James Martin reveals moment he got tour of Queen’s ‘fancy’ Buckingham Palace Kitchen
James Martin, 45, celebrity chef is best known for his television work presenting several cookery shows throughout his career. In an exclusive interview with Prima, the Yorkshireman said that a moment to remember was lunch with Her Majesty the Queen.
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Martin’s family were farmers on an estate in Yorkshire called Castle Howard and helping his Mum in the kitchen started his interest in cuisine.
At the age of 22, he set up Hotel Du Vin in Winchester as head chef and since then he has opened several restaurants in his home county.
But it was a private meeting with the Queen that became the highlight of his career so far. James said: “I’ve had some incredibly surreal moments in my career – but being invited to lunch with the Queen at Buckingham Palace tops them all.
“We were served duck, fresh strawberries and the most incredible pineapple dessert. I actually still have the menu framed in my toilet at home! I couldn’t resist asking for a little tour of the kitchen while I was there.
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So, what is the kitchen in which food prepared for the Queen like? James revealed: “I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it’s just like a big commercial kitchen, with a very impressive lineup of cooks. And I have to say, the pans are pretty fancy!”
It turns out that the Queen is a huge of James, she even asked him to stay for a chat after their meal together.
He said: “Before I got up to leave that day, I got a tap on the shoulder from the Queen’s equerry. He said, ‘The Queen feels she hasn’t had a full discussion with you over lunch, she’d like to have a chat with you in the drawing room’.”
The conversation soon turned to the Monarch’s adorable corgis where they shared their love of pooches.
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“I could hardly believe it. She sat there in front of me just like my gran would do – and she knew absolutely everything about me! She’s the most amazing woman I’ve ever met.”
The chef’s impressive career has included three restaurants, one Michelin star, a ten year spell hosting Saturday Kitchen and he also finished fourth place on Strictly Come Dancing in 2005.
Speaking to Christine Lampard on ITV’s Lorraine, James said: “The first person I called was my mother and I said, ‘You’re never going to believe what’s happened’. It was just an amazing experience.”
The TV chef admitted he was surprised to be invited to an intimate meal with him and five others, including The Queen and Prince Philip.
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Whilst James Martin can look back on a hugely successful career, he admits that not taking the chance to settle down and have children will remain one of his biggest regrets.
The celebrity chef has been hosting lifestyle show Saturday Morning with James Martin from his home since 2017, launching almost a year after he stopped hosting Saturday Kitchen.
But James also stated that he holds no regrets about leaving the show, when he made his first appearance ten years ago.
Reflecting on his life, the chef keeps fit and healthy by walking his dogs, Cooper and Ralph.
He slimmed down during his career and most recently showcased a 1st 7lb weight loss in May 2018.
Martin admitted that he has cut back on butter and foods high in fat to help him get into shape.
However, he has said that he will use lots of fatty foods when cooking on his show to get tasty results.
While James says his career has at time’s been stressful and he is always so busy, it has provided him with opportunities and experiences that will stay with him for the rest of his life.
Read the full interview in Prima’s May issue, on sale 3rd April.
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