Guest Post: My Favorite Walkers Product and Memories It Brings

royal chef darren mcgradyPlease welcome Royal Chef Darren McGrady. He shares his kitchen tips and tricks with us in this special guest post series. Darren was personal chef to Queen Elizabeth II, Diana, Princess of Wales and Princes’ William and Harry for fifteen years and has cooked for five U.S. Presidents. He is now a sought-after chef, author, owner of Eating Royally fine dining catering service and culinary consultant living in Dallas, Texas.

tea timeHappy New Year! I moved with my wife and one-year-old daughter (before our family grew with two more children) to the United States about 20 years ago. In the United Kingdom we drink lots of hot tea, especially at this time of year when it is cold outside and the days are shorter. And even though we have “American kids” now, they seem to have picked up this British tradition.

Over the holidays, we spent many happy hours chatting around the kitchen table with a steaming mug of tea and, inevitably, one of us would go into the pantry to bring out Walkers shortbread. I remember when I was small, my grandmother said, “A cup of tea is too wet without a biscuit” as she reached for the Walkers box. This tradition seems to have passed to my children too.

We always keep a supply of Walkers shortbread fingers in the pantry. Although the company has a huge selection from which to choose, shortbread fingers are our family favorite for tea. I remember looking around the table and noticing everyone chatting away and absentmindedly dunking their Walkers shortbread fingers in their tea.

Since we’re a family of “dunkers”, only certain shortbread works. The robust shortbread fingers do not fall apart. Plus, their flavor enhances when “dunked.” The tea releases the buttery flavor of the shortbread even more.

It’s hard to believe my first-born is now almost twenty-one. After spending the holidays at home, she returned to college yesterday. As she packed her case I couldn’t help notice her sneak into the pantry and come out with a few boxes of shortbread to take back to college with her. It made me smile knowing the McGrady “dunking” tradition was going to be around for some time.