On her Majesty’s silver service


A young chef will cook for 350 guests at a palatial party after wowing the tastebuds of royalty with his competition-winning canapes.

Murray Alexander (21) was part of a team from the City of Glasgow College who impressed HRH The Countess of Wessex and royal chef Mark Flanagan at a cook-off at Buckingham Palace earlier this year - beating two rival colleges in the process.

Now the former Stepps Primary and Chryston High pupil will prepare finger food for esteemed guests at St James’s Palace on April 21 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Craft Guild of Chefs.

Murray, who is studying towards an HNC Professional Cookery qualification at City of Glasgow College, said: “It was absolutely amazing – something you don’t experience every day. Cooking in the kitchen at Buckingham Palace didn’t really hit you until we’d finished.

“The Countess was a really nice person. She was very interested in the food, especially the salmon, and wanted to know the ins and outs of the salmon rolls I was making.

“The kitchen was a great area to work in, and there was a good atmosphere around the other chefs, who work at the Palace permanently.

Murray, who counts Heston Blumenthal and Michel Roux as his culinary idols, is now steeling himself to serve hundreds of guests at St James’s Palace, constructed in the mid-1500s, later this month.

He explained: “When we were told we’d won, it was an amazing feeling.

“All the work we’d done and the travel down to London by bus was all worth it in the end.

“Cooking at St James’s Palace later this month is a great opportunity. When I leave college, I’d like to work for fine cuisine establishments, cooking for rich and famous people who are looking for fine food and having the opportunity to use fine ingredients.”

Lecturer Gary Maclean, who led the student team to victory at Buckingham Palace, added: “Winning the competition was unbelievable and to beat Britain’s best and bring the title back to Scotland is a real highlight for everyone involved. We are all looking forward to the event in April, where we will recreate the winning canapés for some of the world greatest chefs.”