Amidst all of 2019’s social and political impasses, Chrissy Teigen is sacredly bipartisan. Correct me if I’m wrong, but within a world of constant disagreement, she seems to remain social media’s sweetheart. A refreshingly honest, liberal and candid celebrity who cuts through the waffle of the Kardashian-Jenner weight loss lollipops and extreme diets. For this reason, her cookbook ‘Cravings’ sat at the top of my Christmas list. Luckily for me, Santa pulled through.
Whilst definitely a ‘celebrity cookbook’ (with Teigen’s face interspersed throughout the book and on the cover) there isn’t the trademark kitschness that usually accompanies celebrity written books. Raised by a Thai mother, Chrissy’s knowledge of world food is present throughout her recipes. Along with a brashly criminal amount of chilli, salt, garlic and flavour. This in itself is a warm departure from what you’d usually see from bikini models, wryly advocating wheat grass shots and unseasoned avocado while they say ‘mmm yummy’ into the camera. Chrissy actually acknowledges this expectation and gives the reader a section “for when salads are needed”. This includes a caprese salad with crispy shards of prosciutto and a Chinese chicken salad with wonton skins. If I’m honest, I’d completely forgo Teigen’s salad section as it seems to lack the ethos that the rest of the book trades in; indulgence in moderation.
The rest of the book has the following sections: breakfast all day, soup-master, noodles and carbs, Thai mom, party time, sh*t on toast, vegetable things, things that intimidate people but shouldn’t and supper. All of these evoke the laid-back nature of her writing and cooking style. Unfortunately – warning for all sweet-toothed students out there – Chrissy neglects a dessert section. She admits she herself doesn’t really like them nor does she claim to be a pastry chef.
One thing that the book does not lack however, is Chrissy’s sharp wit, which is peppered throughout all her recipes; just one of her well-loved traits. At one point she blames ‘cacio e pepe’ (pasta loaded with pepper, pancetta and parmesan) for giving her ‘carby pasta goggles’, resulting in her Italian Lake Como marriage to John Legend. Admittedly, whilst Chrissy’s recipes are not overly original or creative, I, as a female reader usually bombarded with flavourless ways in which to lose weight, find it very progressive that someone in her profession and social media standing would tell me to cook scrambled eggs the classical french way! Oozy, rich and custard-y.
Over the winter period I tried out her ‘balsamic glazed brussels sprouts with bacon, cranberries, walnuts and blue cheese’. Let me tell you, it definitely made sprouts sexy and Victoria’s Secret runway-ready.
Overall, this book gives me everything I wanted: relaxed, indulgent good food. It doesn’t re-invent the wheel of cookery, doesn’t have a dessert section and definitely has a few recipes that seem wedged in for the sake of fillers – i.e. ‘tuna melts’. Nevertheless, this book only encourages my love for Chrissy Teigen more. She creates a breath of fresh air with regards to no-frill, no-judgement cookery with no shame. Perfect for a world where food and indulgence are becoming increasingly estranged.
8/10, available on Amazon for £12.84