Princess Diana was known for her tireless work as a humanitarian, and the chef responsible for keeping Diana healthy despite her busy schedule and extensive travels was Darren McGrady, who served as her personal cook for four of his 15 years as the royal chef.
In a new interview with The Daily Mail, McGrady revealed several of the dishes he would regularly prepare to help the health-conscious Princess power through her whirlwind schedule.
McGrady says that Diana did her best to avoid carbs entirely, which forced him to come up with alternative preparations of her favorite comfort foods, chicken and potatoes chief among them.
“For (Diana's) potatoes, I'd parboil them and toss in egg whites and paprika. She'd cut out the fat so it was always poached chicken, no skin, no fatty potatoes,” says McGrady. ”She'd tell me: ‘You take care of the fats, I'll take care of the carbs at the gym."'
Diana was also a huge fan of bread pudding and stuffed red peppers, but did her best to avoid red meat, unless of course—there was a special occasion, like say, dinner with Clint Eastwood, for which McGrady prepared a succulent rack of lamb.
Ever the humanist, Diana also made certain that her dinner guests never felt pressured to take part in her restrictive diet, and would ask McGrady to prepare two versions of whatever was on the menu that evening.
Diana wasn’t always a paragon of healthy eating. Her struggles with bulimia throughout her twenties are well documented, but based on McGrady’s recollections, the Princess had a very comfortable relationship with food in her later years. Especially if that food happened to be bread pudding.
Eat like a princess by picking up a copy of Darren McGrady’s Eating Royally: Recipes and Remembrances from a Palace Kitchen, and tell us about your favorite Princess Diana memory in the comments section below.