Chrissy Teigen, model turned actress turned chef and cookbook author, felt the weight of the digital divide this weekend. After crowdsourcing opinions for a recipe slated to appear in her upcoming cookbook, Teigen had to fend off Twitter users who attacked her supposed lack of knowledge.
The tweet in question:
doing some recipes for next book today. question. can you get galangal where you live?
As expected, tweeters were quick to condemn Teigen for her poll’s third option. One user even invited Gordon Ramsey into the discussion. What many failed to realize is that Teigen, best selling cookbook author, is actually half Thai and well aware of what galangal is (sit down, Ramsey). Thus, her response to the vitriol:
(I know what galangal is. I am wondering if you personally can get it in your area. want a cookbook everyone can use!)
For the culinarily curious among us, galangal is a root commonly used in Thai, Indonesian, and Malaysian cooking. Its piney and peppery notes lend complexity to curries, soups, and sweets. Here at Food52, we’ve been grating it into recipes for years.
After all this, people still came for Teigen, questioning her expertise. One woman went so far as to denounce the cookbook as a relevant genre. As an avid cookbook lover, reader and collector, I disagree with Miss Johnna’s sentiment and applaud Teigen’s clapback:
Valerio is a freelance food writer, editor, researcher and cook. He grew up in his parent's Italian restaurants covered in pizza flour and drinking a Shirley Temple a day. Since, he's worked as a cheesemonger in New York City and a paella instructor in Barcelona. He now lives in Berlin, Germany where he's most likely to be found eating shawarma.