- Whitney Thompson was first plus size winner of America's Next Top Model
- The accolade came with some heart ache as she received hate mail
- People called her 'huge' and a 'fat cow'
- But she said she'll never bow to pressure to be thin
- She's always been vocal about her love of food
- Now opening her own restaurant to share her passion
Published: 05:57 EST, 14 July 2014 | Updated: 11:25 EST, 14 July 2014>
While some models have been known to eat nothing but cotton wool balls, America's Next Top Model winner Whitney Thompson has always been vocal about her love of food.
Now the 26-year-old is going to pass on her passion for delicious dishes by opening her own restaurant with her fiance, Ian Forrester.
The pair will serve up meals and cocktails at their eatery in Springfield, Tennessee, which they are currently renovating ahead of a grand opening.
Hot property: Plus size model Whitney Thompson has fronted campaigns for Forever 21 and lingerie company Panache since winning America's Next Top Model
New venture: The size 16 model is now opening her own restaurant
Plus size model Whitney told SLiNK magazine how the venture came about in her a new column, Whitney's World, that she's writing for their free-to-download app.
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She said: 'Ian and I have always loved cooking. We loved to bake cakes in high school and bring them in every day. We were actually house shopping when we saw the building available. It was a whiskey saloon in 1838 and it still has the original exposed brick inside. It just felt like fate, and I try to never let opportunities like that pass me by.'
Weathered the storm: Whitney has had to deal with being called a 'fat cow' and 'huge'
Role model: Whitney says she won't bow to pressure to slim down and will carry on eating - and making - the foods she loves
She explained how Ian will be in charge in the kitchen, rustling up dishes such as andouille crusted tilapia with mango salsa, served over loaded mashed potatoes with a spicy beurre blanc sauce.
Meanwhile, she'll do some baking and cover front of house duties.
'I'm so excited to get stuck in and get to know customers and talk to people. Ian is amazing in the kitchen so it made perfect sense for him to run everything in there. I think that's the key to success, we can work together but also respect where each other is strongest too and support each other,' she explained.
Personal project: Whitney will take on a front of house duties at her restaurant in Springfield, Tennessee
Passionate about food: Her fiance Ian Forrester will rustle up treats like this strawberry tart, while they'll also serve cocktails of the day
A dress size 16, Whitney became the first plus-size model to win America's Next Top Model and has since fronted campaigns for clothing store Forever 21 and lingerie company Panache and shot a commercial with popstar Rihanna.
She said she fully intends to carry on her modelling alongside working at her restaurant and planning her wedding.
'I have taken off for June, but I do have some jobs lined up for July. Don't worry I will still be modelling!' she said.
But while modelling has brought Whitney some fame and fortune, it's also brought her some heart ache in the form of hate mail from people abusing her for her size.
Whitney's world: The model is now writing a column for SLiNK magazine
She told MailOnline earlier this year: 'It hurts. I'll get called a fat cow or that I am huge. People are harsh. The show is in over one hundred countries so I get hate mail from lots of people.'
However, she added that she also gets fan mail and is determined to carry on being a role model for curvy women.
She insists she won't bow to pressure from the entertainment industry to become thinner because she'd rather eat and be happy.
She said: 'If I want a steak and chips, I am going to eat it and when I feel like going on a run, I will.
'But I'm never going to force myself to do that. Life is too short; I could walk outside and get hit by a bus so I may as well eat what I want to eat,' she explained.
As an ambassador for the National Eating Disorders Association, she visits universities across the U.S. to teach teens the importance of loving their bodies.
She said: 'At the end of the day, you have to look in the mirror and say: "This is it, this is the only body I've got."'
Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2689042/Plus-size-model-received-hate-mail-calling-fat-cow-defies-bullies-open-restaurant.html