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By Chris Gardner
Chrissy Teigen is best known as a model and one of Sports Illustrated's star bikini babes, and her name is also attached her famous fiance, sultry crooner John Legend. But Teigen's turning her beautiful head in a brand new direction to make her mark courtesy of her other passion -- food. (A model who loves food? We know -- it's quite shocking!)
Teigen's showing off her love of all things culinary with an engaging food blog, So Delushious!, and a new gig as a celebrity panelist for an online food awards program called The Munchies: People's Choice Food Awards, presented by General Mills, Tablespoon.com and "Bizarre Foods" host Andrew Zimmern.
Wonderwall had a wide-ranging chat with Teigen about the food awards, her tasty blog, "snarky" Twitter posts and, of course, her upcoming nuptials. Oh, and there's something that John Legend might want to keep an eye on: Teigen's obsession with Padma Lakshmi!
Wonderwall: How are the wedding plans coming along?
Chrissy Teigen: It's a little bit nonexistent wedding wise. We have locations that we love, but most of [the planning] is revolving around food. So, if the restaurant [at a potential location] isn't good, then that place is completely thrown out the window. Right now, I'm working on dresses, which is exciting and fun in a way that I didn't think it was going to be. I thought it was going to be nerve-wracking and difficult, but I have such a good group of girls around me and awesome bridesmaids, so it's a really fun experience. I'm enjoying that now. I thought of myself as the anti-bride at first, but I'm getting into it slowly. It's just hard for me after watching all those wedding dress shows, because I'm very self-aware and I don't want to be a bridezilla, and so I go the opposite way. I think I have to pump up the excitement a little bit because he is, of course, very wonderful.
WW: Speaking of John Legend, what does your fiance think of your food blog?
CT: He loves it! ... It really shows more of my personality. Sometimes I can be really snarky and mean on Twitter -- that's more of a boredom thing -- but my blog is more me; it's my heart and my soul and my passions. And he sees that. … And he knows a meal is not set down at our table without me taking a photo of it. He puts both hands on the table and knows better than to dig in before I get that photo for the blog (laughs).
WW: Your blog definitely shows more of your personality, it's fun and fresh and you swear a lot. Are you happy you started doing it?
CT: I've bawled writing the posts before. They go off on these odd tangents, and it can be therapy thing for me. A lot of times, it's not even about food -- it's about my anxieties trying to break into this food world, a girl who has no credibility yet but is excited about the future of it. [The blog] is such a different world from Twitter. It's such a nice community on my blog, so warm and nice. I'm so happy I did it.
WW: Let's talk Munchies! I'm told you had a hand in helping select the voting categories. There are so many and it's such a fun, comprehensive list. Are there categories that you are more passionate about?
CT: I'm such a reality TV junkie, especially when it comes to food reality competition shows. And of course my heart has been in "Top Chef" for many, many seasons. I absolutely adore that show, and I think it set the standard for food reality competition shows. I'm absolutely obsessed with Padma [Lakshmi] in a way that most people wouldn't be comfortable with. I love her! She's such an inspiration. One day I would love to judge people and know that much. I really look up to her, so she and the show get my votes. The other votes that were easy for me are tacos and burgers.
WW: But I read on Twitter this morning that you might be changing your vote for tacos and burgers?
CT: I know, I know! The taco one got me because Torchy's Tacos in Austin is amazing! I went there during a music festival and I kind of doubted myself because I had been drinking. Was it just delicious because I had been drinking? (laughs) But I think I'm going to vote for that one anyway. … And I love a Double Shack Burger [from Shake Shack in New York]. That is a must. In-N-Out is an easy pick for people, so I went for the Shack Burger.
WW: As a model, do you find that you have to defend your love of food?
CT: I always do! My blog gives people a chance to see that I'm eating, that I'm at home cooking and drinking, which I will never lie about. I'm definitely a red wine drinker when I cook. The blog brings it all to life, and people can see the food that I love. I do have to defend myself a lot, but I'm also the first person to say that I work my butt off when it's time to shoot -- and I do. I cut all carbs out completely and I'm back in the gym. It's not an easy thing, but I don't think it's cool to brag about eating this kind of food without the balance of working out too.
WW: I can see you opening your own restaurant. Is that something you'd like to do? Or what does the future hold for you in the food biz?
CT: I'm too much of a stress ball to really think about opening my own restaurant (laughs). … I wanted to go to culinary school, but it was very expensive at the time, and it's still really expensive. But modeling is the more timely matter. I can go to culinary school at any time but you can't model forever. So, next step, I would love to have my own cooking travel show on Food Network or Cooking Channel, or just get out there more as a TV food personality, but I know that I have to earn my stripes and be more knowledgeable, and I'm ready to do that.
WW: Is that why Padma is such an inspiration for you?
CT: Yes, she has books and a show -- she's a mogul in her own right. And she's beautiful and she tells it like it is and she knows what she's talking about. That's important to me too, not to just be a girl that is talking about food. I wanna love it, and I want to really know all about it. I'm going to try and get there first.
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WW: First, you'll be getting yourself to the White House Correspondents' Dinner this weekend. I saw your tweet about Lindsay Lohan and Justin Bieber, who are both expected to attend. You encouraged your followers to keep up with your tweets from the event because of them being there. If you do bump into Lindsay or Justin, which one would you like to have a conversation with?
CT: Of course I say all this stuff and then I'm going to end up bumping into one of them. And I'm going to have to be like, 'Heyyyy! So good to see you!' That's going to be the hard part (laughs). ... We'll see.
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