I made King Charles’ £5 wild mushroom risotto with no garlic – video

King Charles: Express recreate wild mushroom risotto

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King Charles, 74, loves wild mushroom risotto, according to the former royal chef Darren McGrady. Darren formerly cooked for the late Queen and Princess Diana, and posted his royal recipe for wild mushroom risotto on his YouTube channel. However, the recipe includes no garlic, which would normally be a key ingredient in the dish.

When asked by MasterChef Australia in 2018 about foods you won’t find at royal events, Queen Camilla said: “I hate to say this, but garlic. Garlic is a no-no.”

Graham Tinsley MBE, the former manager of the Welsh Culinary Team, also confirmed one of the King’s famous dining quirks. He explained: “[King] Charles doesn’t like chocolate, he doesn’t like coffee, nor does he like garlic. So we do have to consider these things when we’re creating a menu for him.”

Royal recipe for wild mushroom risotto


I managed to find dried shiitake mushrooms from Tesco for just £3, which were perfect for the dish.

For the risotto rice, I purchased Italian Arborio Risotto Rice from Sainsbury’s for just £1.80.

The chicken stock cubes cost merely 90p from Sainsbury’s and the rest of the ingredients, which were Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, I already had in my kitchen.

Therefore, this dish cost a total of £5.70 to make, which made it really affordable.


To make this “gorgeous Italian rice dish” as Darren calls it, the first step is to hydrate your dried mushrooms in some boiling water for 30 to 40 minutes.

According to Darren: “That gorgeous brown liquid from the mushrooms comes out and it’s just beautiful and will give the most amazing flavour to [the] risotto”.

Darren noted: “I remember going wild mushroom foraging with the Prince of Wales and Antonio Carlucci at Balmoral Castle and we came back with so many, and we would actually sautee them off and freeze them.”

Next, cook the rice in a pan with some olive oil for a few minutes. Then add the chicken broth to cover it, and allow that to simmer for a while. The dish takes roughly about 20 minutes to make in total.

Darren explained: “You’ve got to be patient with this. As I said it takes about 20 minutes and so you keep giving it a stir and the liquid starts reducing and evaporating and the rice starts opening up.

“We can’t add all the liquid at once because we want to try and keep a syrupy texture around the rice and the liquid but we also want a nuttiness to the risotto, so be patient.”

After 10 minutes of cooking, Darren suggests adding in the liquid from the mushrooms, and five minutes after this add the mushrooms themselves.

Once it’s all cooked, the royal chef advises seasoning it with cheese, salt and pepper.

Overall, the dish was extremely easy to make, with just a few simple steps and really affordable and accessible ingredients.

However, the dish would have been tastier with some garlic, but as this was King Charles’ recipe, it makes sense why the royal chef did not opt to include the tasty ingredient in this dish.

For a light vegetarian starter or side dish, or even a main course, it is an easy recipe to make during the week.

The rice and mushrooms themselves are very filling, meaning that royal fans do not have to cook extra food to compensate.

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