Ethan Lewis and Chrissy Teigen are the more modern Julie Powell and Julia Child of Julie and Julia. But instead of blogs, there are Instagram posts. And instead of a cordial response from the recipe creator, we got a stoked one.
Lewis, 26, didn’t know much about the model/mom/foodie when his girlfriend Kathleen’s mom got him Cravings — Teigen’s cookbook — for Christmas last year. “Her mom, Susie, knows I love to cook,” Lewis tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “I honestly didn’t really know much about Chrissy Teigen at the time, and I don’t think Susie did either, but considering the theme of the book is ‘All of the food you WANT to eat’ she knew all of the recipes in the book were full, fat full flavor, which is right up my alley.”
What made it even better is that his girlfriend eats really healthy: “I’m talking seaweed chips and jackfruit (it’s gross), so I think Susie got a rise out of the thought of me whipping up fried pork chops and mac and cheese while Kathleen’s aggressively trying to stick to soul-sucking foods like cauliflower rice,” he says.
Lewis started making Teigen’s recipes and shared the final products with friends. “They loved the food and started asking me to try more of the recipes, and one of them suggested that I actually try every single recipe and re-create the pictures in the book that go along with them and use the content for an Instagram account,” he recalls. This is where it gets good.
As Lewis explains, “Michael, Kathleen’s brother, had several unused Instagram accounts (as one does), said he had just changed the name of one of his accounts to blackchrissyteigen, and that was that — we were off.”
Six months later, the Los Angeles resident has posted only 17 photos but has amassed more than 80,000 followers. How? For one, his photos are hilarious. But Teigen has also helped. “We probably had about 50 followers for the first few weeks, until the hot wing incident,” Lewis reveals.
The original photo Lewis is referring to is, as he describes, “pretty glamorous,” featuring Teigen and John Legend eating chicken poolside with a picturesque view in the background. “The only thing we had from that photo were the hot wings,” he says. “So in an effort to improvise, we replaced the infinity pool with a kiddie pool, the sweeping San Fernando Valley vista with my brother’s starter home in Phoenix and Chrissy’s designer bathing suit and supermodel physique with my beer belly and hairy chest.” Sounds like a recipe for hilarity.
It took only 30 minutes for the post to take off. Teigen stumbled upon it, commented and reposted it on her account. “By the next morning we woke up to about 60,000 new followers. Kathleen was mortified.” Lewis captioned the post, “The only thing hotter than these wings is my body.”
When Teigen shared it on her Instagram account, she wrote, “Oh my god hell yeah this account @blackchrissyteigen.” Her post has more than 300,000 likes, and Lewis’s has over 15,000. But that’s not his only post worth viewing. We’re big fans of his take on her Dutch Baby Pancake, Jonn’s Breakfast Sandwiches, and Crispy Bacon Hash Browns. The photo in the book features Teigen and Legend in bed, the singer bothering her while she reads the National Enquirer. In his version, Kathleen looks equally bothered. And the food looks equally delectable.
We also love any time he mimics Teigen feeding Legend, which apparently happens a lot.
And then there are the times Lewis takes on Teigen’s facial expressions and is seriously successful.
Lewis is loving the food so far. He says, “The recipes are awesome; I usually cook for the same group of friends once a week or so, and every meal ends with someone saying ‘OK, THIS was the best one yet.’”
Unfortunately, we won’t be seeing Lewis remaking Teigen’s hilarious Instagram posts, like her Ariana Grande character named Ariana Venti. “Sometimes after Chrissy posts something, people DM us asking us to re-create it, but we’re going to stick to the cookbook pictures. Anything outside of that seems kind of creepy, as if what we’re doing now isn’t strange enough!” he explains.
The good thing is, he won’t be running out of material any time soon, as Cravings 2 is coming out in 2018.
Ultimately, this is not an ode to Teigen, believe it or not. “If anything, it’s an ode to Kathleen’s mom, Susie, and an amazing gift that we’re definitely getting a lot of use out of,” Lewis said. “Our book is basically trashed. I think if you scraped all of the cheese, dried sauces, and chicken grease off the pages you might have a nice plate of leftovers.”
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