Fashion editorial

Erik by Davey Sutton

January 19, 2023

Erik by Davey Sutton

You might recognize London-based model Erik Kettschick from some of his early runway work. He’s walked in shows for labels like Rick Owens, Thom Browne, and Maison Kitsuné, in addition to his features in Vogue Portugal and GQ China.

Kettschick was living in Paris when he felt the full impact of COVID-19. Although he’s signed to agencies in Hamburg and three of the four fashion capitals, the pandemic took Kettschick out of Paris and into Manchester, England. It was there that he began pursuing an old dream: working in a restaurant kitchen.

Shot and styled by Davey Sutton in the Lake District of North West England, Erik talks with us about his pursuit, which quickly went from a dream to a position in a Michelin-star kitchen.

Tell us about yourself.

I [have been] modeling since I was 19 and lived for 3 years in Paris until Covid hit the world. Since every industry was affected by it, especially fashion and the UK leaving the EU, I left Paris and moved close to Manchester. I was questioning myself and thinking, 'what can I do?' I decided to do culinary, which I wanted to do before modeling.

So, I went to several restaurants in Manchester to ask if anyone was hiring, and I got my chance in a vegan restaurant. My head chef was fantastic and taught me a lot. After the second lockdown, I applied, with loads of help from my ex-partner, to be a chef in a Michelin-star kitchen, and this is where my journey started.

The amount I [have] learned in almost 2 years is a massive achievement for myself in life, and I'm massively proud of that.

What Michelin restaurant was that? What's it like?

The restaurant I worked for is Rogan & Co, and it's up in the Lake District in a lovely village called Cartmel. I found myself there through the TV show, Great British Menu.

How does it feel to work in a Michelin kitchen?

When you start, it feels like you are useless. The pressure and expectations are very high. I would say it's tough, but time and mistakes make you better, and it shows once you get comfortable

Jacket and shirt by BALENCIAGA, underwear by TOM FORD, socks by MAISON MARGIELA, shoes by CHURCH’S x VETEMENTS, necklace’s ERIK’S OWN

What are the routines when you are in the kitchen?

It's a tough industry, and I think that's the same for everyone who's part of it.

The first thing is coffee to get some energy in, set breakfast service up, then while that service is going, you start preparing for the next service (lunch). Once breakfast service is over, it's onto a clean down, so the whole team jumps on and cleans the kitchen. From there, you start preparing your lunch service and dinner service, chopping, cooking, [and] making sauces.

It's very stressful until it starts to become a routine.

What is your favorite dish in the restaurant?

Since I like veggie options, it's the fermented cabbage dish.

How about your favorite dish to make for your friends or family?

I love making pastries and sweets for family and friends since I was trained in pastry for the first 6 months at the restaurant. My favorite is probably fondant, a very easy and fantastic dessert for chocolate lovers.

Any other Michelin-star restaurants you would love to visit?

I would love to visit Eleven Madison in New York simply because they didn't care about having 3 Michelin stars and [went] plant-based over the pandemic.

Which city did you have the most memorable experience with food?

North-west England, and around Manchester since I was based there for 2 years. I would have never made those [memories] without my ex-partner and her family at that time.

Scarf by CATHY SUTTON, underwear by TOM FORD, boots PRADA

You all seem in your element in this story. What is the vibe of this place?

The vibe of the place is very calming and relaxing to me. I fell in love with it and [have] driven there quite a few times to clear my head.

What kind of feeling is it being styled this way in this environment?

It was very unusual for everyone around because it's not common for people to shoot up there. It felt good to do something to remind me of an exciting period of my life.

It seems the UK took measures to ensure this unique geography is preserved. Does conservation interest you?

Conservation is critical, and I wish more people would be interested in saving the planet.

Are there any special dishes or cuisine in this region? It seems like there are many small towns.

The most notable dish is Cartmel, the village I worked in, and it's known for its sticky toffee pudding. Then there is the Kendal mint cake and the Cumberland sausage, which originated all up north.


Shirt and sweater by RAF SIMONS, kilt by CELINE, brooch by PRADA, socks MAISON MARGIELA, shoes CHURCH’S x VETEMENTS
Archive shirt by COMME DES GARÇONS HOMME PLUS, jacket by LEMAIRE, tie by PRADA, jeans by NATASHA ZINKO, boxers, ERIK’S OWN, boots by PRADA, necklaces, ERIK’S OWN
First look (L-R): Jacket by RAF SIMONS. skirt by COMME DES GARCONS HOMME PLUS, headscarf by MHL by MARGARET HOWELL, boots by PRADA. Second look: Shirt by COMME DES GARÇONS HOMME PLUS, jacket by DIOR, pants by RAF SIMONS, boxers ERIK’S OWN, boots PRADA
Archive shirt by COMME DES GARÇONS HOMME PLUS, jacket by LEMAIRE, tie by PRADA
Jacket by RAF SIMONS, skirt by COMME DES GARCONS HOMME PLUS, headscarf by MHL by MARGARET HOWELL, boots by PRADA

Photography & styling by Davey Sutton
Model: Erik with Marilyn Agency
Grooming by Emma Tierney
Retouching by Eursa Major