Here is an article that appeared a couple of weeks back about the Danish chef living in Melbourne who was hired by Fred and Mary to cook for them while they took a private holiday in Sorrento, a Victorian seaside town on the Mornington peninsula south of Melbourne. So the Dumblederfs rent a home for a few days of actual private holidays, without authorising their PR agents to release the location to the media (unless emergency publicity was needed for whatever reason), to really get down and dirty with some Spanx-less, let out yer gut, buy large quantities of tinnies, fingers in the nose, bogan down-time in terrycloth rompers and banana clips and the like.
And yet during this complete and undocumented break to foster family time, they still find the need to hire a chef. How pathetic. Derf is well-known to be the only adult in the family to cook. Madam is on record as barely knowing much more than clipping a blade of wheatgrass or opening a box of rye crisps. So, poor Bente Grysbæk to the rescue. She's a Danish woman who now lives in Melbourne, is married to an Aussie and has two young girls. She owns and runs a restaurant, but evidently when Mary called, she had to delegate that undertaking to someone else to be at the beck and call of these royal idiots. God forbid Mary know how to prepare a sandwich for her own children. Since it was near Christmas, Bente made all sorts of confections.
Interesting insights into family dynamics here. Xian knows how to use a knife - age 7 is awfully young for that sort of thing, so Mary doesn't supervise him on downtime, rather the chef does (the staff often looks cosier with the children than their mother does). Mary doesn't so much as feed her children spaghetti and meat sauce, a menu staple of most children in developed nations. So, what do they eat? Cereal in front of the telly? Ice cream for dinner? Surely not three course gourmet meals? I can't imagine Mary caring enough about food, her kids or their manners to have her bubs served pork loin in a peach glaze with roasted brussels sprouts and ginger carrots. As bogan as they are, it's too easy to imagine Xian and Izzy on the sofa, zombie-eyed in front of the fifteenth showing of Toy Story, eating out of a box of biscuits, crumbs everywhere. It's like the royal version of Honey Boo Boo: hillbillies with too much money and bogan taste. Gud Bevare Danmark.
Bente Grysbæk was chef for Frederik, Mary and the children during their private holiday in Australia. The Crown Princely Couple and their four children live an action packed life on polished floors, but when all is said and done, they are like any other Danish family - at least when it comes to food.
To this Bente Grysbæk can testify. On a daily basis she runs a Danish restaurant in Melbourne, Australia, but in the fall of 2011, she was offered a somewhat offbeat assignment: Do you want to be in charge of cooking for and attending to the royal family during their private holiday down under?Her cordial company with the family offers a rare glimpse behind the royal facade when Frederik, Mary and the four children were on their very own holiday in a private villa in the seaside town of Sorrento, near Melbourne in Australia.
Here Bente Grysbæk was completely free rein to the food that was both true Danish, Spanish and Japanese. Bente Grysbæk had already cooked for Frederik and Mary, when she was a chef at a French restaurant in Copenhagen. But the girl from the small town of Asp between Holstebro and Struer was still confused, proud and somewhat nervous before she began the unusual task. It was fortunately quickly proven that the nervousness the tall, blond and laughing woman had about living up to the requirements and remembering royal etiquette, was quickly dashed by the royal family.
"When I saw them in the morning, I said good morning Your Royal Highness. But otherwise I just said: shall the Crown Princess and Crown Prince have ... So I mentioned them in the third person. The kids called me just by my first name, it fell more natural for me. It was also because no one said anything about what to call the chef, who quickly became good friends with Christian and Isabella. Both children were namely frequent guests in the kitchen and would love to help with getting stuffed on their own pizzas. And the Danish chef had also true that Christian knows how to handle a knife.
"Once, we had to make smoothies, so I prepared some bananas and raspberries. But when I had to cut a banana, Christian said: 'Hey, Bente, may I cut the banana, because I'm pretty good with a knife?' He wanted to show off to me, because I'm a cook. He was so sweet. And then he just took the knife from me and cut," Bente laughed, who is a mother of two girls aged four and six years that she has with her Australian husband Zoran.
Although the sun baked down on the holiday makers royal family, they were still on the brink of Christmas. Therefore, one day Bente Grysbæk, Christian and Isabella started to bake Christmas cookies and cakes with different colour glazes for Christmas. Here Christian was mournful that the cakes were tucked away on a shelf, so they couldn't be eaten early. But it was not only the children who often found their way into the kitchen. Mary was also a studious and very interested guest. She asked Bente Grysbæk how she prepared the various dishes, and what the family should have for dinner. And it was only when the adults got Japanese food that special food was made for the children. Here the royal tastes were very similar to those of normal children.
Yes, spaghetti and meat sauce. "When the Crown Princess found out, she cried out at once: Christian and Isabella, you're going to have spaghetti and meat sauce for dinner. Then they were wildly excited, so it's probably not very often they get it", remembers Bente Gryskær.Only once did the Danish chef see that Frederik and Mary wanted to be served a true Danish lunch with, among other things eggs and shrimp, roast beef with homemade roasted onion and tartar sauce and fish fillet with remoulade, because they had some Australian friends visiting. The Danish lunch table caused excitement. And Bente Grysbæk was a hit with her royal employers when one evening she made one of Frederik's favorite foods, beef tataki, and another time she made the Spanish ceviche consisting of raw fish marinated in lemon juice with red onions and tomatoes, for Mary. "She was totally crazy about it", says Bente Grysbæk, pleased.
Frederik and Mary also showed their appreciation for her efforts in some handwritten notes which they gave Bente Grysbæk as they said goodbye. "When we said goodbye, I said that they should just say the next time they came down, I would gladly do it again. Then the Crown Prince said: 'We'll do it'. And I hope that they do contact me again", says Bente Grysbæk and makes no secret of how happy she was to have this royal job.