It's not everyday that a chef gets to cook for royalty, but for Kelowna-based chef Bernard Casavant, that honour has been bestowed upon on twice in his career.
This week, the Chairman of the Okanagan Chef’s Association and Culinary Manager at Okanagan College whipped up some dishes for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during their tour of Mission Hill Winery on Tuesday. The experience was made extra special for the culinary master given that he had the pleasure of cooking for Prince William's mother Princess Diana in 1986.
"My memory of Princess Diana is very clear," Chef Casavant told Hello! Canada. "She had such a presence and an aura surrounding her. Totally true to any interview with her. [She was a] genuine, deeply caring, positive character," he added.
Prince William and Kate left an equally positive impression on Chef Casavant. "If I could describe them in one word it would be genuine," he told us, adding, "They’re a young couple who know their states and know what they have to do, but they also want their own personalities."
He notes that he was particularly impressed by the couple's laid-back style. "I don’t think you would have seen Prince Charles out in the general public without a tie. Prince William had an open-necked shirt. The duchess did not have any poofy hat on or anything like that. They were just their own individuals."
While at the winery, the royal couple tasted a variety of dishes, many prepared by local ingredients. According to Chef Casavant, both William and Kate were very interested in learning more about the ingredients and were particularly intrigued by his vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free recipes. "They were really impressed that we thought of the guests. Even though they’re not vegan, we thought of the guests that would be."