Having entered the royal kitchens with the task of peeling carrots for Queen Elizabeth's horses, Darren Mc Grady then prepared fish and chips every Friday, for over 15 years. Today he serves it from his Vancouver food truck, the first in a series that aims to take British street food around the United States.
Fish on Friday, even for Anglicans and even at Buckingham Palace. Not just any fish, however, but the popular fish and chips, unfailing in the royal lunch menu when the calendar requires you to eat lean. It was taken care of for more than 15 years by Darren Mc Grady, who, after training at the Savoy in London, held office for Queen Elizabeth and was Lady Diana's private chef. Never ceasing to turn over a school of minnows in the steaming fryer, although Mc Grady’s first task had been peeling carrots for the horses at Balmoral Castle.
The news is that Mc Grady will be letting everyone taste his specialty, at least in Vancouver, Washington. Here, together with his partner Timothy Johnson, he has launched his food truck dedicated to the quintessential British street food: battered and fried cod, accompanied by a golden pile of thick-cut chips. It's called Winston's British Fish N Chips and it’s already selling out, so much so that a second opening in Dallas is planned for May 6, Charles III's coronation day. But the buck shouldn't stop before the round number of ten.
It was Johnson who came forward to Mc Grady, after witnessing his frying performances on Youtube. “As a young boy, I remember going with my granddad to the fish and chip shop”, the latter recalls. "He made me carry a big handful of tied-up newspaper, because back then, that’s how fish and chips were served, and you would get extra chips or a piece of fish or something like that in return for bringing newspapers”. This explains the printed service paper in use.
The accompaniments include mashed peas, tartar and curry sauce, but there are also different versions of chicken wings and a couple of typical chowders, including smoked chowder, made with a recipe which dates back to the days of Queen Victoria. The best way to end such a meal is bread-and-butter pudding, favored by Lady Diana. Since there are no tables, the fried food must stay crispy and hot for 40 minutes, just enough time to pick it up and take it home or to your office. Mc Grady’s dream is to create the "Harrods of food trucks."
Source: Food & Wine
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Photo: @Darren Mc Grady