With another royal baby on the way, Kate is going to have so much fun as a mother of three! Three little ones running around is challenging in many ways, especially during mealtimes. We chatted with former royal chef, Carolyn Robb, to learn more about how to feed little royal princes and princesses!
“With William and Kate being so family oriented, yet also leading such busy lives it will be important to them to eat together as a family whenever they can – just as Prince Charles, Princess Diana, Prince William and Prince Harry did.
As a busy mother to two little girls myself I am always thinking about how to serve food that won’t be too dull for adults who love their food and at the same time wont be too ‘challenging’ for younger palates!
Carolyn Robb with her two daughters, Lucy and Mandy
Making food look as appealing as possible is always a great start – my girls love plenty of colour on the plate and they challenge me to find interesting ways to present the food – in a pattern or face or flower or even a figure. Serving food on nice big plates gives you plenty of scope to do this. One favourite is to create a small ‘stick-man’ from chipolata sausages (using cocktail sticks to pin him together!) Lean him up against a scoop of mash or sweet potato mash – he can be sitting on ‘grass’ – made from beans or peas or chopped brocolli, served with some chunky tomato sauce means you have lots of lovely colours too.
From a young age it is good to make sure that food has wonderful full bodied flavours and using very little salt you can ‘season’ food in so many ways. Freshly ground black pepper or a pinch of chilli powder here and there (especially some of the more specialist chillis like the ‘ancho’ chilli which just adds wonderful warmth to a dish rather than setting a small mouth on fire!) Ginger and citrus also add lovely high notes to food and this can be done very subtly. Garlic (cooked rather than raw) also adds wonderful subtle depth of flavour to food. Nutmeg is great in mash and beef casseroles. I always avoid adding stock cubes to food as the majority of them are so salty that this over-powers the flavours of the food itself.
Pesto is one of my great stand-bys and it a great way to get fresh green leaves of many varieties into the diet of small people; they especially enjoy eating it if they have had a hand in making it. You can make it in a matte of minutes using a food processor and it is a million times better than anything that comes pre-made in a jar! You can use basil, rocket, spinach, broccoli, parsley, mint, lightly cooked asparagus or sugarsnaps. Combine the greens with olive oil, Parmesan or pecorino, garlic and pine nuts, walnuts or cashews and some freshly ground black pepper. I use this as a ‘sauce’ with many dishes; pasta, risotto, jacket potatoes, roast chicken, fish and salads too.”
For more tips for royally-inspired dining, you can also check out Carolyn’s book on Amazon. The book is a beautiful compilation of stunning recipes gathered from far and wide on an incredible culinary journey. It is one that has covered three continents over several decades and has taken in many a royal palace along the way. Carolyn Robb, former personal chef to TRH The Prince and Princess of Wales, Prince William and Prince Harry, presents the food that she loves to serve to her family and friends; food that is fit for a king, yet is accessible to us all.