A culinary treat awaits the 600 guests lucky enough to score invites to the canape reception at Buckingham Palace following Kate Middleton and Prince William's April 29 wedding.
Twenty-one chefs will craft around 10,000 hot and cold canapes (about 16 per person), including delicacies such as smoked salmon on beetroot blinis and quail eggs sprinkled with celery salt.
And while the bride and groom did have some say in selection, the majority of the menu will come from the Queen herself.
"A lot of effort goes into planning," Mark Flanagan, the chief royal chef and Head of Kitchens at the Palace tells reporters. [He would not confirm whether his team is also planning the evening reception] "We're always conscious of trying to make sure we uphold people's expectations when people come to Buckingham Palace. For many it's a once in a lifetime opportunity. So, from the kitchen side of things, we want to make sure people leave with great memories."
The chef didn't want to dish too many secrets about the bites, but he did say guests, as always, can expect food that showcases British produce.
"We work with tremendous suppliers. We're constantly updated on what's in season, what's available and when it's coming to us," said Flanagan, who's worked at the Palace a decade. "Our biggest operational challenge [for the reception] will be with the bank holidays being so close together. Getting fresh produce can be difficult around times like that, however we've already had our conversations with our suppliers to make sure that it will all come together."
Though the planning may be meticulous, the chef notes things really won't come together until the day of.
"There is a lot of preparatory work we would love to do in advance, but it's just not possible," he says. "Most of the fine detail takes place at the very last minute, when the guests literally come in to the rooms. Only then can we add the final touches. On the day [of the wedding] it will be about double and triple checking everything, making sure nothing is forgotten or left to chance!"