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UK foodservice pays its respect to Queen Elizabeth II

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The passing of the UK's longest serving monarch has triggered messages of admiration, respect and sadness across the sector

Everybody knew the day would arrive, but few would have been left without a sense of shock at the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. In the hours since the news broke, chefs and foodservice operators across the UK have shared their messages of respect and grief while Darren McGrady, the former personal chef to the Queen shared anecdotes.

“The passing of HM The Queen is a devastating loss to the nation. My prayers are with her family at this terribly sad time. She has touched the lives of millions during her reign and her leadership, service and sense of duty will remain an inspiration,” said Kate Nicholls, chief executive of the trade association UK Hospitality.

She was joined by The British Beer & Pub Association in the sentiment on Twitter. “We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Her Majesty the Queen. Her duty to our country has been extraordinary and our condolences are with the royal family.”

“An absolute honour”

The French chef Raymond Blanc, who decades ago made the UK his home when he opened the renowned restaurant Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons said, “My team and I are deeply saddened at the passing of Her Majesty The Queen.”

TV chef and social activist Jamie Oliver said he and his family were “heartbroken to hear of the passing of our much loved Queen Elizabeth II. Her Majesty really was everything we could have wished for in a Queen and more, ma’am it’s been an absolute honor to be under your Reign. May you rest in peace.”

While his chef colleague Jason Atherton said the monarch “put the Great in Great Britain. She is a true icon, making us all feel proud to be British”.

In Lancashire, meanwhile, the pub at the Entwistle Hotel in Darwen sold pints at just 6p each for an hour on the morning after the passing, reflecting the price of a pint of beer when the Queen succeeded to the throne.

In a statement to The Lancashire Telegraph, the pub said: “In honour of Her Majesty the Queen and her passing yesterday we have decided to sell all pints for 6p which was the price when Elizabeth ascended the throne in 1952.

While many events in the following days will be postponed or canceled, it has been announced that next week’s Commercial Kitchen trade show at London’s Excel centre will go ahead as planned.