How the Palace Kitchen Is Prepping for the Royal Wedding

03/28/2011 at 07:05 PM EDT

Prince William, Kate Middleton Wedding - What the Guests Will Eat
Royal Chef Mark Flanagan (right)
Nick Ansell/PA/Abaca
Queen Elizabeth's head chef may be as eager for the royal wedding day to arrive as Prince William and Kate Middleton themselves.

Mark Flanagan says he and his 21-strong team at Buckingham Palace are "excited" about treating the 600 guests to canapés made from the best of British produce.

He's keeping mum on the full menu for April 29, but the selection of canapés (two-bite decorative finger foods) could include smoked salmon on a beetroot blini, confit duck-leg terrine with smoked duck and pear chutney, and quail eggs with celery salt, goat cheese, caramelized walnuts and parmesan crisp.





"At any large event we are always conscious of trying to make sure we uphold people's expectations when they come to Buckingham Palace," Flanagan, 43, told reporters.

"For a lot of people it will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," he adds. "From the kitchen side of things, we try to encourage everybody to make sure no guest goes away saying, 'Wasn't it amazing ... but the food wasn't up to [par].' That's not what we'd like."

As the day nears, tensions will "ramp up," he says. "Any canapé event is all about fine detail at the last minute. So there's lots we would like to do earlier [but] we really can't do until we see the guests coming into the room."

Royal pastry chef Kathryn Boyden, 37, will have a bit more prep time for the sweets, (which may include dark, milk and white truffles and blood orange pate de fruit) though it will prevent her and her team of three from taking in the festivities.

"It's a little bit disappointing as we won't get to see the wedding," she says. "We'll be working while everyone in the country will be watching it."

But they'll be in good company: A total of 60 people, from chefs to those opening car doors and pouring champagne, will be working at the palace on the big day.

The palace has also confirmed the rooms that will be used for the Queen's reception: The white drawing room, music room, blue drawing room, state dining room and the picture gallery, where the wedding cake will be displayed.

Details of Prince Charles's evening reception for 300 remain top secret.



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