Damian Clarkson, a former Royal caterer, food designer, and high-profile events planner, has predicted what guests will be eating at HRH King Charles III Coronation banquet on May 6.
Damian, who has catered for Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, King Charles, and Princess Diana, has more than two decades of event catering experience working for major names, including The Admirable Crichton and Mosimanns, before starting his own company The London Kitchen.
"I suspect King Charles will keep it simple," explained Damian, who has delivered spectacular dinners at Windsor Castle, Highgrove House, and St James's Palace.
"I predict that King Charles' coronation dinner will include lamb, a seasonal favourite and the perfect produce given the time of year. Plus, I think the menu will feature Highgrove honey and a cheeseboard full of classic cheeses that have been championed by Charles, such as Lancashire cheese from Dewlay Cheesemakers, Stilton, the king of English cheeses, and Cornish brie from the Duchy of Cornwall estate."
Damian successfully predicted what the Prince and Princess of Wales (William and Kate) ate for their wedding breakfast when they married in 2011; salmon with crab, saddle of lamb, and a trio of puddings, including trifle. According to Damian, who founded The London Kitchen in 2009, the week leading up to the coronation will be a hive of activity.
From his experience of catering for four to five Royal events per week, including Prince Philip's 80th birthday celebrations at Guildhall, London, and King Charles' 50th birthday party for 250 people at Windsor Castle, he believes there will be a week of receptions, meaning a huge array of food that must consider diplomatic and other sensitivities. For example, meat cannot be served on skewers as these could be used as weapons.
Plus, an enormous amount of people will be involved nationwide to ensure the produce needed is available for a once-in-a-lifetime event and to make sure that the Coronation celebrations reflect King Charles' passions.
Damian added: "King Charles loves regionality. He celebrates regional food and seasonal produce and his support for organic farming and underutilised cuts of meat has captured the public's attention."
King Charles reportedly makes his detective carry a bottle of his favourite drink, a lemon refresher. But it's not the only unusual item that King Charles carries with him.
"Whenever Charles attends an event, there will be a silver notebook placed on the table so he can make notes and a small salt cellar, containing his own special mix of salt, mostly celery salt. All his food must taste the same because he smoothers it with his seasoning mix," said Damian, who counts Michael McIntyre, David Walliams, Tom Ford, Sephora, and Aston Martin as clients.
Damian, who describes the Royal Family as courteous, polite, and disarming, concluded: "The Royal Family appreciate provenance but to them, a large dinner is just another 'duty'. To guests, it's an honour and a massive social highlight but to them, dinner is part of the day job."
Long regarded as an industry leader- soaking up detail and having delivered some ground-breaking and noted events including delivery of London Fashion Week and BMWs Rolls Royce UK Centenary celebrations in venues from Old Billingsgate to Windsor Castle and everywhere in between - Damian Clarkson has appeared on ITN News and Fox News as well as mentoring teams on The Apprentice and presented an events Masterclass for The Guardian.
He has also mentored hospitality students at Oxford Brookes University for almost a decade and has also shared his experience offering consultancy on venue design and event expertise to several operators.