Chrissy Teigen said she was embarrassed by her mom's Thai food when she was a child

Chrissy Teigen (left) and her mother Pepper Teigen (right). Jenny Huang / "The Pepper Thai Cookbook"
Chrissy Teigen helped her mother, Pepper Teigen, turn her Thai recipes into a cookbook.
As an adult, Chrissy Peppers loves recipes, but as a child she was embarrassed by them.
Pepper told Insider that now the two of them cook together with the whole family and eat their Thai food.
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Best-selling cookbook author Chrissy Teigen asked her mother Vilailuck "Pepper" Teigen to write her own cookbook. The home cooking icon had some of her mother's recipes included in her two "Cravings" books, but now, as she wrote in the preface to "The Pepper Thai Cookbook," she wants people to "get the full" Thai Mom . Experience."
Although she now has numerous favorite dishes her mother prepares - Pepper told Insider the book is essentially filled with them - Chrissy admittedly spent most of her childhood embarrassed with Pepper's Thai cuisine.
"Mom's food looked and smelled different - honestly I was a little embarrassed when I was young," wrote Chrissy.
In an interview with Insider, Pepper said she remembered times when her daughter was ashamed of the smells and flavors she now loves.
"She was in fifth or sixth grade and very popular in her grade," Pepper told Insider. She said Chrissy would bring friends to her home and she would customize her kitchen accordingly.
Pepper remembers young Chrissy asking "like most children" about grilled cheese and pizza.
In the introduction to the book, Pepper wrote about a time when she "put herbs in one of my Thai salads and [Chrissy] yelled at me, 'MOM! Why are you eating weeds?'"
For Pepper, cooking was a way to keep in touch with her family and her Thai roots
Pepper was born in Thailand and grew up in a small town outside of Korat Town - a popular food town, according to the author. In the introduction to her book, Pepper wrote that she grew up cooking and helped her mother, a lunch seller, in third grade.
When she moved to the United States with Chrissy's father, Ron Teigen, she drove up an hour to find familiar ingredients like fish sauce to cook with.
"Some days I would cry because I missed that special taste of Isaan food so much," she wrote.
While it wasn't a popular choice for Ron, Chrissy, and Pepper's first daughter Tina, she said she used food to remember her home and share her life - and her mother's culinary legacy - with their children.
As an adult, Chrissy has a new appreciation for her mother's food
Pepper said it was difficult to control meal time when her daughters were young.
"I ate differently than they did. I ate more spices, more fish sauce and more anchovies, so I waited for my family to finish and then I made my own," she told Insider.
Pepper now lives with Chrissy, Chrissy's husband, John Legend, and their two children, and they all love to cook and eat together.
"Now I cook so openly," said Pepper. "Our house smells like chillies and everything all day. People are accepting Thai food more now. All of our friends eat everything I offer them now."
And Chrissy is such a fan of her mother's recipes that she wanted her to put them all in a collection that became The Pepper Thai Cookbook.
"I see she feels guilty that she was embarrassed to grow up," Pepper told Insider. She laughed remembering times when she heard Thai music and Chrissy said, "Turn it down! Turn it down!"
"But now she's fine," said Pepper. "She really noticed that people learn as they grow." She said she didn't hold that against her and described their relationship as "so close".
The mother-daughter duo now cooks together and helps each other in the kitchen. It shares the same bond Pepper had with her own mother growing up.
"The Pepper Thai Cookbook" was published on Tuesday.
Read the original article on Insider
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Chrissy Teigen

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