Chrissy Teigen, restaurateur David Chang and comedian Joel Kim Booster have the dream assignment of getting to dish with celebrities over gourmet meals on their new series “Chrissy and Dave Dine Out.”
The trio took a break from the fine dining scene in Los Angeles and traveled to Park City for the Sundance Film Festival to talk up their show, which debuts Jan. 24 on Freeform. “Chrissy and Dave Dine Out” follows Teigen, Chang (founder of Momofuku and creator of Netflix’s “Ugly Delicious”) and Booster (the writer and star of Searchlight’s “Fire Island”) as they indulge at Michelin-star restaurants with famous friends like Simu Liu, Jimmy Kimmel, Kumail Nanjiani and Regina Hall. In between bites of savory pizza and fresh sushi, they swap stories about everything from their sex lives to the importance of representation in Hollywood.
“We were working with people who are asked the same questions all the time,” Teigen said at the Variety Studio presented by Audible. “I wanted to be able to get down to the nitty-gritty.”
This time, it’s Variety who got to ask the questions, grilling them on dream guests, food faux pas (pineapple pizza, anyone?) and the one question that’s sure to spark a lively dinner party.
How did the three of you join forces?
Chang: [Chrissy and I] have known each other a long time. John [Legend] and Chrissy used to come to the restaurant [Momofuku Noodle Bar] in 2004 and they were great customers.
Teigen: I was 18. I’m 38 now! I couldn’t even drink your Soju.
Chang: We became friends, not because of anything other than being good diners over the years. We decided we could work together on a few things. We wanted to do a show about friends and food and family and the things that happen when you break bread. We started to do that in March 2020, and the world ended. When we decided to come back and make the show, we wanted to go to restaurants. We knew we were missing one piece. Our Weapon X.
Booster: I was the personality hire.
You all have different culinary backgrounds. What did you learn from each other?
Booster: Well, they learned a very special recipe from me, which is a chicken breast in the microwave for six minutes. And then in the blender with a little water, and you just pulse, pulse, pulse until it’s a silky smooth texture.
Teigen: Not broth, just water.
Booster: You can get 70 grams of protein in 90 seconds if you drink your protein.
Teigen: [Joel] just did a [photo]shoot with his shirt off, and David and I were like, “We need to have more chicken smoothies.”
Chang: I should not have made fun of him. I should start drinking it.
Chrissy and David, what are some food combinations that you consider faux pas?
Teigen: The thing that gets to me is TikTok viral food sensations. I’m so tired of the burrito wrapped in pizza and stuffed with macaroni and cheese. That overconsumption…
Chang: That’s the special today at our restaurant… I can’t think of faux pas but I can think of things I don’t want people to do. [Laughs]. Ketchup on eggs, I can’t do it.
Teigen: Oooh, I like ketchup on scrambled eggs. Pineapple pizza?
Booster: No. Fruit doesn’t belong on savory dishes. That is a hard line for me.
Chang: And vegetables on a hamburger.
Teigen: Like, lettuce even?
Chang: Eat a salad. It’s pickles and onions, that’s it.
What’s the first meal that made you fall in love with food?
Booster: My mom’s spaghetti and meat sauce. There’s something simple and comforting about a bowl of pasta. Adding meat to the sauce was a big deal. It was a special occasion meal. We didn’t have a lot of money.
Teigen: Mine was scalloped potatoes. My mom makes the most incredible scalloped potatoes. No cheese, no anything. It’s our special occasion meal.
Chang: For me, it was any time we would go to a restaurant because we would almost never [go]. I realized it was something special. It would become the only time we’d talk to each other.
Are there any cuisines that aren’t as popular in the U.S. as they should be?
Booster: Filipino food. I’m lucky enough to live in L.A., where it’s having a moment right now.
Chang: Food of the Caribbean. I can’t think of a food that more represents the whole world. It’s so delicious.
Teigen: More people need to eat oxtail.
You have a lot of fun guests on the show. Were there any topics that you were surprised they were willing to talk about?
Booster: A lot of those topics got cut. In the first episode, we talked about first blowjobs. That was four glasses of wine deep. People were feeling fairly lubricated.
Chang: I was glad it made the final cut.
Teigen: We were working with people who are asked the same questions all the time. I wanted to be able to get down to the nitty-gritty. At many dinner parties, I ask couples: what is their biggest fight? It turns into this explosion of re-anger. They get passionate about it.
How did you get guests to open up?
Booster: Alcohol. We opened up at the table and shared a lot. That gives people permission to share.
Teigen: Also, they know we’re safe. We’re not going to, like, gotcha. I say things that need to be edited out, so I wouldn’t do that to them.
Chang: People always ask, “What’s a good icebreaker?” I don’t think you need one if the food is good. When the food is great, the conversation flows.
Do you have any dream guests if there’s a second season?
Booster: Jennifer Coolidge.
Teigen: Yes! Florence Pugh would be awesome. Padma [Lakshmi] would be amazing. Margot Robbie. Ryan Gosling.
Chang: I just want Shaquille O’Neal.
Teigen: I feel like that’s doable.
Joel, you are developing a new film at Searchlight. Would you consider casting Chrissy or Dave?
Teigen: I was going to ask you if you wanted to see some tapes.
Booster: Yes, I would like to see an audition.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.