Diana’s former royal chef Darren McGrady has revealed he used to coax
Speaking on his YouTube channel, the royal chef, 59, who spent 15 years in the royal kitchen, explained that he would always run the daily menu with two options past the monarch, and if Diana was visiting, he would make sure her favourite dessert – a cross between bread pudding and creme brûlée – was top on the menu.
And menu planning isn’t the only process that goes into feeding the
Royal chef Darren McGrady has revealed how Princess Diana (seen in London in 1989) had a favourite dessert – a cross between bread pudding and creme brûlée – and he would coax the Queen into choosing it for the menu by giving her a second choice he knew she would reject
But feeding the royal family is a slightly lower-key event, with Darren remembering how he would plan ahead for Diana’s visits to the Queen.
Speaking as he reviewed the latest Netflix flick Spencer, based around Diana’s marriage to Charles, he said: ‘I always suggested two puddings for the menu – Diana’s favourite and one the Queen didn’t like so I knew the Queen would pick the Bread and Butter Creme souffle.’
The Queen’s ex-chef Graham Tinsley revealed the food has to be X-rayed as part of security protocol at state banquets. The Queen seen talking to former US president Barack Obama in 2011
Seen: The Queen smiles as she an her guest Nicolas Sarkozy, then president of France, sat next to the Duchess of Cornwall as they await their plates, during a state banquet at Windsor Castle in 2008
He added: ‘It worked every time and the Princess got it whenever she visited the Queen. When the platter came back to the kitchen I had to fight off the chefs from digging in and I’d put it into the warmer and wait.
‘I knew the Princess would come down to the kitchen in minutes. She was too scared to ask for seconds in front of the Queen. She’d sit down on the kitchen counter and chat and eat.’
Royal chef Darren McGrady previously revealed how Princess Diana changed his cooking style from heavy sauces to healthy eating, and would ask him to cook her stuffed bell peppers several times a week – sometimes casually eating in the kitchen with him.
The British cook and food author, who now lives in Texas, famously spent 15 years in the royal kitchen, cooking for a host of royals, from the Queen to the Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Diana and Princes William and Harry.
Pictured: Queen Elizabeth II toasting President Donald Trump during a State Banquet in his honour at Buckingham Palace on June 3 2019
Royal chef Darren revealed Diana would come down to the kitchen for a second helping of bread and butter pudding after dinner with the Queen as she was ‘too scared to ask for another helping in front of the monarch’
During his four-year stint working for Diana in the mid-nineties, he recalled in a video with Delish how while the Queen would always stick to her planned menu book, Diana would often change her mind at the last minute, and made the royal kitchen a ‘relaxed place to work’.
Remembering cooking for Diana and William and Harry, he said: ‘When I joined Princess Diana, she was patron of 119 different charities, working out at the gym three times a week, looking the best she ever did.
‘She had conquered and confronted the bulimia and she said to me, “Darren, you take care of all the fat, and I’ll take care of the carbs at the gym.
‘My cooking changed – no more heavy creams and rich sauces. It was healthy eating, and the stuffed bell peppers was one of her favourites dishes she probably had two or three times a week.’
Sharing her diet habits, he said: ‘The princess didn’t eat beef at all, occasionally she’d have lamb if she was entertaining, but for the most part it was vegetarian dishes – like peppers and stuffed eggplant.
The Queen overseeing the preparations of a State Banquet in St George’s Hall, Windsor Castle (pictured)
During his four-year stint working for Diana and the boys (seen in 1995) in the mid-nineties, he recalled in a video with Delish how while the Queen would always stick to her planned menu book, Diana would often change her mind at the last minute, and made the royal kitchen a ‘relaxed place to work’
‘She’d love eating fish as well, like rainbow trout and all of her food contained very little fat – certainly no creams or butters.
‘If there was any misconception it was that she didn’t like food, she really did. She was into juicing before it was even invented. She was always ahead of the trend and kept me on my toes.’
And Diana made the kitchen a more relaxed place to work, with the chef recalling: ‘If she was eating alone she’d often come and eat in the kitchen and come in while I was still cooking. It was so relaxed when she was in the kitchen, once she made me a coffee. It was so much more relaxed at Kensington Palace.
‘She’d share a lot of stories with us. We did a menu book for Diana but she never stuck to it while the Queen was religious – whatever you stuck on the menu three days ahead she’d have.
‘Princess Diana however no way! She’d say she wasn’t in the mood for a dish on the same day – the menu book was a waste of time really.
‘William and Harry, even though they were princes still had royal palettes so I had to fool them when I was cooking healthy food.’
Darren hung up his royal apron in 1997 after Princess Diana died, but says his time at Kensington Palace and Windsor Castle looms large in his memory.
Former chef to the Queen Darren McGrady said he used to coax the Queen into choosing the Princess’ favourite bread and butter pudding by giving the monarch a second choice he knew she would reject
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