My tips for a right royal feast

What a week for one of the schools in our Let’s Get Cooking network! Cape Cornwall Secondary’s been chosen as one of just four schools that will get to cook for the Queen as part of her Jubilee celebrations.

Organised by our friends at British Food Fortnight, it’s a competition to show off some of the incredible cooking and tasting talents of our young people – along with delicious British ingredients.

Even just reading the menu that the Cape Cornwall pupils designed has got me smacking my lips: leek, saffron and crab pasty…grilled Cornish scallops with tomato, garlic and basil…chilled strawberry and pepper soup…strawberry cheesecake with Cornish gingerbread…sweet saffron scones with clotted cream and jam – it goes on and on.

I’ve been lucky enough to cook for the Queen during my career, so here are my top tips for the pupils who’ll be watching the palace chefs prepare their canapé designs and helping to serve them at a special reception:

  • Be proud and confident with your menus – don’t let the pressure get to you. You wouldn’t have been chosen if they didn’t think your food’s up to the job!
  • The Queen doesn’t eat much – she gets offered so much food in the course of her duties that she has lots of tasters. That means portion sizes for your canapés are important
  • Timing is everything. Cooking for HRH is about military precision – the palace chefs will need to practice your recipes to make sure everything will be ready at exactly the right time
  • Talk about your fantastic British ingredients and local suppliers. We’ve got such an eclectic mix of food producers in this country and we need to support them
  • Our food heritage is amazing but adding a modern twist is what makes your food really stick in the memory. Who knows, maybe HRH will recommend you!

Rob is a professional chef, food campaigner and our chairman. Click to email Rob. Click here for a taste of what Rob cooked for the Queen.

Let’s Get Cooking provides training, support and resources for setting up and running healthy cooking activities for people of all ages. Let’s Get Cooking has created England’s largest network of school-based, healthy cooking clubs which have already reached more than 2 million people. Get in touch to see if Let’s Get Cooking could help your school, business or community. 

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