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Why Royal chef loved cooking at Queen’s Sandringham retreat

PUBLISHED: 11:04 21 September 2020 | UPDATED: 10:17 23 September 2020

Darren McGrady, who spent a number of years as the Queen's chef. Picture: PA

Darren McGrady, who spent a number of years as the Queen's chef. Picture: PA

PA Archive/PA Images

A former Royal chef says he loved cooking for the Queen at her remote farmhouse retreat.

The entrance to Wood Farm, Wolferton. Picture: Ian BurtThe entrance to Wood Farm, Wolferton. Picture: Ian Burt

Her Majesty is staying at Wood Farm Cottage, on the Sandringham Estate, with Prince Philip.

The five-bedroom house, which overlooks The Wash at Wolferton, is where the 99-year-old Duke of Edinburgh has spent most of his time since retiring from public life three years ago.

Darren McGrady regularly cooked for the couple during their visits to Norfolk, before becoming head chef at Kensington Palace and later moving to America after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997.

READ MORE: Queen and Prince Philip return to Norfolk

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh are spending time together at Wood Farm, at Wolferton  Picture: PA Archive/PA Images/Fiona HansonQueen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh are spending time together at Wood Farm, at Wolferton Picture: PA Archive/PA Images/Fiona Hanson

He said of Wolferton on social media: “The Queen and Duke are at Wood Farm. I used to love it there.

“It’s so small you get to interact with them every day, rattle pans and play with the corgis.

“And when The Queen looks into the kitchen after a busy week and says ‘thank you’ you can’t get a bigger compliment than that.”

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Mr McGrady was the Queen’s personal chef for 11 years from 1982. He cooked for the monarch and Prince Philip, as well as guests including five US presidents.

He travelled with the Royal Family to Windsor Castle, Balmoral and Sandringham.

He is now a chef, culinary consultant, event planner and public speaker living in Dallas.

He has also written Eating Royally - Recipes and Remembrances from a Palace Kitchen.

Mr McGrady has previously revealed that one of the Queen’s favourite dishes is fish and chips.

Her chips are all cut neatly to exactly the same length from Maris Piper potatoes and placed in a tower on her plate before being drizzled with tarragon hollandaise sauce.

A new delicacy could also feature on the Royal menu after one of Prince Philip’s farming experiments bore fruit.

The Duke planted young trees impregnated with truffle spores in 2006.

Last year it emerged the prized black fungi had grown for the first time.


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