“I AM sworn to secrecy on the contents of the menu,” said Nigel Haworth when asked what the Queen will eat in Blackburn later this week.
Michelin-starred Mr Haworth, chef patron at Northcote Manor and MD of Ribble Valley Inns, will be overseeing lunch for the Queen and Prince Philip at Blackburn Rovers during Thursday’s royal visit.
Earlier in the day, the Queen will hand out Maundy Money to 88 men and 88 women at Blackburn Cathedral before a reception and lunch at Ewood Park.
The Great British Menu champion has already met the royal couple and said he was looking forward to doing so again.
He said: “I am really looking forward to it and I do not feel nervous at all.
“It is a great honour for all the team and everyone is up for it.
“I am fortunate to have met them both before.”
The Queen will arrive in Blackburn by train at 10.45am and will proceed to the cathedral via car to carry out the ancient tradition. Following the service, in keeping with Royal Maundy tradition, The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will spend time with religious and civic dignitaries during the reception at Ewood Park.
Mr Haworth said plann-ing for the event had gone on for months.
He said: “I have known for about eight or nine months now and the big thing has been keeping it a secret. My whole team is working on it and we are also working with the team at the football club and there is a further meeting today to get everything sorted.
“I will be pulling in my full team and I will be in the kitchen, as well as meeting and greeting.”
Although more than capable, Mr Haworth will not be physically preparing the meal for the Royal party on the day.
Blackburn Rovers FC chef David Lyon will be doing the cooking.
He said: “I have to do the reception and make sure the food and service are right. There will be about a dozen people in the kitchen and we have all been security checked.
“We are doing a lot of work, but I do not want to take any of David’s credit or the rest of his team.
“It is as much the team at Blackburn Rovers which is doing the work as us.”
Mr Haworth, a lifelong supporter of Blackburn Rovers, said everyone inv-olved was honoured.
He said: “We are very privileged to be able to take part in this special occasion.
“I am just hoping we can cook her a fabulous lunch and everyone goes away with a really good feeling.
“It is nice to bring them to Ewood and we want to give them a really good flavour of Lancashire.”