Fruit is typically a pretty low-effort snack. Whether it’s apples, oranges, or grapes, most people simply grab a piece and take a bite. However, Queen Elizabeth’s former chef is revealing the complicated way she consumes fruit.
The Queen’s Former Chef Shares All On YouTube
Darren McGrady has served as a personal chef to Queen Elizabeth, Princess Diana, Prince William, and Prince Harry. He has also cooked for American heads of state, including former presidents Ford, Reagan, Clinton, and both Bushs.
McGrady posts YouTube videos about his time preparing food for the queen, and in one clip, he explains how he served fruit to Queen Elizabeth. First, he explained that what Americans refer to as “dessert” is what the British call “pudding.” A UK dessert is actually fruit.
The chef then shared that the queen often didn’t have pudding, and would instead just eat a small plate of fruit. “The fruit came from the local purveyors,” McGrady continued. “Apples, when they were in season, would come from Sandringham, and the peaches would come from Windsor Castle.”
The Complicated Ways The Chefs Prepared Pieces Of Fruit
McGrady also spoke about the careful way each piece of fruit needed to be cut so that they were ready to be served at parties and official functions. “The grapes were all cut into little bunches so you could just help yourself to one or two,” the chef explained.
This all sounds fairly reasonable, but when it comes to bananas, McGrady and the rest of the chefs had to do a lot of work to get them table-ready. “It was impolite to eat a banana like a monkey at Buckingham Palace,” he said. “You’re supposed to eat it with a fruit knife and fork.” McGrady demonstrated how the royals would eat a banana for the camera, narrating his actions: “Trim off the edges, cut down the center, open it up, put the end pieces back in the skin, and then cut a few rings, and you can continue the conversation.”
Apples require a similarly complicated preparation, with party guests expected to slice their apples into small pieces, then polish the skins. “Of course, your fingers were getting dirty and sticky,” McGrady shared. “So there was always a finger bowl nearby. At some banquets, some of the guests actually thought this was for drinking.”
This all sounds like a lot of work for a few pieces of fruit, but all the convoluted preparations for each type of fruit seem to be designed to avoid any embarrassing moments for the queen, the rest of the royals, and any of their guests.