Former Royal Chef Reveals Queen Elizabeth Doesn’t Care About Calories but Shares Her Disciplined Cake Habit

Queen Elizabeth II Cutting Cake Purple Jacket Purle Hat
Queen Elizabeth II smiles after the cutting of the cake during a visit to the International Maritime Organization on March 6, 2018 in London, England. Shutterstock

No counting calories in the palace! Queen Elizabeth II isn’t what one might consider a “foodie,” but the monarch doesn’t make sacrifices when it comes to flavor either.

While Kate Middleton has a sweet tooth, the 93-year-old queen is a fan of a classic savory and rich dish known as Gaelic steak, according to former royal chef Darren McGrady.

This “favorite” can be made with beef tenderloin steaks, but as McGrady, 58, noted, the queen prefers to eat this dish with venison that is typically hunted on her own lands at Sandringham or Balmoral — two of her country estates.

The meat is typically seasoned with salt and pepper and served over a potato and parsnip mash. It’s also topped with a cream-based sauce that includes mushrooms and onions and garnished with baby carrots. The vegetables are often grown on estate grounds as well.

“One of the things I soon learned working for the queen, was that all of the dishes were rich in cream and butter and fat,” McGrady recalled in a YouTube video published by Delish on Wednesday, January 15. “Calories didn’t really matter. We could use as much cream and butter in the dishes as we wanted to and it just made them taste amazing. It really was traditional French cuisine.”

Queen Elizabeth II Cutting Cake
Queen Elizabeth II cuts a cake at Royal Albert Hall on June 4, 2015 in London, England. Shutterstock

Though the queen has no problem with butter or cream in her food, she isn’t one to overindulge. In fact, the “chocoholic” is decidedly more strict with herself when it comes to dessert. “The queen is such a disciplinarian,” McGrady said. “It amazed me that we would send a great big chocolate cake up for her to have a meal or afternoon tea and she would just take the tiniest slice.”

When the queen was finished with her treat, the cake would head back to the kitchen. “If she wanted more, she would wait until the next day when that cake came up again,” McGrady continued.

Though the culinary pro no longer cooks for Queen Elizabeth, he has had plenty of experience working for the royal family — he was the personal chef to the monarch, Prince Philip, Princess Diana, and Princes William and Harry for 15 years.

In addition to her disciplined nature, McGrady was also surprised by the way the queen likes her meat. “On of the things that really amazed me was that the queen actually likes her meat well done and chefs, we cook medium-rare all the time. It was really, really important that we got a really good sear on the steaks and cooked her steaks well done.”

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