Christmas in the Royal household, much like the rest of the world, is a special occasion replete with Norwegian fir trees, gifts and the five-course turkey lunch. And now, Darren McGrady, the Queen’s former chef for 11 long years, has revealed about life in the royal kitchen during Christmas time in a series of YouTube videos.
“The royals tend to keep it traditional – with a classic turkey rather than other meats. It was the same meal every year,” McGrady said. “They’re actually boring when it comes to festivities. They didn’t do hams or anything, just traditional turkeys,” the 58-year-old told Hello! magazine.
“We did three turkeys for the Queen and her family in the royal dining room, one for the children’s nursery and then more for the 100 or so staff, so everyone had a Christmas lunch.”
The chefs, he said, had strict instructions to avoid using strong flavours such as garlic and onion. McGrady said, “The Queen doesn’t like garlic… we could never use it at Buckingham Palace.”
For dessert, the Christmas pudding would be “decorated in holly, doused in brandy, and the palace steward would carry it, flaming, into the royal dining room”.
Although fond of the festivities, the Queen reportedly only “eats small portions” – even at Christmas. McGrady has previously said the 94-year-old prefers to have four smaller mealtimes throughout the day.
McGrady also said that the Queen does not cook for herself but Prince Philip was an “amazing chef” and regularly enjoyed cooking on the grill and having family BBQs on the Balmoral estate.
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