Chef to the Royal Family
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 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 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.
What people are saying about The Royal Chef:
- Darren was a superstar.
Tiffany Flanagan, John Hancock
- Absolutely awesome!!!!!!!Darren is quite the chef and personality.I really can't believe how fortunate we were to have him in Door County.My phone has been ringing off the hook with congratulations!
ShaunTauber, United Way of Door County
- Thank you again so much for introducing us to Chef McGrady.Darren was absolutely wonderful!
Larry Airey, Lake Norman Home Show
- Where do I begin?????????????? Darren is remarkable, the event was spectacular! LOVE him!
Thank you so very much!
Cathie Upton, Meals on Wheels
- I could not send you an email thanking you for all your help and dedication because I hadn't stopped yet. You were just perfect. All your techniques combined with a great sense of humor make not just a terrific chef but an incredible human being.
Darren, EVERYBODY was in love with you. Diageo, the crew, the media, the guy from the fruit tent and myself included. I could not imagine a better professional than you. As I told you before, you are a complete showman and you will always have a friend in Brazil. Thank you very, very much.
Flavio Sampaio, Diageo of Brazil