Model swaps the catwalk for cooking
Isaac Carew’s chiselled looks might be somewhat familiar – he’s been the face of huge fashion campaigns for Topshop and Hermes, as well as being regularly pictured on the arm of his Grammy-winning superstar girlfriend, Dua Lipa.
But what you might not know is that before embarking on his high-profile modelling career, Carew trained as a chef, cutting his teeth in restaurant kitchens with some pretty big names in the industry.
Now, after a decade of modelling, the 33-year-old is going firmly back to his food roots.
He’s already been busy sharing cooking videos and recipe ideas on Instagram and YouTube – and his debut cookbook, The Dirty Dishes, seems a natural follow-on.
“I thought I was going to do modelling for a year or two years, make some money, and then go back straight into cooking. It didn’t work out like that,” said Carew, who was scouted outside London’s Selfridges.
“I put cheffing on the back-burner and I realised that, as much as I loved travelling the world, meeting people and working for amazing clients, my passion is food.”
The Dirty Dishes is a collection of 100 recipes and photos that would be just as at home on Carew’s Instagram page and the focus is food that’s fast, simple and full of flavour, using the kind of quality ingredients you’d expect from someone who grew up in professional kitchens (his dad and godfather are both chefs too).
Although there are plenty of colourful soups and salads, it’s mainly about satisfying, hearty food – “all the carbs and full-fat butter” – that you could whip up quickly mid-week, or impress friends with on the weekend.
On the face of it, cakes, homemade pasta, burgers and indulging in stacks of pancakes, might not seem a naturally harmonious fit for someone from the modelling world, but Carew says it’s a common misconception that if you’re a model, you can’t love food.
And that’s exactly the message he wants Dirty Dishes to send. The name, he says, is “a bit tongue in cheek because a lot of books are about clean eating, healthy this and healthy that, so I wanted to bring the love back to food.”
He added: “I just want to get people into the kitchen, cooking and having fun, with straightforward recipes for interesting combinations, and just the right amount of ambition for those who already know their way around a pasta machine, or want to whip up a homemade chilli sauce.”
Carew describes his cooking style as “modern European with a heavy Italian influence”, which is in part thanks to working under Michelin-star chef Angela Hartnett at London’s famous The Connaught.
Something tells me we’ll be seeing a lot more of Carew – less designer fashion, more chef’s whites.