It’s well documented that noted culinary whiz Chrissy Teigen is not a fan of Thanksgiving turkey.
And with the holiday coming up, what she’s going to serve is top of mind. “I just did my menu yesterday!” she told InStyle, excited for an evolution on the staid main course. “I am making a smothered turkey wing for Thanksgiving. I hate turkey so much, so am just going to smother it,” she says, happy to move onto the next holiday entirely. “For Christmas. I just invented a new beef Wellington. It’s going to be awesome.”
As for how she and husband John Legend plan to spend the holidays, it sounds like she can deal with a turkey feast now and then if it means quality time spent together as a family. “We are going a little bit away, to make it a bit of a staycation with 20 or so family members,” she says of Thanksgiving a la Teigen. “It’s going to be fun. I like having everyone in the same area, so that everyone is staying together. I like the idea of everyone waking up together in robes, watching football. We are still planning Christmas. We are going to keep it family for Thanksgiving, smaller family for Christmas, and then for New Years, even smaller.”
When she’s not creating fun recipes for her new site Cravings (or her own family meals), hosting Lip Sync Battle, prepping for her upcoming reality series, Chrissy’s Court, Teigen volunteers at Baby2Baby, a nonprofit that provides help for children living in poverty. It was at the org’s recent 2019 Baby2Baby Gala Presented by Paul Mitchell on Saturday night which we caught up with the star and her husband, who was on hand to present her with “The Giving Tree Award” for her ongoing support of the charity.
During her speech, Teigen acknowledged she felt kind of nervous picking up such an honor.
“I gotta say, I was always so intimidated by this room. There are so many incredible, wonderful people here; you guys do so, so much for this organization. I never felt right being at galas like this. I always felt a bit awkward, a little bit weird,” she said. Sliding into her usual sense of humor, she noted she’s much more used to getting an award like “best titties” from Spike TV ("RIP Spike TV," she added). But she said she has learned a few things from her husband — a member of the EGOT club — who is pretty adept at the acceptance-speech game.
“Mainly that the acceptance of any of these awards is not at all for yourself. It is the acceptance that what you’ve done, and what you can do, to shine a light on thousands of others who work infinitely harder than you to make this world a brighter, more beautiful and empathetic place is much more important than the award itself,” Teigen said.
Of course, Legend gave credit where due while paying tribute to his wife from the stage. “I love my wife. I’ve made no secret of this,” Legend said as he presented her with the award. “I have written songs about her, penned adoring Instagram posts about her for her birthday and anniversaries, Mother’s Day." But, he added, “Because she is so awesome, a new genre of writing has become a specialty for me: It’s the ‘Chrissy’s being honored at a huge event’ speech ... Her brilliance, her charisma, her generosity has become globally recognized.”
He continued: “This night is very special to us because as relatively new parents, there’s a deep connection we feel to other new parents, no matter which part of town they live in. No matter if they are across the country or across the world. We have been blessed beyond our imagination and Chrissy has never hesitated to share those blessings with those who aren’t as fortunate.”
Following along that thread, and discussing the mental health services Baby2Baby provides, Teigen acknowledged that early parenthood had been “stressful and difficult” for her.
“I have been very vocal about postpartum depression and the struggles that go along with having a baby,” she said. “On top of the normal stresses of parenthood, if I were worried about the basics that my children needed, it would be devastating. Far too many parents deal with that on a daily basis.” Leaning into the topic of the evening, she continued, “All I can do is try my very best to ensure that other children have what they need ... No kid should be hungry. No child should go without the basic supplies they need to be happy and healthy in their home.” And, as she knows firsthand, a parent’s wellbeing is crucial in making sure those needs are met.
“When a parent is mentally stable and mentally healthy and mentally happy, it can better the lives of their children. Baby2Baby understands this and they are committed to meeting these challenges every day.”
The organization helps impoverished families access diapers, clothing and all the basic necessities that every child deserves. According to their website, in the last eight years, Baby2Baby has distributed over 70 million items to children in homeless shelters, domestic violence programs, foster care, hospitals, and underserved schools as well as children who have lost everything in the wake of disaster.
Teigen has been involved with the charity for the past three years, donating gently used essentials her children have outgrown, noted co-president, Kelly Sawyer Patricof, who says the kids they work with light up whenever Chrissy comes by.
“Getting to spend time with Chrissy and watching her spend time with the children has been one of the highlights of the year,” said co-president Norah Weinstein, noting Teigen’s generosity with others, and the care she takes in educating her own kids, Luna (age 3) and Miles (1). “She is such a generous woman; we’ve gotten to see her teach her own children to give back to kids who need it. Watching her teach them — at such a young age — she is an incredible role model.”
Legend said Teigen has been “vigilant” about donating to Baby2Baby on a regular basis. “We have a dedicated basket in our house that collects stuff for us to send to the distribution center every week,” he said.
VIDEO: Thanksgiving Tips from Chrissy Teigen
Of course, the Teigen-Legend family weren’t the only ones celebrating this worthy cause. Jennifer Garner, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kirsten Dunst, Rachel Zoe, Mindy Kaling, Olivia Munn, Nicole Ritchie, Molly Sims and comedian Ali Wong were among the many celebrities attending the star studded fundraiser, with a guest list heavy on Hollywood moms out to make a difference. Paula Abdul performed several of her hits, including, “Straight Up” and “Opposites Attract,” and Baby2Baby reports the event raised $4.7 million.
On the red carpet, Teigen expressed that she did not take the honor of this event, nor her privileged position on such a stage, lightly.
“Knowing that there are people out there who are less fortunate and can’t do the everyday things that I don’t think about — to feed and clothe your baby, and to have diapers for them and food for them and have the personal care time for yourself as a parent — it is really important, and it’s not something I have to think about,” she said. But that’s just Chrissy being humble; it’s clear she has thought about it a great deal.