Isaac Carew On Swapping The Modelling World For Food – And Cooking With Girlfriend Dua Lipa
As he releases his first cookbook, the model-turned-chef making waves in the food world...
28 March 2019
All Credits: PA
Isaac Carew’s chiselled looks might be somewhat familiar – he’s been the face of huge fashion campaigns for Topshop and Hermès, 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 – his “actual passion”.
He’s already been busy sharing cooking videos and recipe ideas (interspersed with smouldering selfies and loved-up pictures with Lipa) 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,” says 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 (mostly shot from above and in muted tones), 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.
From age seven, he dreamed of being a chef. “I remember sending letters to my dad with a business plan I’d come up with for a restaurant; I named it, I designed a menu,” he recalls. That’s still an ambition he has – “I’d love to get back in the [professional] kitchen and I definitely want to have my own restaurant; I’m thinking maybe in two or three years. I love the craziness and camaraderie you get in kitchens.”
First though, he’d love to follow in similar footsteps as Jamie Oliver, doing TV and more books. Something tells me we’ll be seeing a lot more of Carew – less designer fashion, more chef’s whites.