Meet Darren McGrady, Fine Dining Caterer
Darren was 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 now resides in Plano, Texas, owns “Eating Royally” Fine Dining Catering Service in Dallas, Texas.
He is an author, culinary consultant, event planner and public speaker and his first cookbook titled ‘Eating Royally; recipes and remembrances from a palace kitchen’ is in sixth print with all of his advance and royalties donated to one of Princess Diana’s charitable goals.
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.
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 transferred 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, 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.
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 had his food featured on American Airlines in first and business class in-flight meals between Europe and the USA.