Coronation quiche to beef carpaccio — famous dishes and their celebrity inspirations

Chefs have rustled up a royal creation for King Charles III. Here are the tales behind other recipes worth getting your teeth into

Coronation quiche has been specially created for the coronation of King Charles III. Photos: Getty Images / Unsplash
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Buckingham Palace has released the recipe for coronation quiche, one of the official dishes that will be served at King Charles III’s coronation on May 6.

Featuring spinach, broad beans and tarragon, the quiche can be served “hot or cold with a green salad and boiled new potatoes", according to social media accounts for the royals

The quiche follows in the footsteps of coronation chicken, the dish created for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953. The dish, which remains popular today, was created after royal florist Constance Spry proposed a recipe of cold chicken in a curry cream sauce with a well-seasoned dressed salad of rice, green peas and mixed herbs, according to the royal family website.

Here are seven more dishes that were created for special occasions and famous people.

Victoria sponge

The classic sponge cake dates back to the 1600s, with one of the earliest printed recipes appearing in the cookbook The English Huswife in 1615, which mentions mixing flour, sugar and eggs, and seasoning with anise and coriander seeds.

The modern Victoria sponge was named for Queen Victoria in the 19th century, who was said to be a huge fan of afternoon tea.

With the evolution of the cake thanks to the invention of baking powder, it was renamed in her honour filled with cream and jam then dusted on top with sugar.

The sandwich

Using bread to scoop up or wrap around other foods has been around for millennia in numerous cultures, but the modern sandwich as we know it — slices of meat, cheese, fish, vegetables and more between two slices of bread — is widely credited to the 18th-century English aristocrat John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich.

Wanting a dish he could eat with his hands, the earl would ask his valet to bring him slices of salt beef between two pieces of toasted bread.

Sandwich’s creation became popular across London, with his name forever associated with it.

Oysters Rockefeller

A shortage of snails and inspiration from the then-wealthiest man in America, business magnate John D Rockefeller, combined to create oysters Rockefeller.

The dish was created in 1889 at Antoine's restaurant in New Orleans by the son of the founder, Jules Alciatore.

Amid a shortage of the popular escargot, Alciatore started using local oysters. Adding green sauce made from pureed vegetable sauce and breadcrumbs, before being baked or broiled, the dish earned its name due to the sauce being "as rich as Rockefeller".

Omelette Arnold Bennett

Arnold Bennett, the namesake of a popular omelette, was a hugely successful and prolific English author, journalist and screenwriter in the late 19th and early 20th century.

The dish was created for Bennett in 1929 by Jean Baptiste Virlogeux, a chef at the Savoy in London, where Bennett was staying while researching the second of two books he had set at the hotel. Virlogeux added bechamel sauce and smoked haddock to the omelette, then topped it off with cheese before grilling to create a crispy top.

Margherita pizza

One of the world’s most popular pizzas was created as a patriotic dish for the wife of King Umberto I of Italy.

In June 1889 Pizzeria Brandi’s chef Raffaele Esposito created a pizza for the king and Queen Consort of Italy, Margherita of Savoy, who were visiting Naples.

Esposito made three pizzas and the queen enjoyed the one topped with tomato, basil and mozzarella the most, which also resembled the colours on the Italian flag. Esposito named the pizza after her.

Beef carpaccio

The appetiser of thinly sliced raw beef traditionally served with lemon, parmesan and olive oil was created at the famous Harry’s Bar in Venice in 1963 by the founder, Giuseppe Cipriani (who also invented the Bellini drink).

Cipriani had long made the dish for his regular Contessa Amalia Nani Mocenigo, whose doctor had advised her to eat raw meat.

He named it after the Venetian painter Vittore Carpaccio as the colour of the beef reminded him of the red hues the painter used in his artworks.

Peach melba

This enduringly popular dessert was created in London by a French chef in honour of an Australian soprano.

After attending an 1892 performance of the Wagner opera Lohengrin at London’s Covent Garden featuring the opera singer, Helen Porter Mitchell, whose stage name was Nellie Melba, celebrated chef Auguste Escoffier created a special dessert for her.

He presented the dessert of fresh peaches served over vanilla ice cream in a silver dish perched on top of an ice sculpture of a swan, which resembled the swan featured in the opera, at a dinner the following evening hosted by the Duke of Orleans at the Savoy hotel. He later called the dish, peach melba.

Updated: May 08, 2023, 8:49 AM