King Charles' Former Chefs Reveal His Eating Habits: 'He Was A Foodie'
We’re just days away from the coronation of King Charles III. While the day holds plenty of historical significance, there’s one question that we must ask before any celebration: What’s on the menu?
In February, Buckingham Palace shared the official recipes for street parties: Ken Hom's Coronation Roast Rack of Lamb with Asian-style Marinade, Nadiya Hussain's Coronation Aubergine, and Adam Handling's Strawberry and Ginger Trifle. As for King Charles, a coronation quiche will be served at the Big Lunch.
If all of these recipes have you hungry for more, then it might be time to get inspired a bit more by King Charles’s palate. And, luckily—thanks to Delish videos with former royal chefs Carolyn Robb and Darren McGrady—we have an inside scoop on King Charles’s eating habits.
He's Big On Organic Farming
If there’s one unanimous opinion amongst royal chefs, it’s that King Charles is big on organic farming. Former Royal Chef Carolyn Robb describes King Charles as “a great supporter and a great leader of the organic movement.”
“He was into organic farming … before it was even invented, I think,” concurs former royal chef Darren McGrady. Chef Robb says that King Charles had one of the first organically-certified farms in the U.K., and McGrady says that King Charles had an “incredible vegetable garden” along with cattle and more at the Duchy Estate.
One of his favourite organic vegetables, according to Chef McGrady, is wild mushrooms. Chef McGrady says that King Charles once brought his chefs to the Balmoral Estate to gather wild mushrooms off of the property for consumption.
However, Chef McGrady laughs about the fact that before King Charles’ chefs were planning another trip, Queen Elizabeth II sent her chefs up the day prior to collect all of the wild mushrooms they could find on the estate. “The Queen comes first to the Queen’s chefs,” he laughs.
This could also explain King Charles’ emphasis on seasonal cuisine. Chef Robb, who worked for King Charles directly, says that her first day on the job entailed plucking a “huge sack of pheasants” on the veranda at Sandringham. Chef Robb also loved to pick apples fresh from the Sandringham Estate’s orchards, which would be used in dishes like her Apple, Date & Pecan Cake for afternoon tea.
“No Two Days Are The Same” In His Diet
When it comes to King Charles’s daily diet, Chef McGrady says that “no two days are the same” for King Charles. This might be due to the fact that he has quite a varied taste. “He was a foodie,” Chef McGrady says.
Chef McGrady says that King Charles often had fruit for breakfast, such as fresh plums from the garden, that were then poached and served with juice and muesli. For afternoon tea, King Charles is said to have a penchant for boiled eggs.
However, King Charles’s diet seems to all depend on his daily activities. For instance, on days that King Charles would go painting “in the hills” of Buckingham Palace, Chef McGrady says he’d often pack a picnic with a “big, thick sandwich” and possibly a dessert—like a piece of plum pudding.
He Seems To Favour Savoury Over Sweet
Judging by King Charles’s “foodie” status, it seems safe to bet that he might have a pretty adventurous palette. But, despite his occasional picnic plum pudding, it seems that King Charles might tend toward more savoury dishes. “He really doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth,” says Chef Robb—who says that, although King Charles often served cake at afternoon tea, he rarely ate it.
Instead, King Charles favours Italian cuisine and other healthy, fresh dishes. One of his favourite dinners, according to Chef McGrady is a rack of lamb sous vide with wild mushroom risotto. Chef McGrady says he also likes polenta dishes. King Charles’ love of Italian food also worked out well for his sons—whom Chef McGrady said would often eat pizza when Italian was on the menu.