There’s a common stereotype about models that assumes in order to look as slim as they appear in magazines and on runways they must never, ever eat.
But one member of the fashion elite contends that cliché is as outdated as mom jeans. For Belgian-born IMG model Cesar Casier, food and fashion have been dual passions his entire life — a phenomena clearly illustrated by his Instagram account, which ping-pongs between pics of private jets and sexy selfies to close-ups of homemade lasagna and fresh figs on toast.
“The biggest misconception about models and food is that we don’t eat!” Casier emphatically told Yahoo Food. “I hate when people make that stupid joke, ‘So you only eat water and carrots?’ No, we don’t!”
To put his money where his mouth was, the current New Yorker recently self-published a cookbook of his favorite go-to recipes entitled “Model Kitchen” — a tome containing everything from Oven-Roasted Lemon Chicken to Fish en Papillote. The book did so well that it sold out, and Casier is currently entertaining opportunities with U.S. publishers.
“I first developed an interest in food and cooking at a very young age, maybe 8 years old,” said Casier, recalling childhood visits with his aunt Martine Mys, who introduced him to bold, new flavors.
His parents also played a crucial role in encouraging his two interests.
“My mom has a very cool and fashionable boutique in Gent, Belgium, called OONA,” he said. “She always took me with her to Paris and Milan for fashion week and at a young age I was at the showrooms talking with the models and looking at the clothes.”
Back at home, the focus was on the dinner table.
“We always had the best food, fresh from the organic markets,” said Casier, “and my dad loves to cook. He never made it his job, but kept it as a hobby … He is the reason I have such a big love and passion for delicious and healthy food.”
Naturally, when Casier moved to New York City for modeling, he decided the best way to stay busy in between shoots was to spend time with friends behind the stove and documented the dishes on his blog “The Cesar Salad.”
“In Belgium, I always had so many dinner parties and in New York I barely had any,” he said. “So I started to invite people over or started to cook at their places. What’s better then a delicious meal with friends?”
The model also maintains that his robust appetite is part and parcel to fueling his career in front of the cameras.
“A supermodel needs to eat healthy all year around, to take care of his or her body and to exercise on a regular basis,” he said. “What you take in, you show on the outside.”
In "Model Kitchen," Casier drives this point home by gravitating toward lean meats and fish, lots of fresh vegetables, and light snacks. But there are a handful of indulgences, like meatballs and waffles, thrown in as well. A special section at the back of the book even includes signature dishes by a few other famous friends, including Karlie Kloss and Milla Jovovich.
“If you’re Karlie Kloss you cannot not eat, or only eat carrots and smoke cigarettes,” said Casier. “You need to be on point and have the energy for a whole day of work and traveling. And where do we people get our energy from? From food, healthy food.”
More cookbooks that we love: