Queen Elizabeth II is known for hosting parties and lavish banquets for her palace guests and courtiers. In Channel 5’s documentary “Secrets Of the Royal Kitchen,” former chef Darren McGrady reveals some of the intricacies about dining with the Queen. Here are some of the dining preparations that her staff undertake when serving the Queen.

No More Food Tasters

In medieval ages, kings and queens avoid being poisoned by having a food taster try their food before eating it. Today, the old practice is no longer followed. Instead, they prefer one very practical method.

“After everything is plated up, a page chooses at random one of the plates to be served to her majesty,” explained royal correspondent Emily Andrews. “So if anyone did want to poison the monarch they’d have to poison the whole lot.”

The Queen’s Personal Menu

The Queen is notably quite picky with her food. She oversees the food production herself and picks what a particular food goes into the menu.

“The Queen has a royal menu book that is completed by the chef,” the former chef said. “The chef does three days’ menus and that gives us enough time to get all the produce in and prepare it.”

“When the menu book goes up to the Queen she put a line through all the dishes she doesn’t want,” he further said. “If she’s out for dinner she’ll put a line through the page, and if she has a guest coming she’ll put two or three so we know she is entertaining.”

Her Majesty’s Favorites

Queen Elizabeth is not as adventurous with the food she eats as compared to Prince Philip, who “gets excited about new ingredients.” She prefers sticking to the food that she’s used to and reportedly likes traditional “British and French” dishes. The chef also revealed that her favorite starter is Gleneagles pâté, made up of smoked trout, salmon and mackerel, and she loves eating game.

New Food Into Her Menu

Her Royal Majesty does allow her chefs to create new food for her menu but strictly regulates it as well. She would look over the entire recipe first before signing off on the dishes that they make. “We can never serve anything with garlic or too much onions,” McGrady noted.

Queen Elizabeth Queen Elizabeth II marks the centenary of GCHQ (Government Communications Head Quarters) at Watergate House on February 14, 2019 in London, England. Hannah McKay - WPA Pool/Getty Images