o Platinum Jubilee celebration can go without a royally delicious feast – but what to cook, exactly?
Here, we’ve asked some of London’s top chefs and bartenders for their suggestions, not straying too far from the tradition (if there’s ever a time to celebrate the classics, it’s now), but with enough intrigue to wow your guests (and get them coming back for seconds).
Starter: Eggs Drumkilbo
Graham Squire, The Goring, thegoring.com
It is perhaps drily telling of the luxury the Royals once so thoroughly enjoyed that a dish with lobster, crab and prawns (and, sometimes, even caviar) is still known as an eggs dish. Though said to be a favourite of the Queen Mother, it nevertheless was served at the weddings of Princess Anne and, er, Fergie and He Who Shall Not Be Named, so it’s safe to assume her Majesty has put away a few portions of it in her time. This one comes from the Goring; that the hotel is the only one in the world with a royal warrant for hospitality is a good indication of its tie to the Windsors (it’s said the Queen has hosted various Christmas lunches at the place over the years). This, from head chef Graham Squire, needs a little work but is suitably special for celebrating seven decades on the throne.
- 1 or two live large cock crabs (depending on size)
For the shellfish drumkilbo mix:
- 200g fresh-picked crab meat
- Espelette pepper, to taste
- Chopped chive and tarragon, to taste
- Grated lemon zest, to taste
- 30g crème fraiche
- 60g mayonnaise
- Lobster, trim-chopped
- Salt, to taste
For the tomato jelly:
- 2kg plum tomatoes
- 10g Maldon sea salt
- 12g sugar
- 8g white wine vinegar
- 20g agar-agar
For the brown crab mayonnaise:
- 200g brown crab
- 2 egg yolks
- 150g grapeseed oil
- 10g salt
- 3g espelette pepper
- 3g smoked paprika
- Juice of one lemon
For the brown crab palmier:
- 200g brown crab
- 80g panko breadcrumbs
- Salt, to taste
- Pinch of chilli powder
- Grated lemon zest, to taste
- Puff pastry sheet
1. Cook the cock crabs at 90C for 20 minutes. Allow them to cool at room temperature, before cracking and picking the meat. Set aside and use for the shellfish mix.
2. Combine the shellfish drumkilbo mix in a bowl. Set to one side.
3. For the tomato jelly, roast the tomatoes whole with the salt at 210C for 22 minutes until they start to pick up some dark colour on the skin. Blend and hang, squeezing out all the liquid (yields 800g-1kg tomato water). Set the water aside. Heat a small quantity of this liquid and add the agar-agar, stirring to disperse. Remove from the heat and add the remaining liquid, before letting it set in the fridge.
4. For the brown crab mayonnaise, combine and whisk all ingredients except for the oil. Then, emulsify the mixture with the oil, slowly, until thick.
5. For the brown crab palmiers, combine all the ingredients (except the puff pastry) in a stand mixer. Roll out the puff pastry, spread the brown crab mixture onto the puff sheet and roll up tightly like a Swiss roll. Wrap it in cling film and freeze. Once frozen, cut into thin discs and bake between trays at 190C for 12 minutes. Allow to cool.
6. Spoon the combined drumkilbo mix and brown crab mayonnaise into four decorative glasses. Top with the tomato jelly, and serve alongside a brown crab palmier.
Main: Coronation Chicken Salad
Kundan Singh R, The Tandoor Chop House, tandoorchophouse.com
The proper title for coronation chicken is poulet Reine Elizabeth, and it is a fitting one, given that at home — although let’s say state dinners, not supper in front of the telly — the Royal Family insist on menus written up in French. Originally devised in 1953 by Cordon Bleu chef and teacher Rosemary Hume with a hand from food writer (and, er, florist) Constance Spry, the sometimes alarmingly canary-yellow dish is a product of its times; a regal treat (chicken was then the most expensive meat) but suitably short on ingredients (rationing remained). This version from the head chef at the Tandoor Chop House team dusts off the retro favourite, giving it a little more oomph with the added spice, but keeping it fresh and light to leave room for the inevitable pudding. The Tandoor recipe is for one, so simply adapt it to however many you’ve over; it makes an excellent light main.
Serves: One (double up as necessary)
- ½ baby gem lettuce
- 1 chicken breast
- 100g mango chutney
- 30g flaked almonds
- 25g Greek yoghurt
- 100g mayonnaise
- 20ml lemon juice
- 15ml rapeseed oil
- 5g paneer
- 5g mustard seeds
- 5g turmeric
- Small bunch fresh coriander
1. Heat the rapeseed oil in a frying pan and add the mustard seeds. Once they begin to pop, add the turmeric, and continue to cook for a couple of minutes. Remove from the pan and leave to cool.
2. For the coronation sauce, mix the mustard-turmeric oil with the mayonnaise, mango chutney, lemon juice, yoghurt, and a pinch of salt and leave to one side.
3. Heat the oven to 200C. Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil into a small roasting tin and place the chicken breast on top. Rub the top of the chicken with a little olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and cook for 20-25 minutes until cooked through – check by poking a knife into the centre of each breast to make sure the juices run clear. Leave to rest for five minutes before cutting into small slices.
4. Shred some of the baby gem lettuce and combine it in a bowl with the coronation sauce and chicken.
5. To make the salad, place the rest of the baby gem leaves in a bowl, and spoon the coronation chicken mixture on top.
6. Garnish with flaked almonds, coriander, and grated paneer.
Dessert: Queen of Puddings
Jessica Préalpato, Jumeirah Carlton Tower, jumeirah.com
While its tie to Queen Elizabeth II is simply that they share a title, the recipe for this traditionally custard-y, jam-filled pud was originally put together for Queen Victoria and, decades later, was said to be a bit of a hit with Diana. This variation deviates from the traditional sort — a chestnut honey base, poached rhubarb, lemon gel, and fennel meringue topping — coming as it does from Jessica Préalpato, who might be considered food royalty of sorts; she’s regularly namechecked as the world’s best pastry chef. Préalpato has built a career on avoiding adding excess sugar to her creations, so this one is all about the natural flavour of the fruit; it means a somewhat dated dish is suddenly that much more palatable; better still, asking for seconds won’t bring on the guilt (or, later, a sugar crash).
- 285g rhubarb
- 20g fresh ginger, minced
- 90g fresh fennel, chopped
- 130g sugar
- 150g extracted rhubarb juice
- 50g egg whites
- 50g icing sugar
- 100g lemon juice
- 1g agar-agar
- 38g milk
- 28g liquid cream
- 6g chestnut honey
- ½ whole egg
- 14g dried and burnt stale bread (put bread slices in oven for 10 minutes at 210C)
- 0.6g fennel seeds
- Peel of half a lemon
1. For the rhubarb and ginger marmalade, finely chop and cook the rhubarb, fresh fennel, and fresh ginger. Simmer until the marmalade has reduced by around two-thirds.
2. For the poached rhubarb, bring the extracted rhubarb juice and 55g of sugar to a boil. Cut the rhubarb into sections and put them in the boiling syrup. Strain and leave the rhubarb to infuse in the liquid for 10 minutes. Check the rhubarb has cooked and softened with the tip of a knife, leave it to cool, and then remove and cut into 1cm pieces.
3. For the fennel meringue, beat the egg whites until stiff (be careful not to overcrowd the bowl). Mix in 50g of the sugar in batches, and then add the icing sugar, sifted through a strainer. Finely place the mixture on a greased silpat and add the fennel seeds on top. Bake at 90C for two hours.
4. For the lemon gel, combine the lemon juice and agar-agar, and bring it to the boil. Let it cool before blending with a stick blender.
5. For the chestnut honey pudding condiment, combine 23g of milk, 23g of liquid cream and the fennel seeds, and heat through. Strain, and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Whisk the eggs and honey in a separate bowl, and then whisk the hot mixture over it. Leave to cool, add the slices of bread, and then the zest. Put it in a dish and cook for 10 minutes at 180C. Leave to cool again.
6. Take the cooked, cooled condiment and put it in the base of a bowl. Add 15g of milk, 5g of liquid cream and 2g of chestnut honey, and mix with a whisk.
7. To assemble, place the pudding condiment into a serving bowl. Add the marmalade on top, then the poached rhubarb and the lemon gel. Finally, place the meringue on top and burn it with a blowtorch.
Anna Sebastian, The Savoy, thesavoylondon.com
While Dubonnet stirred up with gin is more closely tied to the Queen Mum — and while Margaret was the drinker of the family (Famous Grouse or nothing, served everywhere from swimming pools to state banquets) — the Queen is likewise said to be a fan. Dubonnet is pretty particular stuff, a rich, herby, fortified wine-based thing that tastes something like sweet vermouth with added sugar (or maybe a slug of Campari). This royal twist on the negroni, christened by its creator Anna Sebastian — with experience working at The Savoy and Artesian at the Langham — as a Majest-roni for the jubilee, is nicely nutty and definitely one to raise a toast with (just not too many toasts, it’s strong stuff).
- 30ml Seventy One gin
- 20ml Dubonnet
- 20ml Tio Pepe sherry
- 10ml Cassis liqueur
- Edible gold, to garnish
1. Stir over ice and pour over a large ice block in a rocks glass.
2. Garnish with edible gold.