Michael Buerk tucking into Royal Recipes tomorrow
What happens in Royal Recipes?
I had two extraordinary glamorous Michelin-style chefs cooking old royal recipes, whilst I prance around trying to inject a few facts about Kings and Queens, gurning orgasmicly at all the food they create.
What was it like working with top chefs Paul Ainsworth and Anna Haugh?
I was a bit worried about it, chefs can be a bit up themselves, they are the ones with the sharp knifes.
What got you excited about the series?
Everybody loves cooking and the royal family and this mixes the two. I got incredibly well fed and paid, and we filmed it at the beautiful Audley End, a stately home that Charles II owned.
Which King would you like to have been?
I am greedy so Edward VII. His nickname was Tum Tum. How he managed to roger all those ladies on the crimson banquet after eating seven or eight meals a day, I don’t know.
Did you dislike anything you tasted?
I am not mad about offal, and pate.
What was your favourite dish?
I am not a pudding person so I like the wonderful fishy starters and the glorious confected meat dishes.
Are you the head chef at home?
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I am the opposite, I am the number one customer.
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Did you try and cook any of the recipes that they taught you?
I brought them home and put them rather obviously in front of my wife, and kept wondering round with a dog-like look. I am still waiting for the results.
You interview a number of people with royal connections. Who was your favourite?
Every year the Queen goes for tea with the WI which she is president of and I met the lady who runs the Sandringham one. She told me the Queen sits there for the full two hours in the meeting eating her cake and partaking like a normal member. I loved that.
What have you learnt?
A lot of traditions which are part of our everyday lives are likely to have been invented by royalty, such as afternoon tea, or curry which Queen Victoria popularised, or the coronation chicken. It’s the social history that gets my juices going.
A lot of the recipes you cooked were from Mildred Nicholls’s 100-years-old notebook. Who was she?
She worked in the royal kitchens starting off as seventh pastry chef and when she left she was third . During her time working in the royal kitchen there was a lot of change spanning from Edward VII to Queen Mary and she noted down a lot of what she cooked.
Anything exciting coming up?
The next thing I am doing is rather more serious on dispatches. A Renaissance man I am.
Royal Recipes starts tomorrow at 3.45pm (Monday, 23rd Jan) on BBC One