“You can mention politicians or presidents, but the Queen was always the most important.”

The Staff Canteen

Graham Tinsley MBE, Executive Head Chef at Carden Park Hotel and Spa, met Queen Elizabeth II eight times and cooked for her on five separate occasions with the Culinary Team Wales.

With the Culinary Team Wales (CAW), which he has captained and managed over the years, he cooked for the Queen at three openings of Senedd Cymru in Cardiff, at a heads of state banquet at Cardiff Castle and at lunch for the UK and Qatar Royal families at Milford Haven.

Discussing his experiences cooking for the former head of state, Graham said: “People always ask me if I have cooked for anyone famous, expecting me to say a rock or film star, when I say the Queen, the conversation stops because there was nobody in the world more famous than she was.”

“You can mention politicians or American presidents, but the Queen was always the most important. Her passing is a huge loss to the world,” he explained.

Reflecting on the occasions he and Culinary Team Wales had cooked for the Queen, he said: “We always met her afterwards and she made us feel that she was genuinely interested in what we had to say, how the menus were put together and where we were from.”

Describing the time he received his MBE, Graham recalled: “When I received my MBE, she said ‘You have cooked for me before’. She had a great memory.



As for the new sovereign, King Charles III, Graham believes the monarchy is in safe hands.

During his time as Prince of Wales, King Charles III was a supportive patron of the CAW and sent a video message of support when Wales submitted a bid to host the Worldchefs Congress in 2024.

“He has been waiting to become King for such a long time and I think he will bring a different style to the monarchy,” added Graham.

Talking about the partnership between the CAW and the King, Graham explained: “He has been a very good friend to the Culinary Association of Wales and, like his late mother, has always been interested in where the food we cook and the chefs come from.”

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 19th September 2022

“You can mention politicians or presidents, but the Queen was always the most important.”