Nick Ansell / Reuters / Pool
Buckingham Palace head of kitchens, Royal Chef Mark Flanagan, lifts a copper pot from a rack at Buckingham Palace in London March 25, 2011.
Staff at Buckingham Palace have lifted the lid on preparations for Prince William’s wedding, giving an insight into what guests can expect and the amount of work they have put in to make the event a success.
Elspeth Lodge Apr 13, 2011 – 2:59 PM ET
The menu for the royal wedding sit down dinner and wedding breakfast will not be revealed until the day itself, but there are certain things that can be predicted by looking back at past royal wedding menus, examining British wedding traditions and talking to royal chefs.
Below, what we know about the food and drinks for April 29th’s big day — and what other royals have been served.
The menu will be in French
In contrast to the very English day, the menu will almost certainly be en français.
This has been the case at all past royal weddings and fancy royal functions; there is never any translation on the menu, even for foreign politicians.
(The Queen, of course, is fluent in French.)
A dish will probably be named after Kate Middleton.
At a British royal wedding it is a common practice for the chef name a dish after the new bride, Chef Darren McGrady tells epicurious.com. (Mr. McGrady worked at Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace as the private chef to the late Princess Diana.)
What dish took Diana’s name at her wedding reception? Suprême de Volaille Princesse de Galle — basically, a chicken breast stuffed with lamb mousse, wrapped in brioche, and garnished with asparagus tips and Madeira sauce. She loved poultry, said Chef McGrady.
He said Kate’s dish will probably be revealed at the evening, sit down meal— not at the first reception known as the wedding breakfast, which will be served buffet style.
Take a look at the royal wedding menus from the past (below) and see some other specially named dishes:
Wedding of future King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1923
- “Consommé à la Windsor [Windsor Consommé]
- Suprèmes de Saumon Reine Mary (Queen Mary salmon filets)
- Côtelettes d’Agneau Prince Albert (Prince Albert Lamb cutlets)
- Chapons à la Strathmore [Strathmore style capons]
- Fraises Duchesse Elizabeth (Duchess Elizabeth Strawberries).
Princess Elizabeth’s (the Queen’s) 1947 wedding to Prince Philip
- Filet de Sole Mountbatten (Mountbatten Sole filet)
- Perdreau en Casserole (Partridge in a casserole)
- Haricots Verts (Green beans)
- Pommes Noisette (type of mashed potatoes) and Salade Royale (Royal Salad)
- Bombe Glacee Princesse Elizabeth (Princess Elizabeth ice cream)
- Friandises (delicacies).
The wedding breakfast
Around 600 guests will assemble at Buckingham palace for the wedding breakfast after Will and Kate share a traditional kiss from the balcony of Buckingham palace.
In a break with the sit-down wedding breakfast traditional at royal weddings, the meal will be served buffet style.
But, “… don’t expect French toast and eggs:” says Chef Darren McGrady to epicurious.com.“It will likely resemble an afternoon cocktail party, with butlers passing appetizers and canapés…It’s where you’ll see the Archbishop of Canterbury and heads of state milling about,” says Mr. McGrady. “Given the guest list, it’s a great way to socialize and make everyone feel important, since you don’t have that top table and then some people pushed to the back of the room,” says Mr. McGrady.
For the food, Mr. McGrady is guessing “substantial canapés” will be served, such as smoked trout with cream cheese crêpes, English sausage rolls, mini croque monsieurs, and smoked salmon tartlets.
“Chefs are preparing 10,00 canapes for the lunchtime reception after the ceremony and a special beer is going to be brewed just for the occasion,” reports CelebrityCafe.com.”There will be 21 chefs preparing around 18 varieties of different temperatures and flavors, all of which have been approved by the royal couple.”
As for dessert, it was revealed the the couple will have both a traditional fruit cake ordered from famous patissière Fiona Cairns, who counts ex-Beatle Paul McCartney as a customer. At the request of Kate Middleton, the cake will be adorned by 16 flowers symbolizing, among other things, happiness (rose), tenderness (lily) and marriage (ivy).
The cake will be revealed at the reception, which will take place in in Buckingham Palace’s majestic “Picture Gallery,” under the gaze of Rembrandt, Poussin and Rubens paintings.
Next to the wedding cake will be a more humble chocolate cake favoured by Prince William, made using the supermarket staple McVitie’s tea biscuits.
Of course, there’s always beer
Looking to celebrate Britain’s royal wedding with a pint or two? You can indulge in a brew created for the occasion in the shadow of one of the royal family’s most famous residences.
The newly established Windsor and Eton Brewery is taking advantage of the town’s royal connections to produce “Windsor Knot,” a beer dedicated to Prince William and his fiancee Kate Middleton who will marry on April 29th.
Windsor was once a traditional brewing town, and a hundred years ago there were at least half a dozen breweries making beer to be shipped to London and elsewhere. However, the last brewery stopped production around 1931 and the tradition died out until Windsor and Eton launched last year.
Master brewer Paddy Johnson told Reuters that he wanted to produce an ale which would have broad appeal and be suited to the barbecues and street parties across the nation on the day.
“So we tried to design a beer that’s light in flavor and color, so that it will appeal to a lot of people, but has also got a very memorable flavor to it,” he said.
Windsor Knot is an ale made with a combination of hops from England and New Zealand, which the brewery said represents the far ends of the Commonwealth.
There will be a plethora of other beers, ales, stouts and bitters produced for the royal wedding, which brewers hope will help showcase what is a very English refreshment.
Prince Charles says “no” to Foie gras at the evening dinner
Prince Charles will be hosting and paying for the more intimate evening reception dinner.
Many sources predict the menu will feature seasonal spring ingredients such as lamb, leeks, and cabbage from Highgrove, the Prince’s organic farm and homestead in Gloucestershire.
“One thing that will almost certainly be left off the lineup: foie gras,” says epicurious.com. “… the Prince of Wales banned from all royal menus in 2008, due to his distaste for the way it is produced,” they say.
“I think they’ll have as the first course some sort of salad with a terrine,” said Darren McGrady told AFP (the personal chef to Princess Diana). “I know that one of the most popular is the Gleneagles pâté, which is like a terrine of smoked trout, smoked salmon and smoked mackerel pate”, explained Mr. McGrady.”For the entree, I would see Gaelic steaks, tenderloin steaks in a whisky mushroom sauce, or an organic lamb from Highgrove.”
With Files from AFP