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‘Chrissy & Dave Dine Out’ puts LA and its restaurant scene in the spotlight

Chrissy Teigen and David Chang they shouldn’t have done «Chrissy & Dave Dine Out.» Inaccurately.

The pair briefly teamed up for a 2019 episode of the Netflix documentary «Breakfast lunch dinner,» where they went to Morocco and dug a lamb out of dirt. But Chang, the chef and founder of Momofuku, and Teigen, the supermodel-turned-TV personality and cookbook author, wanted to work on something more substantial and not necessarily travel-based. About five years ago, the concept seemed to be coming together, and it was announced that the pair would collaborate on a cooking show loosely titled “Family style.”

Teigen and Chang planned to shoot the series in the studio. However, the start of filming coincided with the first week of the closure of the COVID-19 pandemic. They eventually took a three-year hiatus, which gave the pair a chance to reconsider their execution.

«We were able to stop and repeat the show all the time,» Chang, 46, says of Zoom from his Majordomo Media Studios in Los Angeles. That also meant hiring a comedian Joel Kim Booster on their culinary journey. “It was worth stopping production for three years,” Chang says of the Booster.

They realized they like to «get dirty» and «need to be outside,» says Teigen, 38, speaking via Zoom from her cloud-like bed in Los Angeles. Pivot has allowed the show’s stars to «take the show into restaurants and highlight a lot of restaurants that people might not know about,» Chang says. So they did.

David Chang sits at the dining room table and smiles at the man to his right.

Momofuku restaurateur David Chang in a scene from Freeform’s «Chrissy & Dave Dine Out.»

(Beth Dubber/Disney)

The result is Freeform’s new series «Chrissy & Dave Dine Out,» where the pair hit the Los Angeles restaurant scene to host fun parties with their celebrity families and friends, including Jimmy Kimmel, Kumail Najiani, Regina Hall, Sim Liu and more. The series premieres Wednesday and will air on Hulu the following day.

The cooperation has been going on for a long time. Teigen and Chang met nearly 20 years ago when she and her now-husband John Legend they lived in New York’s East Village. «That was before John became John and Chrissy became Chrissy,» Chang says.

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Chang’s famous Momofuku Noodle Bar happened to be within walking distance of Legend’s apartment. Teigen says she was drawn to the open kitchen and new flavors, and the couple visited as often as three times a week. At the time, Teigen was new to the culinary arts, but she immersed herself in Chang’s 2009 cookbook «Momofuku,» where she often created recipes with Legend, such as chicken wings and pork belly salad.

«If we weren’t at Momofuku, we were cooking from a book,» he says. It wasn’t long before she befriended a chef who assisted her as she delved into cooking.

«I really grew to respect him from the very beginning,» she says of Chang. «But then I saw him become this kind of entrepreneur, selling products, being on TV and then becoming a dad… I just love him from the beginning.»

Chang gushed over the compliments, «She’s so kind to me, so kind.»

In addition to their culinary passion, they grew closer with their growing families. Chang says that when his wife Grace Seo Chang became pregnant, it changed their dynamic in a way that he “didn’t foresee or expect. Chrissy and John are always there,” she says.

Their bond is the backbone of the series. While Chang gets his hands dirty at restaurants like La Casita Mexicana and Pizzeria Bianco — getting to know the culinary masters behind Los Angeles hot spots — Teigen leads the front-of-house conversation with Booster and celebrity guests.

Chrissy Teigen in a white shirt sits at the dining table.

Chrissy Teigen interviews Joel Kim Booster and celebrity guests on «Chrissy & Dave Dine Out.»

(Mike Taing/Disney)

The timing also worked out, as Teigen was eight months pregnant at the time of filming. “I was so hungry and so ready for every place we went, and it just opened up the world for me,” she says.

Most of the spots handpicked by Chang were new to Teigen and Booster, allowing them to explore LA’s food culture in a way they hadn’t before. But that effort required them to distill from a giant list which restaurants to feature in the series. It was paramount for them to showcase the different parts of the city and the diversity in the cuisine. And they needed to choose one great restaurant. They chose The Providence of Chef Michael Cimarustiwhich, according to Chang, is «probably the best restaurant in all of Los Angeles and, in my opinion, one of the best restaurants in America.»

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The show also allowed Chang to immerse himself in Korean culture, especially with buzzy Yangbanwhich is run by husband and wife chefs Katianna and John Hong.

“I was excited for people to see that being Korean American is not just a monoculture of being Korean American,” he says. “I was excited to show a different perspective of what Korean food could be.

Both Teigen and Chang tread lightly when it comes to the restaurant industry. They found out how difficult the business is. Chang’s Momofuku empire has seen a wave of closures since 2020. «We’re opening restaurants and doing it a little differently than we did before, in a way that’s more sustainable,» he says of the changes.

David Chang in a blue apron stands at the head of the dining table.

In «Chrissy & Dave Dine Out,» David Chang meets the chefs of several Los Angeles restaurants viewers may not know about.

(Mike Taing/Disney)

When asked if there are any overrated restaurants in Los Angeles, Teigen answers broadly. “Let’s just say I’m a little annoyed by the popularity of some restaurants when others are much better. That gets me. But f – if I ever talk – about the restaurant,” he laughs. To be fair, Teigen says she once told a restaurant owner that his restaurant was overpriced without knowing who he was. «It was a learning experience for me,» he says with a laugh. A minute later, she shows off red spots on her cleavage. “Look at my hives,” she said, moving closer to the camera. “Just by request of an underrated restaurant.”

While the focus on dishes like squash pies and caviar and doro wat and the chefs behind them is compelling, so is Teigen’s unfiltered conversation with celebrity friends. However, he insists that he doesn’t have many famous celebrities, rather he says it’s Chang.

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«Every time I get the show, it’s like, ‘OK, Chrissy, it’s you and all your celebrity friends,’ and I’m like, ‘I don’t know who you’re talking about.’ They don’t exist,” he says.

You wouldn’t know it watching the show because seemingly no topic is off limits. Teigen didn’t expect the interviews to be as risky as they sometimes are.

“But then I remembered the atmosphere. ‘Watch what’s happening live’» she says. «You tend to say more when you feel like you’re in a safe and good space, and you forget for a moment that that’s true for everyone in the world.

At the dinner table, Teigen jokes about people who once thought she was her husband’s beard. Kimmel’s wife, writer-producer Molly McNearney, recalls coming up to her parents having sex four times as a child — and she and Kimmel remember their first sexual experience. Booster and Liu discuss the years of being pigeonholed by casting directors based on their race. And at one point in the series, Teigen admits she was «blown away» during an appearance on «Celebrity Family Feud,» where she played against the cast «The Vanderpump Rules» and he didn’t remember anything.

Teigen has been open about quitting alcohol and publicly celebrated a year of sobriety in July 2022 on Instagram. She was sober for a year, during which time she got pregnant and stayed sober.

But she says she reached a point where she wanted to be a person who could have a drink once in a while. She had regular sessions with her therapist and addiction specialist to discuss it. She tried, but quickly realized «it can’t be.»

«I’ve never had a drink in the last 15 years where I didn’t immediately think, ‘I wish I hadn’t,'» she says. Teigen initially calls it her “way of slipping,” but immediately qualifies the phrase given how often she consulted professionals about it before and throughout: “Alcohol is just a physical poison to me. That doesn’t agree with me.» Now she has four kids and says she «can’t afford a hangover.» «I’ll say,» she pauses. «It’s a good half of a rubber for me now.

If «Chrissy & Dave Dine Out» gets a second season, Chang and Teigen already have some ideas in mind for special guests. There is a list of names: Oprah, Lauren Sanchez, Florence Pugh, Anya Taylor-Joy and Rihanna.

«We’re going to shoot for the stars here,» he says.

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