Hubert Burda Media

Chef to Impress

We steal five minutes with model-turned-chef (or is that chef-turned-model?) Isaac Carew to chat about kitchens, cooking and ruling the runways.

Everywhere you look these days, career paths are taking a seriously winding route. It’s not enough to be a singer. Now you’re probably a singer-meets-actor-cum-writer-slash-director. But for a special few, the maddening mix of CV statements is less cliché and more real life. Enter Isaac Carew, a 30-year old Brit who has landed modelling jobs with the likes of Hermès, Valentino and Moschino, having previously trained as a chef and worked for the Gordon Ramsay empire under Angela Hartnett at The Connaught.

We catch up with the man himself to see what’s next for the ambitious Londoner …

What came first, the model or the chef?

Isaac the chef definitely came first. I didn’t start modelling till I was 22. Before becoming a model I had trained for two years at culinary school and worked for four years in professional kitchens, and way before that I had been a Saturday boy in kitchens around London and worked on a veg stall after school.

Why the move into modelling, what made you say yes?

If I’m totally honest it was the money and the free travel that sold it for me. Let’s just say trying to climb up the ranks in the restaurant world doesn’t leave much of a pay cheque …

You stepped away from the catwalk and campaigns and back into the kitchen with your YouTube channel, Dirty Dishes. Why is that?

I haven’t stepped away from campaigns or catwalk per say, I’ve managed to merge it all together and along the way bagged campaigns off the back of The Dirty Dishes and vice versa.

Tell us about your latest project with Michel Roux Jr.

I’m actually not to sure how much I’m allowed to give away as the show hasn’t aired yet! But I’ll tell you this, I’m his right hand man in a sense.

Who do you admire in the cooking world?

This list is endless and forever changing but here’s a few … Jason Atherton, Nigel Slater, David Chang, Angela Hartnett, René Redzepi. I could go on but I’d be here all day!

What does great cooking mean to you?

Great cooking is purely dishes that taste amazing and please the senses, as well as people around you.

Do you see yourself back behind the scenes and the stove after filming ties up, or focussing more on your YouTube channel, Dirty Dishes?

I’ll be doing both. I’ve got lots of me behind the stove coming up for a few other new projects and of course I’ll be doing a runway or two.

What’s big in the world of food right now?

Something I’ve seen get quite popular at the moment are Poke bowls – not to be confused with poke balls from Pokemon – it’s like the Hawaiian version of sushi.