Try This Model Chef's Mouth-Watering Mac 'n' Cheese

You probably recognise Isaac's face from campaigns for Hermès, Moschino, Reiss, Replay and Lee Jeans to name a few but more important than his skills under the spotlight are his skills in the kitchen. Starting out as a cook alongside leading English chef Angela Hartnett, Carew's culinary talent was put on the back burner when he was scouted in his early 20s.

But now, after years as one of Britain's most successful male models, he's returned to his true passion, launching The Dirty Dishes. On his new site and YouTube channel, Isaac shares personal plates with his mouth-watering tutorials and recipes dedicated to easy, delicious meals.

We caught up with Isaac to discuss The Dirty Dishes, his love of food, and how to make the perfect macaroni cheese.

Your father's a chef. Was cooking a natural career choice and has food always been a passion of yours?
Working (or trying to get involved as much as I could) in the kitchen alongside my dad as a kid, I always knew I wanted to pursue cooking when I grew up. At school I was always in the food technology block! It was the only class I can clearly remember never getting into any trouble in. This was a nice change as I had quite the naughty streak at school.

If you want to impress someone, what dish would you rustle up?
I try and impress with every dish I make, even if it's just really simple and quickly thrown together. I never want to make or serve something that's bland and unappealing. Have a look at the dish I've included below for a take on what I might rustle up on date night ;)

Conversely, what's your quick and easy, lazy dinner meal?
Most meals I make are pretty quick, healthy and easy but if we're talking lazy (and very naughty) it's got to be The Dirty Dishes blue cheese mac 'n' cheese recipe. This recipe is always one I turn to when I don't want to leave the house and just really fancy a Netflix marathon binge!

Which are your favourite restaurants in London and why?
Jeez, London has so much to offer where to start... Pachamama I've been to once and was really taken aback; they're flavour combinations are amazing. The Galician octopus, fennel, black quinoa is a must, also the crispy lamb belly, jalepeño, miso was pretty tasty. Pollen Street Social, Bone Daddies, Patty & Bun are also places I'm always eating out at.
Who are your favourite chefs that have inspired your approach to food?
There are so many talented chefs out there but to name a few, or ones that constantly inspire me, it would have to be Gordon Ramsay, David Chang, Angela Hartnett, Jamie Oliver, Nigel Slater - the list goes on but we'd be here all night.

Being a successful model first, did you worry people might not take you seriously with The Dirty Dishes?
I actually started off as a chef first. Way before I was a model I used to work for Angela Hartnett at the Connaught, then followed it up by working for her at Cielo in Miami. I've also completed my culinary training of two years at Thanet College. While I was in between jobs I got scouted in Selfridges at the age of 22 and decided to try that out for a while. It started going well and because I was so busy with it, it also became my main source of income over the past few years. I've been wanting to get back into my cooking for so long and after much delay, I decided to sit down and just go for it! So that's when I did The Dirty Dishes. I never second guessed myself. I just wanted to pursue what I was passionate about and without a second thought, I did.

What's your typical day on a plate?
I normally wake up around 7am or just before, pop the kettle on for some tea and porridge, jump in the shower while it boils sit down and eat breakfast while I go through emails. If I've got a free morning I'll usually go through recipes I've come up with. Or I'll be in the studio posing for a shoot or something.

Your physicality is a key part of your job. Do you deny yourself certain foods? How do you keep in shape?
One thing I never do is deny myself food! I do quite the opposite actually. I love an occasional indulgence but I try and keep a healthy and balanced diet. I would never under season something because of a calorie count or eat less to stay fit, ever! That being said I try my best to steer clear of cans of soda or sugar loaded drinks as they are terrible for you (though tasty). I wouldn't call myself a workout freak but you will find me in the gym or yoga studio a few times a week. Boxing is definitely my workout of choice to keep fit and keep a clear mind.

What would be your last supper?
I'm going to stick to my guns here as I've been asked this a few times so it's got to be a feast of jerk chicken, curry mutton, rice & peas, a beef pattie and a Guinness punch to wash it all down.

If that's whet your appetite, here's Isaac's delicious Mac 'n' Cheese Recipe:

250g Macaroni

320ml Buttermilk

30g Butter

30g Plain flour

1 Shallot

1 Garlic Clove

Sprig of thyme

65g Blue cheese

65g Cheddar cheese

Pinch of salt and pepper


65g Parmagian cheese

Panko breadcrumbs


Place a large pan of salted boiling water on the stove. When the water comes to the boil, add the pasta and cook al dente. While the pasta is cooking, finely chop the shallot and garlic. In a pan melt the butter and add the garlic and shallot, cook until translucent with no brown colour.

Add the flour and cook for a few minutes. Add buttermilk and bring to a boil then a simmer. Add all the grated cheese apart from the parmesan. Drain the pasta then add to the cheese sauce and stir. Place the mixture in an oven dish, cover with breadcrumbs and parmesan.

Preheat oven at 200C and bake mac 'n' cheese for 20 to 25 min. Serve with sautéed greens or a salad.

Make your own Dirty Dish following Isaac's recipes and be sure to tag @isaaccarew on social media along with the hashtag #TheDirtyDishes. Keep a look out on the “Dishes You Make” tab to find your lovely creations.


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