Meet The Royal Chef, Darren McGrady
Darren was personal chef to Queen Elizabeth II, Diana, Princess of Wales and Princes’ William and Harry for fifteen years and has cooked for five US Presidents. He is now a chef, author, culinary consultant, event planner and public speaker living in Dallas, Texas. His first cookbook titled ‘Eating Royally; Recipes and Remembrances from a Palace Kitchen’ is now in sixth print with all of his advance and royalties donated to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation.
In the Media
He has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, several times on CNN’s Larry King Live, the Fox News Channel, BBC, CBC, MSNBC and Sky Television. On Fox and Friends covering the Princess Diana Memorial. CNN covering the Royal Wedding and cooked on the Today Show and CBS Early Show in New York.
Training & History
From 1980-1982 Darren trained at the prestigious Savoy Hotel, London achieving the position of Chef-de-partie Saucier.
In 1982, he moved to the Royal Kitchen at Buckingham Palace where for 11 years he cooked for the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh and their guests on a daily basis and catered banquets for Foreign Heads of State including Presidents’ Bush, Clinton, Reagan and Ford. His duties included traveling with the royal family to Windsor Castle, Sandringham House and Balmoral Castle as well as on the Royal Yacht Britannia on royal tours around the world.
In 1993 he moved to Kensington Palace as Private Chef to H.R.H. the Princess of Wales. For four years (until the tragic accident in August 1997) he took control of Princess Diana’s, William and Harry’s day-to-day menus and the preparation and catering of private and official lunch and dinner parties, liasing with the Princess daily.
Declining an offer from H.R.H. the Prince of Wales to become his Private Chef at St James Palace, Darren decided to pursue a new challenge in the USA where he moved to in 1998 with his wife Wendy. They have three children, Kelly, Lexie and Harry.
In the Community
Since the Princess’s death, he has devoted much of his free time working for causes she supported, including shelters for battered women, charities for children with chronic illnesses and disabilities and breast cancer charities.
He also teaches cooking classes, hosts corporate and charity events that include presentations on the royal family.
Darren recently became the first private chef invited to cook at the prestigious James Beard House in New York and is featured on American Airlines first and business class in-flight meals between Europe and the USA.
“Everything was superb! We received so many accolades on Darren’s wonderful presentation, the cuisine and the excellent service.”
“Absolutely fabulous! Thank you so much!!! I can’t thank you enough for your wonderful menu, servers etc! Everyone said it was the BEST food they have ever had at a wedding!!!”
“Wow. You are unbelievable. I can’t tell you the amount of people who ranted and raved at how amazing the food was at last night’s Gala. THANK YOU”
“Darren was an absolute pleasure to work with. We had incredible feedback from the media who interviewed him.”
“”Where do I begin?! Darren is remarkable, the event was spectacular! LOVE him! Thank you so very much!””
Cathie Upton, Meals on Wheels