Cesar’s Salad

Cesar by Betty Sze for models.com

No matter if you over-indulged or exercised great control for the holidays; many people’s hope to start the year out with a healthy food regimen. MDC spoke to one of our favorite Belgian models, Cesar Casier (seen most recently in the fall/winter campaigns for Armani Exchange) about his new cookbook which debuted at the end of 2012. Filled with easy, healthy recipes by him and some of the industry’s most recognizable faces (Karlie Kloss, Suvi Koponen, Julia Restoin-Roitfeld, Jac Jagaciak, and Milla Jovovich and many more). Finally available in the U.S starting this week on Net-A-Porter, this beautifully shot tome is a loving homage to food, one of the best things in life.

MDC: What is your main purpose in creating such a book?

Cesar Casier: My main purpose for writing this book was to remove the negative connotation about models and food. I grew up with a big passion for good food and cooking which I got from my father who shares this passion of mine. My body is the instrument of my work and I believe in treating it well and making sure it is healthy but that doesn’t mean that the food I eat can’t be delicious!

MDC: Do you actually want to be a chef?

CC: No, I don’t. Fashion & modeling is my career. I never want to take away from that because it will always be my #1 priority. But food and cooking is a passion. I don’t call myself a chef, I’m an amateur cook. I just love to cook for friends and bring everyone together with the dishes I make! I really couldn’t find a great book that had the kind of recipes that I did for this. I not only wanted to show what models eat but it’s also a great book for some of my not-so-healthy friends to read and get healthier recipes for the foods they already enjoy and eat!

Cesar by Kai Z Feng

MDC: What stands out for you, in terms of getting the recipes from the models?

CC: I think the fun thing is that I know all the girls personally or that I’ve worked with them before. But meeting up with Milla to get her recipe was the probably most fun. We met up at a cute restaurant in the West Village and went to the Bowery Hotel after for a drink and had a great night out. She is the best!

MDC: Did you taste all the girls’ recipes?

CC: I did! Some of the girls made it for me when I came over to take the picture of them cooking in their kitchen. The recipes are all super easy to cook and very healthy and yummy, just the way we models like it!

MDC: Did you ask any male models?

CC: For this book I focused on the girls, but who knows… maybe for the next one I’ll ask my male model buddies to give me a healthy recipe. Even though I don’t really know that many male models who cook healthy. LOL!

MDC: Tell us about your shoot with Kai Z Feng for the book (and about the taste of raw fishtail)?

CC: I asked Kai to shoot the cover of the book and some inside pictures that come along with every new chapter. I’m a big fan of Kai’s work and worked with him a few times before. I also asked Tom Van Dorpe (Paris: Management + Artists, New York: Management + Artists) to help with the styling. I think they are both 2 great artists! I’m very happy with the result. Oh and about the fishtail, it’s just like putting a piece of sashimi in your mouth, you just need to get over the fact it’s a tail. We models do everything for FASHION ;-)

Food photography by Sven Everaert, layout by Lisbeth van Helleputte

MDC: Any other interesting anecdotes about the making of this book?

CC: I think the fun thing was making the whole book in general. I really worked hard on it as I did everything myself (all the writing, collected the recipes, went food shopping to prepare the dishes and I even cooked all the food on the shoot and did the food styling myself).

I’m just very happy and thankful that I can say I made a book and that I can delete it from my bucket list. Now I have to think what’s next for me to do: Make a club hit? Have my own tv show? Or hopefully Model Kitchen Part II will be in the works in the near future….

Go to Net-A-Porter to check out the book.

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