Photos & story by Karen Ostlund in Hancock Park, Los Angeles
Two day prior to BritWeek's 10 Anniversary Gala at Fairmont Hotel, May 1st, Royal Chef Darren McGrady, Downtown Abbey’s Lesley Nicol (Mrs. Patmore) and Consul General Chris O’Connor at the British Consulate residence in Hancock Park teamed up to learn about English dessert puddings and cakes created for royalty and aristocrats.
The British Royal Family’s favorite desserts, created by Chef Darren
McGrady for the late Princess Diana and the Princes’, were previewed
at the British Consulate in Hancock Park, before being served at the May
1st BritWeek10 Anniversary Gala at the Fairmont Hotel.
|(Center) Royal Chef Darren McGrady, (left) Downtown Abbey’s Lesley Nicol (Mrs. Patmore) and Consul General Chris O’Connor|
Darren was personal chef to Queen Elizabeth II, Diana, Princess of Wales and Princes’ William and Harry for fifteen years and has cooked for five US Presidents. He is now a chef, author, culinary consultant, event planner and public speaker living in Dallas, Texas.
|McGrady's book Eating Royally|
His first cookbook titled ‘Eating Royally;(2007) recipes and remembrances from a palace kitchen’ is now in sixth print with all of his advance and royalties donated to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation.He has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, several times on CNN’s Larry King Live, the Fox News Channel, BBC, CBC, MSNBC and Sky Television. On Fox and Friends covering the Princess Diana Memorial. CNN covering the Royal Wedding and cooked on the Today Show and CBS Early Show in New York,
From 1980- 1982 Darren trained at the prestigious Savoy Hotel, London achieving the position of Chef-de-partie Saucier.
In 1982, he moved to the Royal Kitchen at Buckingham Palace where for 11 years he cooked for the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh and their guests on a daily basis and catered banquets for Foreign Heads of State including Presidents’ Bush, Clinton, Reagan and Ford. His duties included traveling with the royal family to Windsor Castle, Sandringham House and Balmoral Castle as well as on the Royal Yacht Britannia on royal tours around the world.
|Happy Birthday Royal chocolate cake and Earl Grey |
tea for Britweek's 10th Anniversary
In 1993 he moved to Kensington Palace as Private Chef to H.R.H. the Princess of Wales. For four years
( until the tragic accident in August 1997) took he control of Princess Diana’s, William and Harry’s day to day menus and the preparation and catering of private and official lunch and dinner parties, liasing with the Princess daily. Darren remembers Princess Diana as the most health conscious in the family, who did not eat red meat, and preferred bread pudding to chocolate cakes.
|Mc Grady shows Princess Diana's|
favorite bread pudding
|Chocolate biscuit cake|
Since the Princess’s death, he has devoted much of his free time working for causes she supported, including shelters for battered women, charities for children with chronic illnesses and disabilities and breast cancer charities.
He also teaches cooking classes, hosts corporate and charity events that include presentations on the royal family.
Darren recently became the first private chef invited to cook at the prestigious James Beard House in New York and is was featured on American Airlines on first and business class in-flight meals between Europe and the USA.
Prince William choose the chocolate biscuit cake as his groom's cake for the royal wedding.