Cookbook author Alison Roman accused supermodel Chrissy Teigen of selling out after finding success with her Cravings cookbooks and website. Roman said she does not "aspire" to have an empire like that, and instead is focusing on her career as a writer. Teigen quickly defended herself, even pointing out that she is an executive producer on Roman's new show.
On Thursday, New Consumer published an interview with Roman, in which she pointed out there is "too much stuff" in the world and has no desire to have her name on things that add to it. "And maybe that’s a poor business decision, because I’m sure one day I could make money off it," she said. "But I’m more interested in finding a cool glassblower or ceramicist that I love and doing a collaboration."
Roman then pointed to Teigen's career trajectory as a path she does not want to follow. "What Chrissy Teigen has done is so crazy to me," the New York Times columnist wrote. "She had a successful cookbook. And then it was like: Boom, line at Target. Boom, now she has an Instagram page that has over a million followers where it's just, like, people running a content farm for her. That horrifies me and it's not something that I ever want to do. I don't aspire to that. But like, who's laughing now? Because she's making a ton of f— money."
this is a huge bummer and hit me hard. I have made her recipes for years now, bought the cookbooks, supported her on social and praised her in interviews. I even signed on to executive produce the very show she talks about doing in this article. https://t.co/9xrvQBInAp— chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) May 8, 2020
"I'm more interested in expanding myself as a writer," Roman explained. "My next book is going to be narrative nonfiction — essays and short stories and stuff. "
I started cravings because I wanted something for myself. I wanted something John didn't buy, I wanted something to do that calmed me, made me happy and made others happy, too. Cravings isn't a "machine" or "farmed content" - it's me and 2 other women.— chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) May 8, 2020
After the interview was published, Roman sensed she was going to get criticized even before Teigen spoke out. "I want to clarify, I am not coming for anyone who's successful, especially not women," she tweeted. "I was trying to clarify that my business model does not include a product line, which work very well for some, but I don't see working for me."
I didn't "sell out" by making my dreams come true. To have a cookware line, to get to be a part of that process start to finish, to see something go from sketch to in my hands, I love that.— chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) May 8, 2020
Teigen then responded to Roman's comments, calling them a "huge bummer and hit me hard." In one tweet, Teigen wrote, "I didn't 'sell out' by making my dreams come true. To have a cookware line, to get to be a part of that process start to finish, to see something go from sketch to in my hands, I love that."
to see that thing in my hand being used by people around the world makes me so happy. Watching a company grow makes me happy. I get joy from it and lots of people do.— chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) May 8, 2020
Roman, 34, is the author of Dining In (2017) and the New York Times Bestseller Nothing Fancy (2019). She writes a bi-weekly column for the New York Times and lives in Brooklyn. Her recipes are so popular that some ingredients have noticeably sold out in stores during the coronavirus pandemic, reports Mediate.
I don't think I've ever been so bummed out by the words of a fellow food-lover. I just had no idea I was perceived that way, by her especially. And Marie, too. Marie is awesome.— chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) May 8, 2020
"To me, the only way that I can continue to differentiate myself from the pod of people that write recipes, or cookbooks or whatever, is by doing a different thing. And so I have to figure out what that is," Roman told New Consumer. "And I think that I haven't ultimately nailed that. And I'm in the process of figuring it out right now."
It has been crappy to deal with this all day but I couldn't not say something. I know the actual tears I put into the work I do and it's really hard to see someone try to completely invalidate it. Someone I really liked.— chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) May 8, 2020
Roman also criticized author Marie Kondo, the organizing consultant who hosted her own Netflix series. Kondo has advocated for people to lead simpler lives, with less things, but has also sold products with her name on it, Roman pointed out.
this "farm" you think of doesn't exist. I am the farm. I am the cows the horses the pigs— chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) May 8, 2020
"I think that's why I really enjoy what I do. Because you’re making something, but it goes away," Roman said. "Like the idea that when Marie Kondo decided to capitalize on her fame and make stuff that you can buy, that is completely antithetical to everything she's ever taught you… I'm like, damn, bitch, you f— just sold out immediately! Someone's like 'you should make stuff,' and she's like, 'Okay, slap my name on it, I don’t give a s—!'"