Chrissy Teigen is one of the few celebrities who truly has no filter and for that, we love her. Whether showing off her stretch marks, detailing her in vitro fertilization experience, or opening up about her sex life, she never holds back. The same goes for her new cookbook, Cravings, which, refreshingly, isn't the collection of "clean eating" how-tos you might expect from a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model. Instead, it features recipes for drool-worthy foods that, in her words, are "spicy, salty, sticky, crunchy, juicy, oozy–basically any dish you know and love, jacked up to a bordering-on-socially unacceptable amount of flavor." Oh, and it's heavy on Teigen's special ingredient—humor—with laugh-out-loud annotations accompanying each recipe. Yes, please.
We caught up with Teigen right after the Oscars to talk cooking, snacks (of course), pregnancy, social media, and more.
You looked beautiful at the Oscars in your Marchesa dress!
Thank you. I'm still feeling it. My feet are like two basketballs now. I thought I could've bypassed the whole swollen feet thing but–nope.
What do you think of the Internet making you into a meme again?
Oh my god. I don't get it. It's so funny because pretty much 99% of the show I'm just smiling and happy and laughing and then I don't know how it gets to those times. The reason why it carried over into Sarah [Silverman]'s performance was our whole section was all talking to each other and still so confused and still talking about Stacey Dash so, yeah. John was still explaining it to everybody and I was still making the face so I definitely lingered too long. But you know they have the cameras in the audience but they don't have the red light or anything that turn on so you don't know when you're on!
So, on a long night like the Oscars with the show, then after parties, what's the food situation like?
Yeah, it is a really long night. There's a green room at the Oscars. It's really small, very warm and it's really fun because you get to see everyone just lounging on couches. It's right before you go out to present, so it's everyone in there. And then they have this crudité section, and cheeses, and crackers. People are just kind of munching on things but mostly just drinking. And then we hit up the Governors Ball after because that's walking distance. Once you're on Hollywood & Highland you walk over to the Governors Ball and that has, like, the real food spread. I think Wolfgang Puck does that and it's so fantastic and so delicious. [John and I] love Wolfgang. So that's the main meal but I missed out on that because we had gone home to change so we just Postmates some Thai food. They had an In-N-Out stand [at the Governors Ball]. They do it every year and people live for it, obviously.
What's your In-N-Out order?
I usually get a Double-Double with regular onions and Animal Style Fries. I don't like the grilled onions for some reason. I like regular, crispy, stinky onions.
There were some Girl Scouts cookies at the Oscars, too. You had some unsatisfying Savannah Smiles, apparently?
I did, yes. I've never had them before but the kids weren't really taking orders, exactly, so. They're lemon. I'm weird about fruity desserts like lemony, acidic, zesty… I don't like lemon things and orange things, really. So yeah, I had no idea what I was getting into but luckily Aaron Rodgers and Olivia Munn got the Samoas back behind me so we were good.
What snacks do you like to have when you're getting ready in your dressing room?
It's so hard right now because I don't know what I'm going to want, ever. I honestly just love Greek yogurt and honey, and berries, and some KIND granola or something because that's always something that I'm down to eat. But everything else, like anything savory just has to be ordered really last minute because I never know. I always request sour candy–I love Sour Patch Kids and Sour Punch Straws and peanut M&Ms. And then, just a bunch of Smart Water. I keep it pretty simple just because I don't know what I'm going to want. I'm very moody when it comes to food. Even before pregnancy I would just get very specific with things that I wanted.
Do you have any strange cravings during pregnancy?
No, no. I had very specific cravings in the beginning and then in the middle I just wanted more of everything and now I can't really fit as much food in here, so it's hard. By the time the delivery gets here, I want something else. I don't know. It's very all over the place.
So, about your new cookbook, Cravings–what have been your favorite reactions from fans who've gotten the book?
I'm seeing a lot of people doing a lot of cool brunches out of it. Yesterday morning I had woken up and everyone did these crazy Sunday brunches with the Yellow Cake Baked Oatmeal recipe, which is really easy to put together, and the French Toast Casserole with Frosted Flakes. That kind of stuff I love to see. I love seeing people that are hitting up Home Depot for the first time to buy bricks to make the Brick Chicken recipe inside their house! It's really cool to scroll through my Instagram photos and see the diversity in what people are making. I think the number one thing people are making, though, is my Lemony Arugula Cacio e Pepe Spaghetti. I think that's definitely the most popular one. It's so beautiful to see all the pictures and people are really nailing it.
Have you been using that gigantic cheese wheel that John gave you?
No, we had to throw away the cheese wheel because we opened it right before we left for vacation, so right before we went to Morocco, and then I learned on our trip that it had to be refrigerated and I didn't think that because I thought that since it was completely waxed it would be fine. Also nobody has a refrigerator that could house that cheese wheel! So yeah, one of my favorite Italian chefs–Frank Prisinzano, I believe, he does my favorite place called Frank on Second Avenue in New York City–wrote me on Twitter and he was like, 'You got a fridge that's big enough for that thing?' and I was like, 'Oh, absolutely not,' and he was like, 'Wow, you got to throw that thing out as soon as you get home.' So yeah, that was a bummer but now we have a smaller one coming our way.
In the book you write that cooking was huge in your family growing up. How do you hope to make that a part of your daughter's life too?
I think I just want her to get involved. I think just even watching and seeing that there's some love and care that goes into every little thing she eats. I love that and I love the idea of her getting messy in the kitchen and developing, hopefully, a really diverse flavor palette because when we're all little kids we don't really think to explore or try new flavors. I know when I was little, having my Thai mom, even I was weird about fish sauce, and fish heads, and clams. I kind of sided with my dad because he was a big American guy. So, we were very meat and potatoes but I really wish I had grown up appreciating my mom's taste a bit more. I want my daughter to be able to go to school and see the diversity of things that her classmates are eating and appreciate that, too. So I'm really excited for her to just kind of sit in and watch me cook and be really hands on and just enjoy cooking. She doesn't have to love it, of course, but I think there's something to be said for those moments spent together cooking and sharing that time together.
It was really important for you to include your Thai heritage in your cookbook, too.
Yeah, definitely. My mom is a huge part of our lives, obviously. She lives with us. It's so normal for me to have crispy pork for lunch and then have scalloped potatoes for dinner. It's always been a back and forth. Been a fun way to grow up.
You've included a couple of John's recipes in the book–which one is your favorite?
Well, I didn't include John's mac and cheese but I will say I have my version of his mac and cheese in it. I have a creamier version than his in the book. But, I love his fried chicken, too. I haven't had it for so long now but I request it a few times a year, especially for the Super Bowl or any time we have any kind of gathering, really. It goes well on waffles. I mean, it's just so flexible, and it's so simple, and so easy to throw together, and so consistent. It's never ever like, 'Oh crap, this is a bad batch.' It always comes out great. It's delicious. And then his steak marinade is really, really wonderful too. It was hard for me to come to terms with because I'm a believer in really enjoying just a beautiful piece of steak for what it is. I'm not big on changing that flavor, but if you are actually going for a different flavor of steak like, you're kind of over the salt and peppered rib eye it's such a delicious, tangy marinade that I love so much.
A lot of people are obsessed with you and John's relationship, you know, writing '#relationshipgoals' etc–what do you think of the fandom over you two?
I think it's really sweet and also shows me that dating must be really hard out there now because sometimes he will do, like, the simplest thing and people will be like 'GOOOAALS' and I'm like, oh my gosh, is it that rough out there? I mean, obviously, he's so wonderful and he takes such good care of me and it's amazing to me that some of these 'goals' could be just eating pizza in bed. Like, you can have that. That's easy.
I think [the followers' reactions] are really sweet. I love when they call us 'MOM' and 'DAD'. I think that's really cute. And, we love showing that there can be just a normal, healthy relationship, that's not built off of hating each other and passive aggressive remarks through Instagram. You know how you see those weird relationships online now? You don't know if they're off or if they're on–it's just so weird. I think people appreciate a good, healthy relationship and so we love sharing that. While we don't, of course, want to be annoying about it or throw it anyone's faces, it's just very natural for us to be together and to share our lives together. So, it's nice that people appreciate that and aren't annoyed by it and we can kind of show them that this can be possible for everybody. It's not like I was exactly John's type or John was mine at first but it all worked out and it's all really, really perfect and really great.
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