Her Royal Heinzness! Camilla reveals she has ‘never followed a recipe in her life’ and prefers beans on toast to posh nosh – in You magazine interview with her food critic son Tom Parker Bowles
- She has a friendly competition with her husband over the fruit and veg they grow
- Camilla says she learned to cook by watching her mother, Rosalind Shand
- In the Swinging Sixties the Duchess often visited London’s best restaurants
The Duchess of Cornwall could secure the top table at any of the world’s finest restaurants, but she today reveals her fondness for the simpler fare of fish and chips, beans on toast – and a childhood obsession with ready-meal frozen pies.
In an interview with her son Tom Parker Bowles in You magazine, she admits her kitchen skills are limited and reveals she has a friendly competition with her husband, Prince Charles, over the fruit and vegetables that they grow.
Describing her culinary style as ‘nothing too mucked about, or fussy or fiddly’, Camilla says she learnt to cook by watching her mother, Rosalind Shand, who made food the ‘heart’ of family life.
The Duchess of Cornwall could secure the top table at any of the world’s finest restaurants, but she today reveals her fondness for the simpler fare of fish and chips
‘One of my earliest memories is podding those peas and beans with my mother, an accomplished cook,’ she says. ‘I learnt from my mother. I’ve never followed a recipe in my life. ‘
‘On Friday nights, we were allowed to choose our dinner,’ she recalls. ‘I always went for frozen chicken pie, much to my mother’s despair.’
In the Swinging Sixties the Duchess often visited London’s best restaurants, such as Alexander’s on the King’s Road. ‘I remember how excited I was when I first ate prawn and avocado at Alexander’s … The combination seemed impossibly exotic,’ Camilla says.
The Shand family spent summers on the island of Ischia, near Naples, which the Duchess says ‘instilled a lifelong passion for Italian food’. Yet she takes little credit for the refined palate of her restaurant critic son, describing herself as ‘never the most adventurous of cooks’.
She reveals she has a friendly competition with her husband, Prince Charles, over the fruit and vegetables that they grow
The Duchess specialized in simple, healthy food when Tom and his sister Laura were growing up in Wiltshire. ‘My cooking is about good ingredients. Nothing too mucked about, or fussy or fiddly. Lots of tarragon chicken, scrambled eggs and bacon, and chicken casserole. There were always roasts on Sunday.
‘The children ate a lot of cheese on toast. We had a kitchen garden … so we ate seasonally before it became en vogue. That’s just what you did in the country back then. ‘
She recently teamed up with Mary Berry to judge the winning recipe for a pudding to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, but says she could ‘fill a book with all my cooking disasters. I’m not a natural baker, to say the least.
‘As for baked potatoes … many a poor, incinerated specimen has been found in the bottom of the Aga, put in, then forgotten about.’
The Duchess of Cornwall, 74, (pictured, left) joined Dame Mary Berry, 87, (pictured, right) to film a segment announcing the winner of the Platinum pudding contest. The result will be announced on May 12th
Camilla, who will feature on the cover of Vogue magazine to mark her 75th birthday in July, as The Mail on Sunday revealed last week, adds: ‘I do still cook for myself when at home. Simple things like fish en papillote with butter and herbs. And vegetables from the garden.
‘I love the vegetable garden. I’m very proud of my white peaches. My husband is an excellent gardener, and we’re quite competitive about our fruit and vegetables. ‘
However, she admits: ‘One of my favorite foods is baked beans on toast. Always Heinz.
‘And freshly cooked fish and chips, wrapped in paper.
‘That smell. You can’t beat proper fish and chips. ‘