses over dinner, similarities between Italians and Jews when it comes to meals, and, finally, how Italians eat pasta all the time without getting fat.

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Sep 23, 2019
Ep. 7 -- Marquita Robinson's Shabu Shabu
01:03:00

Marquita Robinson is a super successful TV writer working in L.A. (Blackish, GLOW, You're The Worst) and in today's session we journey back with her to her childhood on an Air Force base in Okinawa, Japan. We talk everything from You've Got Mail ("That caviar is a garnish!"), switching from Morton's to Diamond Crystal, her parents' love for Teriyaki sauce, the family's move to the Azores, Taco Rice, and what it's like to experience America America for the first time. Also: I make a joke so bad, Winston throws up.

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Sep 16, 2019
Ep. 6 -- Bill Addison's Big Sampler Plate
01:01:36

Bill Addison is the James Beard award-winning food critic for the Los Angeles Times and, in today's session, we go deep into his past, Ratatouille-style, and learn about his formative restaurant experiences (he still remembers the name of the waiter!), his obsession with Lebanese food, his capacity for self-criticism, and his mother's potato rolls. We also talk about his writing technique, L.A. as the greatest food city in America, and why he gets so mad when a restaurant sends over a free dish.

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Sep 09, 2019
Ep. 5 -- Carey O'Donnell's Honey BBQ Sriracha Chicken Starbucks Sandwich
01:04:19

Carey O'Donnell is a comedy writer for TV (Billy On The Street, Heathers, Summer Camp Island) and a hilarious presence on Twitter (@ecareyo), where he brilliantly satirizes popular culture. Today's session starts lightly enough: we talk about his artist boyfriend, the Parmesan soup they eat together, growing up a swimmer, outside Philadelphia, with his mom cooking him breakfast at 4 AM. Then we get deep: talking about his struggles with addiction, his recovery, and how the whole journey may have been foreshadowed by an encounter with a blueberry pie.

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Sep 03, 2019
Ep. 4 -- Nicole Rucker's Pancakes with the Ex
01:02:02

The author of Dappled: Baking Recipes for Fruit Lovers, and the four-time blue-ribbon winner of KCRW's Good Food Pie Contest, comes to Lunch Therapy headquarters on the heels of announcing her departure from the bakery she founded, Fiona. We get into the emotions of that -- at the time of her lunch therapy session, the news hadn't gone public yet -- and then we explore the path she took to become a celebrated baker (not, as she points out, a pastry chef). We also cover baloney burritos, the walnut tree in my backyard (!), and fake vegetarianism. 

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Aug 26, 2019
Ep. 3 -- Nik Dodani's Le Parisien
01:01:46

The actor (Atypical, Murphy Brown, Alex Strangelove) and stand-up comedian (The Late Show with Stephen Colbert) reports on his lunch with surprising specificity, confesses to his nickname growing up ("Picky Nicky"), sings the praises of his mother's Indian cooking, and revisits the period when he gave it all up for Lunchables. 

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Aug 19, 2019
Ep. 2 -- Jenni Konner's Anti-Lunch Tzaziki
01:03:58

The co-showrunner of HBO’s Girls confesses her true feelings about eating lunch, weighs her reasons for weighing burgers, menu-plans her upcoming nuptials based on the food at her favorite restaurant, and turns the tables on her lunch therapist, advising him on how to loosen up in order to throw the perfect Sunday afternoon dinner gathering.

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Aug 12, 2019
Ep. 1 -- Ryan O'Connell's Medium Pour
01:04:13

The Emmy-nominated star and creator of Netflix's Special walks us through his salad at Sweetgreen and along the way revisits traumatic lunches from childhood (room temp Taco Bell), Zagat adventures with his dad, and what he'd order if he could have any lunch in the world.

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Jul 28, 2019
Welcome to Lunch Therapy.
00:00:30

Lunch Therapy is a podcast where cookbook author and comedy writer Adam Roberts explores people's psychological issues based on what they eat for lunch. Sounds crazy? Well "crazy" isn't a very useful word, anyway. Make sure to subscribe to get updated on new episodes, and follow Adam's daily lunches on Instagram: @lunchtherapy. Who knows? He might even diagnose yours.

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Jul 25, 2019