Sports Illustrated's Chrissy Teigen Heats Up the Kitchen

"I have a fryer on both coasts," she tells me solemnly, her eyes twinkling. "I really couldn't live without them."

Deep within the elegant bowels of New York's famed International Culinary Center (home of L'Ecole, the restaurant of the French Culinary Institute), Sports Illustrated model Chrissy Teigen is getting primped and prepped for her big kitchen debut while discussing the finer points of fried junk food. The petite bundle of energy seems unaware of her own beauty, completely swept up in the excitement of a highly choreographed shoot filled with epicurean surprises and the potential for a long-awaited foray into culinary super stardom.

At 26, Teigen is probably most famous for her bikini-baring spreads, high-wattage relationship (she's engaged to singer John Legend) and her goofy sense of humor. A Twitter darling in her own right, this Utah native turned pin-up girl isn't afraid to tweet the ridiculous ("He went to Jared" was her cheeky response following news of her engagement), but at the heart of it all is a serious love affair with eating and cooking that stretches back to her teen years.

She's the kind of on-screen personality that has no problem making fun of herself if it makes you laugh OR makes for good television in the process. Following a special on the Cooking Channel called Cookies & Cocktails this past December, I can safely say that even after a mere hour that it's clear that it works. Although she has certainly dabbled in some of the priciest haute cuisine the world has to offer, this is one girl that's totally relatable. "A lot of times you look at people and think, 'They must never fail!' Ina [Garten] and Giada [De Laurentiis] are perfect," she exclaims. "But I'm the kind of person that posts picture on my [food] blog when I mess up."

Go to for more on Chrissy's future culinary plans, her rumored cooking show and an editorial pictorial of her in action.