Australian celebrity chef Jeff Schroeter has revealed all the weird and wacky things he’s had to cook for A-listers such as Anna Wintour, Madonna and Queen Elizabeth II. Just a casual day on the tools. Nothing special.
Speaking to news.com.au’s podcast I’ve Got News For You, Schroeter — who’s worked at fancy joints such as The Savoy Hotel in London and the Royalton New York — said Wintour would rock up to his restaurant with cans of tuna in tow.
“She used to dine at least once of twice a week and had a special table,” he said.
“She’d go through different [food] phases, and one phase was that we had a beautiful tuna niçoise … but she didn’t like fresh tuna, so she used to bring her own canned tuna [and] hand it to the waiter, who would hand it to the busboy, who would bring it to the kitchen.
“So I’d make this beautiful niçoise salad, then open a tin of tuna and just put it on top. And she loved it.”
The gal really said “fuck plonk, it’s all about BYO Sirena now”. This is why she’s been editor-in-Chief of Vogue for donkey’s years. It’s all about innovation, people!
Now, I love tuna as much as the next person. If my future children don’t like tuna and rice I’ll be screwed. But would you not just … order something else if you didn’t like fresh tuna? Because that is what I would do.
In other fashion-related foodie news, Schroeter said former Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld once turned up to his restaurant after a runway show in New York with “about 10 or 12” mates and ordered “an American hotdog with fries”.
Anyway, Lagerfeld’s posse thought a hotdog with fries sounded scrumptious so they all ordered one, as well. But the kitchen did not possess hotdogs with fries, so it had to improvise.
“We came up with the idea to run out to the street, go to the corner, get the local hotdog seller on the street [and] buy 12 of everything,” Schroeter explained.
Lacking the fries, however, they decided to hightail it to Macca’s and grab some chippies for the fellas.
“We put it on plates, sent it out, and [Lagerfeld] said it was the best meal [he’d had] for a long time,” the executive chef at Sydney’s Beckett’s Restaurants said.
There’s something to be said about Lagerfeld going bonkers for a hotdog and fries when he also said Adele was “a little too fat” and that literal supermodel Heidi Klum was “too heavy”, and if he saw them eating the aforementioned hotdog and fries he would probably utter something disgustingly problematic. Much to think about.
As for Madonna, Schroeter said she once booked him and three other chefs to cater her 37th birthday bash in Miami.
“She picked each one for a particular dish that she loves to eat,” he said. Babe, people are dying.
“I was flown down for the one that I call ‘Madonna salmon’. It’s a particular type of salmon and we cut it as a butterfly, and we put it with crushed cucumber, dates, walnuts, shaved fennel, lemon juice, olive oil and sweet basil.”
I hate to be *that* person but surely that’s a dish which any man and his dog is capable of preparing. I think I’ve seen it before in an Ottolenghi book.
Last but not least, Schroeter said the late Queen Lizzie went absolutely hog wild for the Savoy Hotel’s peach Melba. She struck me as more of a marmalade woman but alas, what do I know.
Apparently the royals would rock up with “heavily armed security guards coming through the kitchens with Alsatians” but they always dined in private banquet rooms, so no one knew which colonising shitbags were in the building.
Side note, but isn’t it a huge health violation to have literal German Shepherds waltz through a commercial kitchen? If my boy Remi in Ratatouille couldn’t get away with it, I don’t see why these pooches have a free pass.
But alas, I digress. Apparently Liz loved the peach Melba and “when there was seven to 10 peach Melbas going to a private room” the kitchen knew the Queen was in Da Haus.
If you need me, I’ll be doing an Anna Wintour (eating a can of tuna).