Prince Philip visited royal kitchens ‘four or five times a week’ says palace chef

Prince Philip: Royal expert discusses Duke’s patronages

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Darren McGrady, former royal chef, shared stories of how the Duke of Edinburgh used to join in cooking with the chefs in Buckingham Palace, Sandringham or Balmoral Castle’s kitchens on occasion. Mr McGrady shared the stories after Philip’s death on April 9, aged 99 years old.

Mr McGrady said the Duke would often visit the kitchen, regularly visiting him and other royal chefs “four or five times a week”.

He said: “He’d come into the kitchen after afternoon tea and the chefs would be shouting all the way around: ‘The Duke’s down, the Duke’s down’, just getting ready to discuss with him what he wanted for dinner that night.”

“I think all of the chefs used to enjoy it when the Duke came into the kitchen to talk about a barbecue.

“He’d always been into the garden that morning or something and he knew what was ripe.

“He walked and he’d checked everything. Were there lots of strawberries ripening, were the vegetables ripe? He had these plums that grew at Balmoral that were just amazing and often you’d see him in the garden stood there picking these gorgeous Victoria plums.”

Appearing on his YouTube channel, where he details recipes from his time as a royal chef, Mr McGrady also told viewers how Philip once preferred his staffs dinner to one prepared for him.

He said: “He came into the kitchen and said, ‘What have we got for dinner tonight?’ and I said, ‘Your royal highness it’s the lamb, the noisettes of lamb.

“I opened the fridge and he pulled them out and he said, ‘Well what about these, what are these?’ I said, ‘Oh that’s leg of lamb steaks, that’s for the staff’.

“He looked at the tiny little noisettes and the big leg of lamb steaks and he said, ‘We’ll have those.’

“So I had to thaw some chicken really quickly for the staff!”

Another story from the chef, who served the Royal Family from 1982 to 1997, showed off Philip’s sense of humour.

Mr McGrady told viewers: “He was cheeky, like Prince Harry said.

“I glanced across to the fruit cupboard one day at Balmoral Castle and I saw someone in there.

“I could just see their back. I shouted across through the window, ‘Hello, can I help you?’ and then I realised that it was the Duke!

“He just stuck his head round and I said, ‘Oh I’m sorry your royal highness, I thought someone was stealing the fruit’.

“He just looked back, smiled, and said, ‘Well I am’.”

Royal Family members also remembered Philip’s fondness for cooking, with Prince Harry speaking about his grandfathers love of barbecue.

He said: “He was authentically himself, with a seriously sharp wit, and could hold the attention of any room due to his charm – and also because you never knew what he might say next.

“He will be remembered as the longest reigning consort to the monarch, a decorated serviceman, a prince and a duke.

“But to me, like many of you who have lost a loved one or grandparent over the pain of this past year, he was my grandpa: master of the barbecue, legend of banter, and cheeky right ’til the end.”

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