Queen Elizabeth’s Former Chef Revealed 1 ‘Difficult’ Thing About Making Food for Her

As many people can expect, Queen Elizabeth usually does not cook her own food. She has staff members who help manage many aspects of her life, including the food she consumes.

Darren McGrady used to work as a chef for the royal family and made many dishes for the queen. He once revealed one “difficult” part about preparing dishes for Her Majesty.

Queen Elizabeth wearing a crown and sash
Queen Elizabeth II | Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Chef Darren McGrady has worked with several royals

In a video with Delish, McGrady shared that his interest in being a royal chef came during the 1981 wedding of Princess Diana and Prince Charles.

“I was working at the Savoy Hotel in London at the time,” he shared. “And I thought, how cool would it be to be a royal chef and to work in those royal kitchens. When I got home, I applied for a job. Just a few weeks later, there I was in the kitchens having an interview. It was incredible.”

McGrady’s website states that he worked at Buckingham Palace from 1982 to 1993, cooking for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. Then, he went to Kensington Palace to work for Princess Diana and her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. After Diana’s death, Prince Charles offered McGrady a position at St. James’s Palace, but McGrady decided to take his career to the United States instead.

Darren McGrady revealed 1 ‘difficult’ thing about making food for the queen

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Since leaving his position as a royal chef, McGrady has shared details about the royals and their eating habits with the public. In the video with Delish, he revealed that it was “difficult” to make dishes for the queen because she was often hesitant to try new things.

“The queen wasn’t a real foodie,” he said. “And I soon learned that she eats to live. She doesn’t live to eat. And so the menus that we did were pretty much the same again and again all the time.”

He added, “If we tried to come up with a new recipe, then we had to actually send up the recipe itself—the whole recipe—so the queen could look at the menu… and see what the ingredients were. And it was difficult trying to put new dishes on all the time.”

However, McGrady shared that, occasionally, Queen Elizabeth might request her staff to make dishes she had tried on trips to other places. 

Queen Elizabeth also bans many food items from her household

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Her Majesty also had certain food items she tries to stay away from for various reasons.

For example, Queen Elizabeth does not allow garlic and onion to be served at Buckingham Palace.

“The Queen is a wonderful lady, the royal family are wonderful people but they’re missing out on garlic because at Buckingham Palace you don’t cook with garlic,” former royal chef John Higgins said, according to Express. “I suppose, in case you get the royal burp.”

Queen Elizabeth also banned shellfish, such as shrimps and oysters. This is because these animals have a higher risk of carrying food-borne illnesses. In a similar vein, the queen only eats her steak well-done.

Her Majesty also tries to avoid eating pasta, potatoes, and other starches regularly and reserves them for special occasions.