Chefs of Distinction / Chronological

Darren McGrady

After 15 years of royal service to Queen Elizabeth II of England and Diana, Princess of Wales Darren now lives in Dallas, Texas where he works as a personal chef, author, culinary consultant, event planner and public speaker. His first cookbook titled Eating Royally; recipes and remembrances from a palace kitchen (Thomas Nelson 2007) has just gone into third print. (with all of his advance and royalties from the book going to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation.)

He has appeared several times on CNN’s Larry King Live, on the Fox News Channel, Fox and Friends covering the Princess Diana Memorial, cooked on the Today Show and CBS Early Show in New York, CNN covering the Royal Wedding, as well as many local television stations around the country as well as the BBC and SKY television and radio in England and across Europe.

Darren was born in Nottinghamshire, England and after graduating college with the U.S. equivalent of a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts he went on to train at the prestigious Savoy Hotel in London.

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 including 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 U.S.A. where he moved to in 1998 with his wife Wendy. They have three children, Kelly, Lexie and Harry.

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. Darren is a board member of the Pink Ribbons Crusade, a not for profit charity that uses its museum type exhibit "A Date with Diana" to promote Breast Cancer awareness.

Darren recently became the first private chef invited to cook at the prestigious James Beard House in New York and is currently consulting with American Airlines on first and business class in-flight meals between Europe and the USA.

You can find out more about Darren on his website that site has stories and photos of his Royal service as well as favorite recipes of the Royal family and a blog.


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