Join Head Chef Mark Flanagan in the Royal Kitchen as his team prepare for The Wedding of Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle.
The Royal Kitchens at Windsor Castle have been busier than ever in the lead up to The Royal Wedding – catering for several receptions around The Royal Windsor Horse Show, as well as the meticulous planning and preparation for one of the biggest events the castle has hosted in recent years.
On the 19th of May, staff will be working in the kitchens at Windsor Castle producing the food for Prince Harry and Ms. Markle's wedding reception, which will take place in the castle grounds after the ceremony.
'All the staff are delighted to be involved on the day. We've even had old staff contacting us if we need some extra support,' says Mark, The Head Chef of The Royal Household.
The menu which will be served on Prince Harry and Ms. Markle's wedding day, has been led by the freshest produce available.
'Luckily the seasons have just fallen perfectly and that's become the main focus in the decision making of the menus,' said Mark. 'The couple have been very involved in every detail of it', he says.
His Royal Highness and Ms. Markle attended several tasting trials held in the Windsor Castle kitchen in March, sampling each of the dishes made from scratch in the castle's kitchen.
Mark said much of the produce used in the dishes, that will serve up to the 600 guests attending the reception, will be delivered from farms across counties like Kent, which is known as the 'garden' of England and Norfolk. The asparagus being prepared for the lunchtime reception at The Royal Windsor Horse Show came from Portwood Farm in Attleborough in the county. However, Mark says the produce has also been taken from Her Majesty's Estate at Windsor.
Pastry Chef Selwyn Stoby, who will be working on the day of the wedding, revealed how he prepares chocolate truffles – a favourite dessert served at receptions throughout the year at Windsor Castle.
Using piping, Chef Stoby fills each chocolate shell with a special chocolate sauce, which has been gently melted in a large mixing bowl. He then seals the truffles before dipping them in the melted chocolate filling to give each one a unique texture, before laying out to set on platters.
Chef Stoby will be assisted by Chef de Partie, Victoria Scupham and a team trained pastry chefs.
As well as the truffles, the team were busy making bite-sized Crème brûlée, biscuits with mango panna cotta topping and yellow macaroons; a bright selection, fit for the spring, to serve to guests in St. George's Hall, for the Windsor Horse show, one of the largest reception rooms of the castle.
Each recipe has been tried and tested many times. 'It's a kind of science', Chef Stoby says of baking, 'You have to know a bit about chemistry but it's also very creative, with a lot of attention to detail.'
Though the Royal chefs are used to the pressure of delivering such delicately crafted food to many guests at once – with just under a week until the wedding, anticipation for the big day is building in the Royal kitchens.
'You approach every Royal event with the same care and attention to detail', says chef Stoby. 'But you don’t get many opportunities to do a Royal Wedding in your lifetime, so this is very special.'