Royal Fest Digest

By Chefadoo’s Jen Hankin

All eyes are pointed at the newest royal, Prince William & Kate’s son, His Royal Highness Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge. We’re already obsessed with the future King of England!


With this royal bundle of joy, it got me thinking about what foods are typically found at a Royal Fest. Celebratory banquets and feasts have always been part of royal life, but what was on the menu?

If past royal delicacies are anything to go by then pretty much anything, including seagull, marigolds or peacock – with the skin and feathers put back on after cooking of course. Dive into each Royal throughout history to see what the Royal Fest entailed:

queen victoriaQueen Victoria 1837-1901

During Queen Victoria’s reign, you had to come hungry to her celebrations as there were four to six courses, with seven to nine dishes in each! For big occasions, dishes often included cod with oyster sauce, ballotines of duck in Cumberland sauce and roast lamb. There would be a dessert course, with dishes like chocolate profiteroles. As if that wasn’t enough, a buffet of hot and cold meats was also kept on a sideboard during the meal, just in case you got hungry between courses.

Charles II 1660-1685Charles II 1660-1685

For Charles II dining was extremely important, it was one of the things that defined him as a king. There were not courses as we know them, more stages of service. Each could involve hundreds of plates. At one banquet in 1671, guests were served 145 dishes alone during the first course, says Kathryn Jones, curator at the Royal Collection and author of For the Royal Table: Dining at the Palace. By his reign a dessert course had developed. Charles loved fruit and was one of the first people in the country to eat a pineapple. Also the first recorded mention of ice cream is on a banquet menu for Charles II.

henry_viiiHenry VIII 1509-1547

Food in the Tudor era was very exciting, say historians. Big feasts could include venison, swan, peacock, heron, porpoise and seagull. While a lot of meat was served, there were also vegetables. Whatever could be grown was served, including cabbage, peas and lettuce. Flowers were also eaten, such as marigolds. They were used in salads and as a garnish. Sweet dishes were served throughout the meal, not at end. Fruit and nuts were eaten at the end.

Edward IVEdward IV 1461-1470 and 1471-1483

Royal banquets got a lot more elaborate under Edward IV and the whole notion of etiquette behavior more complex, says Chris Woolgar, professor of history and archival studies at Southampton University. A very important servant was the carver, who would cut the King’s meat at the top table. Guests would have their meat carved in the kitchen and brought up to them. The finest meats and fish. Sweet dishes were served with meat and fish, not separately.

royal fest

Modern State Banquets

  • Takes two days to lay the 175ft-long dining table at Buckingham Palace
  • Each place setting measures 45cm and a rod is used to achieve the exact alignment of chair and table
  • 1,104 glasses are used, six for each guest
  • George IV’s 4,000-piece Grand Service is used
  • Takes eight people three weeks to clean the service
  • 170 linen napkins, with the Queen’s monogram, are folded by one man in the shape of a Dutch bonnet

Broccoli: One Food, 5 Ways!

By Chefadoo’s Jen Hankin

Vegetables don’t have to be boring, they can actually be fun and exciting — if you know how to prepare them! We have 5 fun ways to cook broccoli in this week’s Chefadoo blog.


Broccoli is one of the most healthful vegetables out. Long known as a source of fiber, folate, and vitamins A and C, broccoli’s also loaded with sulforaphane, an antioxidant shown to reduce the risk of some cancers. But what really makes these edible flowers (the florets are the flowering heads of the plant) exceptional is how appealing they are to all types of eaters —including kids! That’s a quality that truly stands the test of time.

Nutritional Profile
1/2 cup cooked broccoli contains:

  • 27 calories
  • 51 mg vitamin C
  • 110 mcg vitamin K
  • 1,207 IU vitamin A
  • 84 mcg folate
  • 3 g fiber


  1. Balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, minced garlic, and olive oil are all it takes to make your roasted broccoli extraordinary. Make a batch early in the week and enjoy this healthy vegetable all week long
    • Broccoli, chopped – 1½ lbs.
    • Garlic, minced – 4 cloves
    • Balsamic vinegar – 1½ tbs.
    • Brown sugar – 2 tsp.
    • Olive oil – 2 tbs.
    1. Broccoli / Garlic – Prepare as directed
    2. Whisk together remaining ingredients
    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
    2. Spread out onto a sheet pan and toss with vinaigrette and plenty of salt and pepper
    3. Roast for 25 minutes, giving the pan a shake midway through


  2. Yield: 8-10


    • 8-10 cups of fresh broccoli cut into bite sized pieces
    • 1/2 red onion, cut into thin bite sized slices
    • 1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
    • 3/4 cup raisins or craisins (see Note)
    • 3/4 cup sliced almonds
    • 1 cup mayonnaise
    • 1/2 cup white sugar
    • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    • salt and pepper


  • Combine broccoli with the red onion, bacon, raisins, and almonds in a large bowl.
  • To prepare the dressing, mix the mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar together until smooth. Stir into the salad.
  • Let salad chill for about 3 hours. It may not seem like enough dressing but after it chills the dressing marinates and is plenty. This also allows the flavors to meld.
  • Season with salt and pepper and serve.


You can also use halved grapes instead of raisins.


3. Quick-Braised Broccoli with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

Serves 6

Prep Time: 30 minutes or fewer

Sautéing the broccoli before steaming it helps caramelize its natural sugars and gives it a fuller, richer flavor.
  • 2 Tbs. pine nuts
  • 1 ½ Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 2 large heads broccoli (1 lb.), cut into small florets
  • ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese (2 oz.)
  • ¼ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and sliced
  • 2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar

1. Toast pine nuts in dry skillet over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to large bowl.

2. Heat oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add broccoli, and cook 2 minutes, or until florets are evenly coated with oil and beginning to soften and brown, stirring constantly. Carefully add 1/3 cup water; cover tightly with lid. Steam broccoli 4 minutes, or until water has evaporated and broccoli is tender.

3. Transfer broccoli to bowl with toasted pine nuts, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Sprinkle goat cheese over broccoli, and stir in sun-dried tomatoes. Drizzle vinegar over top, and serve warm.


4. Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli

Serving: 6

Prep Time: 35 mins.

Ingredients4 to 5 pounds broccoli
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
Good olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves (about 12 leaves)DirectionsPreheat the oven to 425 degrees F.Cut the broccoli florets from the thick stalks, leaving an inch or two of stalk attached to the florets, discarding the rest of the stalks. Cut the larger pieces through the base of the head with a small knife, pulling the florets apart. You should have about 8 cups of florets. Place the broccoli florets on a sheet pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Toss the garlic on the broccoli and drizzle with 5 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned.Remove the broccoli from the oven and immediately toss with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, pine nuts, Parmesan, and basil. Serve hot.

Serves 6Prep Time: 30 minutes or fewer

Paired with a two-cheese white sauce, broccoli makes a wonderful pizza topping. The secret to a crisp crust is preheating the baking stone or sheet. If you like extra-crispy pizza, prebake the dough 3 to 4 minutes before adding toppings.
  • 2 Tbs. nonhydrogenated margarine or butter, divided
  • 6 oz. mushrooms, sliced (2 cups)
  • 8 oz. broccoli florets (3 cups)
  • 1 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella, divided
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan, divided
  • 1 13.8-oz. pkg. refrigerated pizza dough

1. Place pizza stone or baking sheet in center of oven, and heat to 425°F.

2. Melt 1 1/2 tsp. margarine in skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, and cook 4 to 7 minutes, or until beginning to brown, stirring frequently. Add broccoli and 1/3 cup water. Cover tightly, and steam broccoli in skillet 3 to 4 minutes, or until tender.

3. Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 1/2 Tbs. margarine in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour, and cook 2 minutes, or until pale golden, stirring constantly. Stir in milk, garlic, and salt. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until mixture thickens and begins to boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in 1/4 cup mozzarella and 2 Tbs. Parmesan until sauce is smooth and cheese is melted.

4. Shape pizza dough according to package directions. Remove pizza stone from oven, and place dough on hot stone.

5. Spread white sauce over dough to within 1/2 inch of edge, and top with broccoli mixture. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella and Parmesan over top. Return to oven, and bake 18 to 20 minutes, or until edges of pizza are golden and center is hot and bubbly. Cool slightly before slicing and serving.