If you follow Chrissy Teigen on social media, and who among us does not, you already know about her family — husband John Legend and their two young kids — as well as her thoughts on politics and earthquakes, the Emmys and Ruffles potato chips, and that she just came out with her second cookbook, “Cravings: Hungry for More.” Like her first, this book is co-written with Adeena Sussman, with photography by Aubrie Pick.
Teigen’s cookbooks are unusual among many so-called celebrity cookbooks in that they have well-written recipes for very good food. Teigen can cook, and the mash-up of recipes, instructions and tips — as well as her distinctive, chatty prose — makes for an enormously fun read. Her headnotes, not unlike the running commentary of her Twitter feed, are filled with caps and extra vowels and exclamation marks, but also pithy comments and pretty hilarious asides. All this is preface to very workmanlike recipe instructions and side notes about things like how to make homemade chile oil and how to seed a tomato.
And although Teigen made her name as a Sports Illustrated model, it’s worth noting that this is definitely not spa food. One of the highlights of her first book was French toast casserole with salted Frosted Flakes. Yet neither is this gimmicky dorm food. These are recipes, like popovers and braised short ribs, that take some technique. There’s also a whole chapter devoted to the Thai food of her mother’s homeland. And, yes, there are also plenty of dishes that make you want to put on your pajamas and head straight to the kitchen: onion dip and oven-baked potato chips, fluffy corn dogs, and jalapeño Parmesan-crusted grilled cheese sandwiches.
So if you want more of Teigen’s voice than you can get in Instagram posts, you could do worse than pick up this book, especially as it has a surprisingly adept, well-rounded and deeply satisfying catalog of dishes. Given all the photos of Teigen, Legend, their daughter Luna (son Miles was born after the book was completed), their dogs and French dip sandwiches, you could probably just tear the pages out and paste them on your wall, along with all those SI pinups. Just be sure you get the recipes too.
Cookbook of the Week: “Cravings: Hungry For More” by Chrissy Teigen (Clarkson Potter, $29.99)