Chef Darren McGrady
Darren is currently employed as a Private Chef to Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wyly jr. at there private residence in Dallas, TX. He moved to the U.S.A. in May 1998 with his Wife Wendy. They have three children, Kelly (7) Lexie(4) and Harry (3 weeks)
Darren was born in Newark, Nottingham shire in the UK and after completing school attended Clarendon Catering College in Nottingham (1978-1980) where he obtained the U.S. equivalent of a Bachelors Degree in Culinary Arts.
Upon Graduation, he was accepted at London's Savoy Hotel, for the position as Commis Chef and trained under the Maitre Chef de Cuisine Sylvino Trompetto. During his two years here (1980 – 1982) he was promoted to and held the positions of First Commis de Cuisine Saucier and Entremetier.
In 1982 he moved to the Royal Kitchen at Buckingham Palace, London. He spent 4 years working on each section of the partie system and during this time was promoted to Chef de partie. He then decided to train and specialise in Patisserie and over a seven year period became Senior Pastry Chef.
During his 11 years Royal service at Buckingham Palace he cooked for H.M. the Queen and H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh on a daily basis, including on H.M.Y. Britannia on Royal Tours around the world and at all of the other Royal residences. (Windsor
Castle, Sandringham House and Balmoral Castle) He also catered Banquets honouring Foreign Heads of State (receiving Medals of Honour from several) and was privileged to cook for two U.S. Presidents.
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.
Choosing to decline an offer from H.R.H. the Prince of Wales for Darren to become his Private Chef at St James Palace and Highgrove, he decided to end his 15 years Royal service with a new challenge in the U.S.A.
Darren is a board member of the Pink Ribbons Crusade, a not for profit charity based in Austin that uses its exhibit “A Date with Diana” (a collection of 2000 British Royal Items
worth over $4 million to tour the country raising money to promote Breast Cancer awareness.) He has appeared on the CBS Early show, WFAA, CBS 11 and also BBC television and Radio in England. He is a regular “Royal Panel” guest on Larry King Live.
Queen of Puddings.
This recipe is a real “comfort food” dish – or a “nursery pudding” as we would say at Buckingham Palace. Popular with Prince William and Harry, but also Princess Diana who would follow the dish back to the kitchen for “seconds”
For the base;
8 oz Pound cake (in ½ slices)
1 pint whole milk
4 oz extra fine granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
For the topping;
4 eggs (WHITES ONLY)
8 oz extra fine granulated sugar.
½ jar strawberry jelly
1) Turn on the oven to 350 degrees.
2) Cover the bottom of an 8 inch casserole dish with the pound cake slices.
3) In a large bowl beat together the whole eggs, the sugar and vanilla.
4) Bring the milk to the boil on the stove in a small saucepan and whisk onto the egg mixture.
5) Gently pour the mixture into the casserole dish making sure you soak all of the pound cake as it rises to the top.
6) Put the casserole dish in the oven and bake the mixture for about 30 minutes or until the mix is set firm. Then remove it from the oven and allow it to cool slightly.
7) In a small saucepan, warm the strawberry jelly and pour over the top of the egg mixture in the casserole dish.
8) Preferably with an electric mixer make a meringue with the egg whites and sugar by whisking the whites until stiff and adding the sugar gradually.
9) Spoon the meringue mixture into a piping bag with a star tip and pipe around the edges of the casserole on top of the jelly. Then make a trellis across the middle of the dish so as to leave some of the red jelly showing between the meringue.
10) Return the casserole dish to the oven for about 10 minutes until the meringue starts to brown and then serve from the oven with whipped cream or Ice cream.