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This Buckingham Palace Chef Is Bringing a Taste of Royal Life To Your Doorstep


As an avid foodie, I’m fascinated by personal chefs. These professional cooks are able to tailor their culinary style to their clients’ taste buds, whipping up restaurant-worthy dishes on a whim. I’ve always wondered, in particular, what the royal family eats on a typical day, with multiple chefs on hand to prepare their meals and snacks (the ultimate dream!). Now we can all get a taste of the royal life with CrateChef box, a selection of pantry staples curated by former Buckingham Palace chef Darren McGrady. I recently had the chance to try one out for myself — and here’s what I thought.

Chef Darren McGrady’s CrateChef Box

If you follow the royal family, chef McGrady’s name is a mainstay. He’s known for sharing tips on recreating the casual dinners he served at the palace — things like stuffed peppers, mac and cheese, and juicy burgers. On his YouTube channel, he reflects on his experience making meals for royals including Queen Elizabeth, Princess Diana, Prince WIlliam, and Prince Harry.

Recently, McGrady partnered with CrateChef on a curated box of his pantry staples, we we commoners can eat like the royals as well. Founded in 2016 by Rebekah Newman, CrateChef aims to give home cooks the opportunity to stock up on the best ingredients to make cooking a breeze. They do this by collaborating with different chefs every other month like McGrady, former Top Chef contestant chef Kenny Gilbert, and food blogger Samah Dada. After the chef is featured for a full two month period, their box is still available to purchase on CrateChef’s website until supplies last.

Subscription and gift boxes can be purchased one, three, or six at a time. Each box arrives every two months, and you can choose which chef’s box you would like to receive when you sign up. Once it’s delivered, you’ll find plenty of tasty ingredients to start cooking. Chef McGrady’s box includes the following pantry items:

  • Chef Darren McGrady’s “The Buckingham Seasoning” (Most of the royal family enjoyed this seasoning blend when he was a personal chef at the Palace)
  • Mercer Board Buddyz
  • OXO Silicone Pastry Brush
  • Tiptree Black Currant Preserve (It’s similar to a specialty jam made for the Queen herself)
  • Devon Cream Company English Clotted Cream
  • Dried Wild Porcini Mushrooms
  • Camargue Red Rice
  • More Than Gourmet Classic French Demi-Glace
Cratechef box
Courtesy of CrateChef

It also comes with recipe cards for two of his signature dishes: royal tea scones, and Gaelic chicken steaks with Camargue red rice. When I received chef McGrady’s box, I decided to bake the scones for an afternoon treat. The instructions were easy to follow, and called for basic pantry staples like flour, sugar, and butter. Before I knew it, I had a batch of baked scones to serve with the clotted cream and black currant preserve from the box.

Cratechef scones
Alexandria Brooks

The scones were tender and slightly crumbly — similar to a biscuit — and they perfectly complemented the buttery-tasting clotted cream and sweet-yet-fruity preserves. Overall, I really enjoyed these scones, and am excited to try my hand at the Gaelic chicken steaks.

You can purchase this CrateChef box by Darren McGrady on, along with other chef-curated boxes, which are available year round. It’s an easy way to enjoy meals fit for a queen, in the comfort of your own home!

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