Chrissy Teigen on Her New Cookbook, Cravings: I Spent ‘Years Trying to Prove to People That I Love Food’

02/23/2016 at 05:27 PM ET

Chrissy Teigen‘s much-anticipated cookbook, Cravings, is officially out on Tuesday—and she is proud of what she put into it. “I spent the past three years trying to prove to people that I love food, I love cooking,” she tells PEOPLE exclusively in the new issue, on newsstands Friday. “And that I have a passion for it that’s beyond just wanting to be a model in the food world.”

For the star, that meant making sure chefs didn’t think she was trying to be one of them. “It was always important to me that the people that I love and respected knew that I wasn’t trying to step on their toes,” she says. “Because there is nothing that I would hate more than a real, proper chef—who was trained and owns a restaurant and is working their ass off—to ever have any kind of comparison to somebody [like me].”

RELATED:Forget Modeling, Chrissy Teigen Says Cooking ‘Should Have Been My First Calling’

Chrissy Teigen Shoot
Anders Overgaard

So rather than jump right into the cookbook process after being approached by an editor (he reached out on Twitter, natch) she focused on her blog,, which she still keeps up today. “The blog was always so random,” she says of its humble beginnings almost four years ago. “It would be like, a recipe, and the next day it would be like ‘Oh my God, I got in trouble for something huge and I want to explain myself.’ And then I’d get emotional… My pictures sucked but people loved it because it looked like their food. It didn’t look over-styled.”

She also has cooked with some huge culinary stars, like Eric Ripert and Josh Capon, and taken cooking classes abroad to bolster her skills. “I went to Thailand for a few months and that was truly just to learn Thai flavors,” she says of a trip she took a few years ago with her mom, Vilailuck, who is from Thailand and such an amazing cook that Teigen devoted an entire chapter of her book to recipes she’s learned from her.

RELATED: Chrissy Teigen and John Legend Are Living Our Best Life, Feasting on Burgers and Noodles

Teigen’s still picking up tips. “I don’t think you understand how many simple things I learn all the time that I’m almost embarrassed to share that I didn’t know,” she reveals. “Then I realize that if I didn’t know that, then there’s probably 1.7 million people on the internet who probably didn’t know that either.” Among those pro-tips? Making bacon in the oven. “I can’t believe I’ve just been putting bacon into a pan and it’s been curling up like a pig’s tail,” she says. “It’s the tiniest little things that I feel so dumb not knowing. Then I share it, and I’m in this whole world of people who are like, ‘That’s awesome!'”

Chrissy Teigen Shoot
Chrissy Teigen/Photgraphs by Aubrie Pick/Clarkson

RELATED: Chrissy Teigen: John and I ‘Love Working Together in the Kitchen’

So does she think she’s proven herself? Yes. “I think people know that I really do cook, I really do eat, and I love it,” she says. It turns out everyone else thinks she has, too: On its first day on stands, Cravings is already number 1 on Amazon’s “Quick and Easy Cooking” best seller list.

—Catherine Kast

For more exclusive info from Teigen, including two recipes from Cravings, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on stands Friday.

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Showing 10 comments

Danielle on

I wonder what actual chefs- people who went to culinary school and work as chefs, think of all these celebrities “writing” cookbooks and suggesting that they actually know how to cook.

Courtney on

@Danielle you don’t have to go to culinary school to be a good/great cook some celebrities can actually cook really well and enjoy it and there’s been some celeb cookbooks in publication for 30 years or more like for example the Newman’s Own cookbook originally published in 1986 granted many of the celebrities that donated recipes to that book actually like to cook. celebs have always done side projects from what initially made them famous. Paul Newman had auto racing his food company political activism and his camps for severely ill children among other things

Laura on

I would actually buy this!! I love her!

tsharn13 on

Coming to a dollar store near you….next to Gwyneth Paltrows ghostwriten cookbook. Great chefs are turning over on their grave. Clearly she will have the Baby Jesus too and will tell all mothers out there what they’re doing wrong. Can’t wait.

Kathy on

She is one crass women.

Mora on

She must be paying People for all the recent coverage. I don’t get why this chic is famous.

RhiBee on

I love her and I ran to purchase this yesterday when it came out.. She posts the most delicious looking food on Instagram and I would absolutely love to have her cook dinner for me. She got famous for being beautiful, but she can be beautiful and also multi-dimensional. People are complex and can have many interests. (Surprise!)

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