Hail to the Chef

Former chef for the British royal family comes out with first cookbook.

photography by Lisa Means

British expat DARREN McGRADY has quite a regal resume. For more than a decade, he worked as a chef for the British royal family, including four years spent as personal cook for Princess Diana and her sons, William and Harry. “Seeing The Queen brought out a Pavlov’s response in me,” McGrady says. “When she came on camera, I instantly bowed my head and said, ‘Your Majesty.’ I couldn’t help it.” And now McGrady can add “author” to his resume. Just out is his first cookbook, Eating Royally: Recipes and Remembrances from a Palace Kitchen, which includes dozens of recipes from events such as weekends in Windsor and balls at Balmoral Castle (the Queen’s favorite chocolate biscuit cake, a fat-free tomato and dill mousse he concocted for Diana). The 267-page book is also filled with McGrady’s personal photos and notes from Diana, and he will donate all the proceeds from the cookbook to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Following Diana’s death in 1997, McGrady moved to Dallas and began cooking for Dee and Charles Wyly (he’s been with them nine years now). The two families, he says, “are a lot alike. They’re both wonderful.”


Keep me up to date on the latest happenings and all that D Magazine has to offer.