Alison Roman’s ‘Chola’ Accusation Resurrects Chrissy Tiegen’s Past With Appropriation

Alison Roman has been in the news a lot over the past several months. The chef and cookbook author first made headlines in early May when she threw serious shade at Chrissy Teigen over her line of cookware and her food website, and now, she’s stirring up controversy again. Writer Yashar Ali recently called out Roman on Twitter, posting a photo of Roman wearing a somewhat questionable costume. Still, a swarm of fans rushed to Roman’s defense, pointing out some similar behavior from Teigen that could also be considered problematic. 

Who is Alison Roman?

Roman is a trendy chef and cookbook author. Born in California in 1985, Roman discovered her love of cooking early and published her first cookbook, Dining In, in late 2017.

The book became a bestseller, but her second book, Nothing Fancy, went on to surpass the success of the first, even landing a spot as a New York Times Bestseller. She has also contributed recipes and food reviews to several popular publications, including Bon Appétit. 

In addition to her writing projects, Roman has worked prolifically behind the scenes in the restaurant industry. She is an accomplished pastry chef and has worked at restaurants and eateries such as Milk Bar and Sona.

In recent months, Roman’s online presence has increased, and she has gained a number of new followers due to the variety of recipes that she has been posting while in quarantine, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, she landed in seriously hot water in early May, that she is still trying to extricate herself from. 

What did Alison Roman say about Chrissy Teigen?

Chrissy Teigen
Chrissy Teigen | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

In May, Roman spoke out in a very candid interview, where she referenced the food empire created by Teigen, the popular model and social media aficionado.

Not only is Roman apparently not a fan of Teigen, but she admitted that she “doesn’t aspire” to what Teigen has created. She called Teigen’s food website a “content farm,” and seemed to accuse the model of not being sincere in her love of cooking and of food in general.

The backlash for Roman was swift and intense. People called out Roman for bringing another woman down and made the case she could have made her points without specifically calling out two women of Color: Teigen and Marie Kondo.

Social media users and critics called her out for her harsh words, but Teigen herself spoke out, calling Roman’s interview a “bummer” and vowing to take a small break from social media for a while.

Roman has since apologized to Teigen (as well as Marie Kondo, whom she shaded in the very same interview).

Teigen has also come out to defend Roman and explain she’s entitled to her opinions. 

Yashar Ali called out Alison Roman for an old Halloween costume

On June 8th, writer Yashar Ali posted a series of Tweets that featured Alison Roman wearing what Ali described as a “chola” costume. Ali accused Roman of appropriation.

Roman was quick to apologize, stating that while the picture, which was taken in 2008, was “incredibly embarrassing,” was actually intended to be her version of an Amy Winehouse costume.

Ali, a loyal friend of Teigen, deleted his original tweet and tweeted a screenshot of his tweet alongside Roman’s response. He defended his decision to find Roman’s perceived appropriation as newsworthy given her recent drama with Teigen and Kondo.

He also implied her outfit wasn’t accurate since Amy Winehouse didn’t wear hoops and didn’t have a chest tattoo.

Social media users were quick to point out that Winehouse wore hoops all the time.

Several people pointed out that if Ali wanted to call out Roman for her unfortunate costume choices, he should also question Teigen. One user stated that Ali is “not the appropriation police,” and shared an older photo of Teigen wearing a Native American costume.


Chrissy Teigen’s Food Empire Got Majorly Shaded By a Celebrity Cook

“You are beyond petty and unprofessional for this,” someone else replied. It is clear that even if fans defended Teigen during the original Roman fiasco, they weren’t ready to attack the cookbook author for her Halloween costume.