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A former chef shares dos and don'ts when cooking for the Queen.

April 13, 2016

If, by chance, you meet a chef and he tells you that he's cooked a certain dish for the Queen of England, there's one easy way to tell if he's lying: Look for garlic in the recipe. If it's there, he's a liar. If it's not, he may be telling the truth.

This and other insights come from John Higgins, a former chef at Buckingham Palace who cooked for the Queen and—on the eve of her 90th birthday this April 21st—has been dishing out tales of ridiculous royal restrictions.

Other things that might get you in trouble: serving lumpy oatmeal and hastily preparing meals for her corgis. Higgins once opted to grind rabbit meat for the dogs, rather than dice it, and he was told to start over.

So what does the lady like? Well, first there's chocolate. She's a chocolate mousse freak. "Trust me the plates were clean when they came back from the royal family," says Higgins. And then there are the mangoes. The Queen is said to be so fond of this fruit that she knows, at any given time, exactly how many are in the fridge at Buckingham Palace. If that sounds good to you too, consider this recipe for Coronation Chicken Salad with Mangoes and Almonds, which was invented to honor the crowning of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, and served at her coronation luncheon.

[h/t National Post]