Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Pub chef cooked for the Queen... sort of

THE new chef at the John Barleycorn pub in Goring has cooked for the Queen... sort of.

Jim Ayliffe, who learned his trade as a young man on cruise liners, was frequently drafted into cooking duties when he served in the Royal Artillery between 1969 and 1978.

His senior officers soon learned about his background and found he was better than many who worked in the catering corps.

On three occasions he was part of a kitchen team which prepared a large spread for Her Majesty’s entourage as they visited various camps, including one in Northern Ireland at the start of his career.

Mr Ayliffe, who is a long-standing friend of the John Barleycorn’s new tenant Pete Fisher, says: “If the Queen’s going to be somewhere, the food has to be ready for her in case she wants anything, whether that’s a cucumber sandwich or something more.

“Whatever we cooked would get handed down from her to the officers’ mess, then the sergeants’ mess and finally to the lads from wherever she was visiting.

“Unfortunately, she never ate anything on those visits so I can’t say I’m cooking by royal appointment.”

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