One thing we've learned about Prince since his death is that the star's idiosyncratic eating habits weren't necessarily the same ones that generated all the rumors. For instance, reports that the star was a vegan and a raw-foodist were apparently wrong, or only partially right. He did eat a meatless diet but loved eggs, and his raw-foods period was short-lived, according to the personal chefs who worked with him for years at his Paisley Park estate. Prince also had a special way of saying he didn't like a dish; he'd just leave a small portion on his plate as a "never make this again" hint. Now, another of his personal chefs has just come forward to talk about her stint cooking for the star. And she admits it involved a number of "epic failures."
As Margaret Wetzler tells Food & Wine, she cooked for Prince for three months in 2008, after she graduated from culinary school. She nailed the tryout—albeit cheating a bit by using bottled sauce to make teriyaki salmon—and after he hired her, Prince went on to request the salmon constantly. Not so for some of the other dishes Wetzler prepared, like one seafood dinner she made for Prince and a celebrity friend.
Wetzler told Food & Wine about the miso-glazed sea bass over a “noodle pillow” that she decided to serve Prince and his guest that night, Ryan Seacrest: It was "something I had made exactly once before, back in cooking school. But I stupidly made the noodle pillows first and they’d gone completely chewy by the time I served the dish. It was an epic failure... For dessert I made ice cream with a sugar crisp, the kind you liquefy and then pour onto a Silpat baking mat to cool. But I made it too thick and watched Ryan get his teeth stuck in it. I thought I’d be fired on my first night."
Luckily, no one said a word. Was Wetzler being too hard on herself? We'll never know. The only dish Prince clearly hated, returning it to the kitchen with a simple "No": A five-spice soup she made that turned out inedibly bitter.
Prince did love Wetzler's quiche, one of his guilty pleasures, she notes. "To this day," says Wetzler, "my friends still sing to me: 'I just want your extra time and your qu-qu-qu-qu-qu- quiche.'"
According to Wetzler, she quit on her own three months later, to return to a life that wasn't 24/7 work. Now she's the V.P. of marketing for Wholesome Wave, a groundbreaking non-profit that's headed by chef Michel Nischan and provides fresh produce to underserved communities. Not too shabby.
For more on Wetzler's Prince gig, read the Food & Wine transcript of her confessions.
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