04/09/2011

Chef dishes on possible Royal Wedding menu

While the menu for the Royal Wedding dinner is, of course, a closely guarded secret, the former personal chef to Diana, William and Harry has offered his guess about what the guests will be eating. 

Darren McGrady (pictured above in Toronto in 2007) predicts that diners will start with a salad with a terrine.

"I know that one of the most popular is the Gleneagles pate, which is like a terrine of smoked trout, smoked salmon and smoked mackerel pate", explained McGrady, who also goes by nickname "The Royal Chef".

"For the entree, I would see Gaelic steaks, tenderloin steaks in a whisky mushroom sauce, or an organic lamb from Highgrove", the farm of Prince Charles, father of William.

Also, McGrady says that when Prince William was younger his favourite desert was banana flan, so that might be a good bet. (Speaking of which, the menu is not among the many Royal Wedding things you can wager over at Paddy Power.)

The Star's Judy Gerstel sat down with McGrady in 2007 after the release of his memoir, Eating Royally. McGrady offered a few juicy insights into life at Buckingham Palace (what Princess Diana referred to as the Leper Colony):

For example, although the Queen insisted on fresh scones for every tea, she never ate them, crumbling them on the floor for the Corgis.

She also required carrots to be peeled and cut for her horses.

Bananas were eaten with fork and knife; pear tops were sliced and the fruit scooped out with a spoon.

(You really wouldn't want to be the only one at the Royal Wedding dinner eating lamb with your desert fork.)

The wedding comes at a heady time for U.K. cuisine. Once derided as a culinary backwater where food is regularly boiled to death, London has become one of the top food destinations in the world. 

In an interview earlier this year, one of the world's top chefs, Joël Robuchon, said "that London is very possibly the gastronomic capital of the world." 

Robuchon is French, which must have left his compatriots choking on their foie gras.

In the story, a resturant guide publisher reflects on London's changed status.

Richard Harden, publisher of the Harden's London Restaurants guide, said that even the suggestion that London might now stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the world's best culinary cities represents a major change.

“Twenty years ago nobody could have argued that,” he said. “London has really come from nowhere.”

It's safe to assume that the Royal Wedding dinner will do London's reputation proud.

Squatters have front-row seats

It appears that the peace protesters who have been camped out in Parliament Square may get front-row seats for the Royal Wedding.

According to a story in the Guardian:

Despite numerous legal attempts, no one – from No 10 down – has been able to come up with any legal power to move the ragtag band of peaceniks, campaigners and eccentrics from the pavement between the Houses of Parliament and the abbey, where Prince William and Kate Middleton will marry on 29 April. 

 If the protesters are still there for the wedding, we'll see how the TV crews deal with it. It could prove an interesting backdrop to the most-watched television event in history.

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