One on One with Isaac Carew, Model and Chef

One on One with Isaac Carew, Model and Chef

VMAN talks to the model and chef about his upcoming cookbook, and plans for fashion and food.

VMAN talks to the model and chef about his upcoming cookbook, and plans for fashion and food.

Text: Christina Cacouris

A former face for Hermes and a frequent sight on the catwalk, Isaac Carew has slowed things down a bit and returned to his first love: cooking. Before he had his face on campaigns shown in Times Square, Carew worked as a chef until he was chased down the street by a modeling agent and persuaded to give the gig a try. Since then, he’s walked runways around the world, but he’s never lost his vigor for cooking. To keep a connection to his work, he launched The Dirty Dishes, an online blog where he shows his legions of followers the recipes he’s devising, which will soon be released in a cookbook. VMAN spoke to Carew about his future plans for food and fashion.

Tell me about the idea to write a cookbook.

I just started writing down the food that I was cooking every evening for myself, and started taking pictures of. A few of my friends were like “You need to start a blog or website!” After that I heard from a few publishers and literary agents who asked if I wanted to do a cookbook, and I said, “Well, obviously, I’m hoping to start a restaurant.” We really got on and then we signed, which was amazing. So that’s where it started.

What is the process like of creating your own recipes?

How do I describe it… basically I think about food I’ve been inspired by from places I’ve been, and devise something based off of those experiences. I try to come up with something that’s new and original but rooted in my travels.

Where have been some of the most inspiring places?

It’s not necessarily featured a lot in the book, but in general, Korea: the food over there is absolutely incredible. Also Japan; their culture and appreciation for food, and the way they treat their food I find incredible. Other definite highlights… Australia. The freshness and the food is incredible in Sydney. But really, there’s so many places.

Where do you see The Dirty Dishes going?

I’ll do a second book and I’m also working on a couple of TV ideas. I’m going to try TV and give it my best shot. The restaurant is definitely the first thing on my mind; maybe in the next two or three years.

What kind of restaurant would that be? Would it be a mix of different cultures or would it be one specific?

It would be English with a heavy modern European influence. I‘ve got a few ideas I have to work through on seasons and mixing ingredients in a way that everything shines…. I’m still working on the concept.

Will you continue to do modeling?

I remember about a year ago, I thought I wanted to focus more on food, but ultimately I do enjoy modeling and have been continuing with it. When I open the restaurant I doubt I’ll be able to do both; maybe I’ll just do the odd job on the side, but I think the restaurant would take a lot of time and hours.

Modeling is very creative as is cooking, so how do you see the way you can express yourself creatively in both of those? Is it very different?

Yeah, modeling is like acting and being creative in that way, but cooking for me is about self-expression. With one you’re bonding with the camera and doing things for the client whereas food is what I want to see on a plate, what I want to see on a dish.

The Dirty Dishes cookbook will be released in 2018. Until then, visit Isaac's website.

Credits: IMAGES BY Bartek Szmigulski

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