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British Royal Family

Royal chef reveals Will and Kate’s secrets

Are they extravagant foodies or do they go for the simple dishes?

John Williams, executive chef at the glamorous London restaurant The Ritz, has been working with food for more than 40 years and has cooked for some big names, but none more so than the Royal Family.
Speaking to Femail, he said:
“The best person I’ve ever cooked for is without a doubt the Queen.”
“I made a four-course meal centred around lamb for her 80th birthday at The Ritz and it was possibly the most stressful experience of my life,” he says.
“People might say celebrities are stressful to cook for, but no one comes with as much pressure as the Queen. You need perfection – on that sort of occasion, we have to make sure everything will go to plan so we rehearse the whole event several times.”
The Ritz executive chef, John Williams
He’s plated up for Prince Harry, Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, and according to Williams, Prince Charles is a real foodie.
“I love cooking for the Prince of Wales,” he says. The Royal has frequented the Ritz.
“He has a fantastic palate. I once cooked something for him and he was able to break down the entire sauce and understand it structurally – naming the ingredients in the sauce exactly. Lots of chefs couldn’t do that!”
As for Will and Kate, they prefer private dining, away from the restaurant’s most iconic tables.
“Kate’s tastebuds are very simple,” he says.
John has a theme of simple food requests coming through to the kitchen.
“When Bill Clinton came in to dine, it was all steamed veggies and simplistic food.
“Rod Stewart and Penny Lancaster love to come down and see me,” he says.
“And it’s always nice to be personally complimented. Rod always enjoys a bit of caviar when he comes to The Ritz,” he says.
“He also likes seafood, and I think the last time he was in he has some fillet steak.”
One of John’s food passions is truffles.
“For someone who wants something seriously decadent, I do this whole truffle with goose liver mousse baked in brioche.
“It costs a fortune to make but gives the diner one of the best dining experiences they’ll ever have. I don’t give it to anyone, but if someone starts talking about truffle in the restaurant I’ll usually know what they’re on about.”
There’s still one power couple he’d love to cook for.
“I’d love to cook for Barack and Michelle Obama.”
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