Chefs Recall Fond Memories of The Queen
We were deeply saddened by the news of the passing of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Her continuous devotion to serving this country and the commonwealth is truly inspirational.
During her reign she was served by a number of chefs who worked for her and visited many restaurants, hotels and hospitality venues. We delve into the memoirs chefs recall of working for or meeting the Queen in a bid to celebrate her life and association with hospitality.
Darren McGrady – Former Royal Chef
Mr McGrady served her Majesty for over 10 years. Travelling around the world with all The Royal Family. He tells a funny story of when he first met her. “when I first met her. She was Walking the corgis along the river at Balmoral Castle and the corgis were chasing me, me running away and the Queen just laughing out loud.” He added his most fond memories were of cooking breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner for the most amazing lady.”
Glynn Purnell – Chef and owner of Purnells in Birmingham
Glynn Purnell remembers when he was invited to a garden party to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee in 2012. He stood with fellow celebrity chefs Sat Bains, Marcus Wareing and Angela Hartnett during the meeting. Glynn Purnell said: “She came up and asked us whether we were having a nice time at her party. She gave us this wonderful smile and off she popped.” He added: “I didn’t know whether to bow, to shake, to curtsy but you know what a phenomenal experience that was. Just to be in her presence, and to be invited to such an event.”
Des Sweeney – Head Chef/Owner of The Kitchen at the Cross Keys
A Nottinghamshire chef who worked for the royal household has paid tribute to the Queen as a ruler – and a “very nice employer”. Des Sweeney was a Junior Chef amongst a 16-strong brigade in the kitchens at Buckingham Palace for four years.
Mr Sweeney recalled the first time he met Her Majesty in 1979. “When you first met her you were like ‘oh my God that’s the Queen‘. I was leaning over the mixing machine making bread and I heard someone say ‘Is the chef around?’ softly spoken and I said ‘he’s gone for breakfast’ and turned around and it was Her Majesty.”
Adam Steele – Head Chef
Adam Steele was just 21 when he moved to London to work for the Royal Family. “It was amazing, it was a lovely place to work, but you had to be on top of your game, as you’d expect.”.
“the first time you see her you’re starstruck, but then after a while, you’re just listening and she’s telling you, this is how I like things, and that’s what you’ll get.” He said they like “filets de sole Saint-Germain, that came on the menu quite a lot”
Chef Patron Paul Askew
A Wirral chef, talks about the time he cooked for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip. During the start of his career, Paul, cooked for The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh during a civic visit and they dined at the Town Hall in Liverpool.
“This was a huge honour for me to cook for them in one of Liverpool’s most iconic buildings, and being such esteemed guests really helped my career to develop whilst I was embarking on my culinary journey. It was a truly great experience and one I will never forget. I offer my condolences to all of the Royal Family during this very difficult time.”
We hope you can join KSB catering and hospitality recruitment agency in celebrating her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and her heart warming impression on the world. Our condolences are with all The Royal Family at this sad time.