Royal Chef Says His ‘Cooking Changed’ Because of Princess Diana — Here’s How

by Jeremy Spirogis
Princess Diana with Catherine Walker on June 2, 1997

Darren McGrady, who spent 15 years cooking for the British royal household, says his “cooking changed” when he started making meals for the late Princess Diana. Ahead, learn how the chef overhauled his cooking fashion to swimsuit Princess Diana’s specs. 

McGrady spent 4 years cooking for Princess Diana. He labored for her up till her tragic dying in 1997 when she died in a automotive accident on the age of 36. During his tenure cooking for the royal household, McGrady ready dishes for Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Diana, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex. 

After shifting to the U.S. following Princess Diana’s dying and opening his personal catering service, Eating Royally, in addition to writing cookbooks, McGrady opened up about his time working with the royal household, particularly Princess Diana. 

Princess Diana with Catherine Walker on June 2, 1997
Princess Diana with Catherine Walker on June 2, 1997 | Tim Graham Photo Library by way of Getty Images

During an interview with Delish printed on Jan. 31, McGrady shared a recipe for stuffed peppers — a  favourite dish of Princess Diana’s she ate 2-Three occasions per week — in addition to particulars about her consuming habits and the way they knowledgeable his cooking. 

His ‘cooking changed’ due to Princess Diana’s wholesome consuming

While dicing greens for the stuffed peppers, McGrady recalled his first assembly with Princess Diana — he remembers saying solely two phrases — and divulged particulars of a dialog that they had when he started cooking for her that resulted in him utterly altering the best way he cooked. 

“She said to me,‘Darren, you take care of all the fats and I’ll take care of the carbs at the gym,’” McGrady informed Delish. “And my cooking changed.”

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He made lighter, more healthy swaps for dishes per Princess Diana’s suggestion and steered away from butter and cream. “No more heavy creams and rich sauces. It was healthy eating like this one,” he mentioned referring to the stuffed bell peppers he ready within the video.

He made ‘mostly vegetarian dishes’ for Princess Diana 

According to McGrady, Princess Diana “didn’t eat beef at all” and solely “occasionally” ate lamb if she had visitors over. 

“For the most part, it was vegetarian dishes,” he informed Delish. “Something like the stuffed bell peppers or stuffed eggplant. She’d also eat fish as well, she loved eating fish.”

By the time McGrady labored for Princess Diana, the royal had handled her bulimia and “got her life back on track,” in accordance with the chef. 

Princess Diana had “gone into the real healthy eating” and started juicing so McGrady adopted swimsuit along with his cooking for her. However, her pointers for meals didn’t apply to her sons Princes William and Harry; they ate roasted potatoes and hen with the pores and skin on.  

Chef Darren McGrady at BritWeek's 10th Anniversary Reception and Gala on May 1, 2016Chef Darren McGrady at BritWeek's 10th Anniversary Reception and Gala on May 1, 2016
Chef Darren McGrady at BritWeek’s 10th Anniversary Reception and Gala on May 1, 2016 | Angela Weiss/Getty Images for BritWeek

Prince Harry influenced McGrady’s cooking too

Princess Diana isn’t the royal who impacted McGrady’s cooking fashion. As a toddler, Prince Harry provided the chef a tip about find out how to make bacon crispy, a observe he nonetheless makes use of today. In 2017, McGrady informed Food and Wine about how Prince Harry informed him to cook dinner bacon within the microwave after he’d seen it completed throughout a household journey to Disney World. 

“Prince Harry said to me, ‘We had it in America at Disney World, and it’s so crispy you can snap it. You have to broil it first, and then you have to put it in some paper towels and place it in the microwave for a minute,’” McGrady recalled Prince Harry telling him about bacon. 

The chef didn’t instantly take the younger prince’s recommendation. After all, he was a younger boy providing a really expert chef cooking suggestions.

“And I believed, ‘Yeah, OK, thanks, you little brat, instructing me find out how to cook dinner.’ But as quickly as he was gone, I attempted it, and I received this amazingly crispy bacon,” McGrady remembered. It’s how he’s ready bacon ever since.

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