Sunday, May 8, 2016

Britweek 2016: Royal Chef Darren McGrady Shows The British Royal Family's Desserts

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. 
(Center) Royal Chef Darren McGrady, (left) Downtown Abbey’s Lesley Nicol (Mrs. Patmore) and Consul General Chris O’Connor
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.

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
Darren declined an offer from H.R.H. the Prince of Wales to become his Private Chef at St James Palace, and decided to pursue a new challenge in the U.S.A. where he moved to in 1998 with his wife Wendy. They have three children, Kelly, Lexie and Harry.
 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.
Servings: Makes one 6-inch round cake (8 portions)
  • 1/2 tsp. butter , for greasing
  • 8 ounces Rich tea biscuits
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter , softened
  • 4 ounces granulated sugar
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate , for the cake
  • 1 egg
Coating and Decorating
  • 8 ounces dark chocolate , for coating
  • 1 ounce chocolate , for decorating
To make cake: Lightly grease a 6" x 2 1/2" cake ring and place on a tray on a sheet of parchment paper.

Break each of the biscuits into almond-size pieces by hand and set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until the mixture starts to lighten.

Melt the 4 ounces of dark chocolate and add to the butter mixture while constantly stirring.

Beat the egg into the mixture.

Fold in the biscuit pieces until they are all coated with the chocolate mixture.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake ring. Try to fill all of the gaps on the bottom of the ring because this will be the top when it is unmolded.

Chill the cake in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.

To coat and decorate: Remove the cake from the refrigerator and let it stand while you melt the 8 ounces of dark chocolate. 

Slide the ring off the cake and turn it upside down onto a cake wire. 

Pour the melted chocolate over the cake and smooth the top and sides using a palette knife.

Allow the chocolate to set at room temperature.

Carefully run a knife around the bottom of the cake where the chocolate has stuck to the cake wire and lift it onto a tea plate.

Melt the remaining 1 ounce of chocolate and use to decorate the top of the cake.

1 comment:

  1. This is by far one of the best places to hang with friends, have great drinks (amazing beer selection), eat some great food, including the great lunch I had there. Prices at LA venues are very reasonable and the pizza was awesome.