One half of The Curious Pear

***Rachel Khoo would like to thank all the inspiring people who helped make the Khoollect studio a hive of creativity. Although the Khoollect studio’s doors have now closed, you can keep up with Rachel’s newest adventures on and on Rachel’s Instagram and Facebook pages – and, continue to enjoy the Khoollect website’s stories and recipes, which will remain available.***

Issy Croker is one half of the young and ambitious The Curious Pear – a freelance photographer/writer duo who eat, meet, drink and dine their way around some of the world’s best eating establishments. It’s a pretty great gig. Issy and best friend Meg travel the globe profiling the well-known and up-and-coming personalities behind the scenes of said establishments, as well as the bounty of dishes they’ve eaten along the way.

Issy’s photography has featured in a number of publications, including Time Out, Life & Thyme and SUITCASE magazine, and numerous cookbooks and other culinary projects. She recently popped by Khoollect HQ to photograph Editor-in-Chief Rachel Khoo for a feature in Food 52.

A Day in the Life of Issy Croker

How did you get into food photography?

I got the idea in my head one day, and then I just practised, practised, practised. I went to New York to assist a friend for three months, and that affirmed that it was what I wanted to do.

What do you love most about your job?

Working with a whole range of really creative, passionate people, and getting to travel!.

Tell us about a day in the life of Issy?

It changes all the time, but if I’m shooting I usually get up early, drink lots of tea and then head to the shoot. When I’m shooting cookbooks the days are really long, and I usually just eat everything that comes my way. When the shoot is finished, I’ll definitely go for a drink around where I live, have some dinner and then try and get an early night before the next shoot.

Is most of your time spent being one half of The Curious Pear these days?

It is! I’m so lucky that I get to work with my best friend Meg on The Curious Pear, and we get to travel a lot for SUITCASE magazine, which is just a dream.

Tell us about some interesting projects you’re working on right now?

I have a lot of interesting projects on the horizon: three books that are about to be published, and two more I’m working on right now. Then there’s trips to Sri Lanka, Lisbon, Japan, and hopefully Mexico.

What’s your biggest achievement?

I think my most exciting project ever is currently in the works, and I’ll be able to tell you all about it very soon!.

What’s your favourite photo in your collection? 

My favourite photo changes all the time. But I really like this one, which isn’t a food shot at all, but rather of these amazing camel drivers in the Jaisalmer dessert (it’s on the right of the Varanasi piece)

Favourite travel destination?


Favourite foodie memory?

I have to say that going round to Yotam Ottolenghi‘s house to have him and Scully (head chef at Nopi) cook myself and Meg lunch still feels like a dream.

Best Kept Secrets

I khoollect a few…

Old cutlery and mismatched ceramic bowls.

Shooting in the lovely @grainandknot studio for @lifeandthyme issue 5.

A photo posted by I S S Y C R O K E R (@issycroker) on

What’s your favourite item in your khoollection?

I recently bought myself a beautiful desk, which I treasure a lot as I have to spend a lot of time at it.

Who’s your culinary idol AND your photography idol?

I love Nigel Slater a lot, and photography wise I really admire Laura Edwards and Chris Tonnesen.

Favourite song or album to listen to while you’re cooking?

Fleetwood Mac, Rumours.

The one place you haven’t travelled to or profiled yet and are dying to?


Three recipe books you can’t do without?

A Bird in the Hand, A Modern Way to Eat, Ottolenghi’s Plenty.

Who’s your #khoollectcrush?

I have a lot of crushes because there are so many people doing amazing things around us, so it’s really hard to choose just one! I’d say right now though it is probably Georgina Hayden, she’s about to release her first book and she’s just an amazing woman.

Urban Favourites

Where do you call home?

Hackney, East London.

What do you miss about it most when you’re travelling?

Being surrounded by so many places that I know are great for drinks and dinner.

Your favourite place in London for coffee?

Climpsons & Sons, because it’s a stones throw from my flat and the coffee is so good.

Best place for brunch?

I really like Rawduck at the moment for brunch. It’s a really cool room filled with wood, plants and a wall of pickles and ferments. They serve delicious drinking vinegars and their brunch menu is great.

Favourite spot for dinner?

Hill & Szrok. It’s a master butcher by day and a cook shop by night. They use the meat that they haven’t sold, which is amazing quality, and serve it alongside delicious sides like roast hispi cabbage with anchovy and garlic. The menu changes all the time, which means you’re never bored.

Where to find exotic/hard-to-find ingredients?

It depends what I need, but oriental supermarkets are usually stocked with hard to find ingredients.

The most spectacular restaurant that you ever laid eyes on?

Duck & Waffle has spectacular views of London!

Ideal lazy Sunday?

A lie in of sorts, followed by a good brunch and a walk up Columbia Road. Maybe a film in the afternoon, and then a nice dinner at my flat.

Best place for a night out?

I had the best night at the Vortex Jazz Club in Dalston the other night. It was like being in someone’s living room – the chef turned into the best DJ, with a trestle table covered in old CDs.

Best green park or garden space?

Wimbledon has amazing green spaces. My parents live there so it’s always nice to go for walks on the common when I go back.

If you didn’t live there, then where?

I really like Peckham and Camberwell, and could see myself living there.


Photos by Issy Croker.

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Checkout Issy Croker’s work online and on Instagram and Facebook.

Take a look at Issy and best friend Meg Abbott’s work as The Curious Pear.