Obituary: Ronald Aubery

Ronald Henry Aubery, chef: born London 13 February 1914; Royal Chef 1947-74; MVO 1975; married 1936 Hetty Beynon (died 1988; one son, and one daughter deceased); died 19 April 1993.

RONALD AUBERY will be remembered from his school years as an amiable character who accepted with good humour the nicknames which a measure of comfortable rotundity inevitably invited. It was as though the appearance of the boy anticipated the calling of the man. For he became a distingiuished chef - indeed, the first Englishman since records beagan in 1824 to become Royal Chef.

From his home in the Vale of Aylesbury, where his parents were in the household of Michael Beaumont, then Member of Parliament for Aylesbury, he went to Aylesbury Grammar School. By the time that he had reached the fifth form, he was attracted by a culinary career and went to Westminster Technical Institute, one of the few places in the country where it was possible to obtain a formal qualification in cookery.

Already before he began his professional career at the Savoy, he sought experience at Cannes and at the Ritz in Paris. In 1937, he was offered a position in the Royal Household, and in 1947 the post of Royal Chef. War years apart, when the RAF was able to appreciate his talents, he spent the rest of his life until his retirement in 1974 at Buckingham Palace, with seasonal movements to other royal palaces and Britannia as occasion demanded. In retirement he was frequently recalled to duty by the Queen Mother.

In 1974 he published A Royal Chef's Notebook, a well-written text, as full of wise words as of tried and tested recipes.

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