Katherine Jenkins recalls Palace lunch with Queen Elizabeth II
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Queen Elizabeth II was crowned Queen at just 27-years-old and was the longest reigning British monarch of all time. With a team of world-class chefs, Her Majesty had access to the globe’s best and highest quality ingredients throughout her lifetime. Royal fans were given an insight into her favourite foods and why she would avoid garlic.
The Queen’s former chef, Darren McGrady, has shared his insider knowledge about the Queen’s eating habits.
He revealed that Her Majesty “never was a foodie” and preferred traditional British and French cuisine.
Unlike her husband, Prince Philip, she wasn’t a fan of trying new ingredients and would often rather stick to the same meals each week.
There were also some foods she would never eat, even though they are considered delicacies or even staple ingredients to any meal.
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In a series of YouTube Q&A videos, Darren explained that when he was her personal chef, between 1982 and 1993, the monarch would consume breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.
Evidently a fan of seafood, Darren told viewers in one YouTube clip that the Queen had a particular love for Morecambe Bay potted shrimp on toast.
He said: “They’re cooked and marinated in this secret spicy butter and then the Queen would have them with warm toast, and when you spread them on the warm toast, the butter melts.”
The chef told Hello! magazine in 2016 that fish would usually be the monarch’s dish of choice whenever she ate a starter too, saying: “For a first course she loved the Gleneagles pâté, which is smoked salmon, trout and mackerel.”
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Elizabeth made the most of the grounds the Royal Family has owned for centuries, including Balmoral, where fish was caught fresh from its rivers.
Darren continued: “She loved using ingredients off the estate, and so if we had salmon from Balmoral from the River Dee, she’d have that.
“It was one of her favourites. We used a repertoire of dishes, mainly British and French food.
“We cooked a lot of traditional French food like halibut on a bed of spinach with a Morney sauce.”
As for the traditional British – as well as Irish – dishes, Darren explained the Queen enjoyed eating meat such as “game”.
“Things like Gaelic steak, fillet steak with a mushroom whisky sauce, especially if we did it with venison,” he said.
As for desserts or sweet treats, Her Majesty loved chocolate. The former royal chef told Hello! in 2016: “She is absolutely a chocoholic.
“Anything we put on the menu that had chocolate on, she would choose – especially chocolate perfection pie.”
Darren revealed that when Prince William would “come to tea” with his grandmother, the Queen would want the chefs to make him and herself a chocolate biscuit cake. “He loved those,” the chef said.
As for the ingredients the Queen wouldn’t eat, she wasn’t very adventurous and didn’t enjoy tasting new foods.
Darren said: “The Queen was never a foodie. She always ate to live rather than live to eat.
“Prince Philip was the foodie. He’d want to try any new dishes all the time and got excited about new ingredients, whereas the Queen, if we had a new recipe, she’d have to look at the whole recipe before saying, ‘yes okay let’s try it’.
“But for the most part she stuck to the same dishes week in week out.”
Although a fan of seafood, there was one ingredient the Queen, as well as Prince Philip, hated: oysters.
In his book Dinner at Buckingham Palace, former royal servant Charles Oliver wrote: “Inevitably there are one or two things the Queen and her husband do not like, and the hosts are duly warned in advance.
“The palace instruction states only: ‘Neither the Queen nor the Duke of Edinburgh like oysters.
“The Queen often drinks a glass of red or white wine with her meals as well as orange juice.
“His Royal Highness prefers gin and tonic or lager to champagne before meals or during the day’.”
A staple ingredient in many meals, Her Majesty did not eat garlic.
This was confirmed by Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, in 2018 on MasterChef Australia.
When asked what the Queen doesn’t eat, the Duchess said: “I hate to say this, but garlic. Garlic is a no-no.”
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