Queen Elizabeth's Former Chef Just Opened a Fish and Chips Truck

If it was good enough for the Queen it's good enough for us.

Winston's British Fish N Chips

Missy Font

If you thought the only way you could eat a meal prepared by a chef who worked for the British Royal Family was to become King Charles III’s unlikeliest BFF, then you’d be surprisingly wrong.

Darren McGrady, a former chef at Buckingham Palace and later a private chef for Princess Diana, is the proud co-founder of a food truck that specializes in fish and chips.

McGrady opened Winston’s British Fish N Chips with Timothy Johnson, and their first location is now serving crispy battered cod and thick-cut chips in Vancouver, Washington. According to The Columbian, Johnson reached out to McGrady after seeing the chef’s popular YouTube channel — and presumably watching the video where he shares his recipe for fish and chips. (McGrady noted that the iconic combo was “on the [lunch] menu” every Friday at Buckingham Palace.) 

“As a young boy, I remember going with my granddad to the fish and chip shop,” McGrady told Eater Portland. “And he made me carry a big handful of tied-up newspapers. Because back then, fish and chips were served in newspapers, and you would get extra chips or a piece of fish or something like that in return for bringing newspapers [to the shop].”

According to the Winston’s Fish and Chips Instagram account, some of the current menu offerings include a Fish and Chips Supper that comes with traditional accompaniments like mushy peas, tartar sauce, and “chip shop” curry sauce; a Winston’s Kings Feast Sampler which adds two chicken wings and a bowl of fish chowder to the basic supper; six “Kings Wings” that are well-slathered in “Sweet Fire London Sauce”; and an eight-ounce bowl of smoked fish chowder that was made using a recipe dating back to the reign of Queen Victoria. 

McGrady additionally told Eater Portland that his goal was to open “the Harrods of food trucks.” And since the food truck is currently only serving walk-up customers, he also needed to create a recipe that would keep the fish and chips hot and crispy for at least 40 minutes, “from being passed through the window to people taking them home or to the office.”

The esteemed chef and cookbook author started his career at London’s swanky five-star Savoy Hotel before being hired to cook for the late Queen Elizabeth II. In an interview with Haaretz, McGrady said that one of his first tasks at Buckingham Palace was “wash and peel the carrots that the queen would take to feed her horse at Balmoral Castle in Scotland,” 

The Vancouver spot is just the first of what McGrady and Johnson hope will be 10 locations. On May 6, McGrady will be in Dallas to open the second Winston’s British Fish N Chips truck. That’s a thematically appropriate Saturday, as it’s also the day of King Charles III’s coronation. 

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