Back in 2001 I interviewed Jenny Crawford Malouf, the mother of supermodel, fashion icon and businesswoman Cindy Crawford. Known as part of the “Silver Foxes,” a group of celebrity parents, Malouf along with Sal Pacino (Al Pacino’s father) and Nikki Robbins (motivational speaker Tony Robbins’ mother) worked together on a few “Silver Foxes” lifestyle videos.

Red Carpet interview with Cindy Crawford

Malouf shared with me how Cindy rose to be one of the highest paid models in the world. Born and raised in DeKalb, Illinois, her first professional cover on a magazine was during her junior year in high school. Soon after she competed for the Elite Model Management’s Look of the Year contest when she was 17. Titled runner-up, she signed on at Elite Model Management in Chicago.

After high school she was accepted to Northwestern University to study chemical engineering. However her modeling career took off quickly and after one semester at the University, she left  and moved to New York City. She soon became one of the highest paid models in the world and graced the pages in one of the most popular Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues in 1988.

In 1998, Cindy met and married former model, now turned entertainment businessman, Rande Gerber. They have two children and live near the beach in California. Their daughter Kaia, following mom’s footsteps into modeling, brought Cindy back into Vogue Paris with a mother-daughter feature in the April 2016 issue.

Standing on the red carpet in front of Umami Burger Santa Monica, Crawford and Gerber posed for the paparazzi before entering the restaurant to enjoy a Cindy’s Casa Burger paired with Gerber’s Casamigos Tequila cocktails.

Recently, she and Gerber collaborated with SBE, one of the top restaurant and nightlife venues, and Umami Burger to raise awareness and funds for American Family Children’s Hospital at the University of Wisconsin. Sam Nazarian, Founder and CEO of SBE told the guests at the event: “Cindy is not just an incredible businesswoman, she’s also extremely generous and caring. She has created an exclusive Artist Series Burger for Umami to help support pediatric cancer research.”

I learned that Cindy’s brother, Jeff, died from childhood leukemia at the age of 3. Throughout her life, Crawford has focused her charity work on supporting the pediatric oncology program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where her brother Jeff was treated.

Cindy’s Casa Burger and Rande’s Spicy Margarita Artist Series are available at participating Umami Burger locations nationwide from March 17 to May 12, 2017.  SBE will donate $1 from the sale of each burger to benefit American Family Children’s Hospital to help fund the “Fighting Cancer So Kids Won’t Have To” campaign.

Cindy’s Casa Burger

Biting into the burger I immediately noticed the bold and spicy flavors with two jalapeño-studded beef patties. It’s topped with crushed avocado, butter lettuce, oven-roasted tomato, miso-mustard, caramelized onions, American cheese and house spread. There are tortilla chips to give the burger a chilaquiles essence, especially with the salsa brava and sprinkling of queso fresco.

It’s a perfect match with Rande’s Spicy Margarita, made with his own Casamigos Blanco tequila, muddled serrano peppers, fresh lime juice, orange juice and house-made simple syrup. What makes this margarita unique is a foamy infusion made with Xicaru Mezcal and Cointreau. A thinly sliced serrano pepper rests on top.

Before leaving I walked up to Crawford and handed her an envelope with the article I wrote 16 years ago about her mother. She gave me one of her mega-watt smiles and thanked me before being whisked away for another interview.

Umami Burger is scheduled to open their first restaurant outside of the U.S., in Tokyo, spring 2017. Also in the development pipeline for early 2017 is a new location in New York City and redesigned Umami Burger at The Grove in Los Angeles.