By REBECCA ENGLISH
Masterchef: Kate reacts during a cooking workshop in Montreal today
Kate and William prepared a series of dishes at a cookery class
Met by separatist protesters in Quebec objecting to the Royal visit
Visited children in a cancer ward in Montreal
The Duchess showed how she digs Canada after tree planting
Until now Prince William's only culinary boast has been that he makes a mean shepherd's pie.
After 40 minutes in a Canadian cookery school however, it was herb and cranberry-crusted lamb and croustillant a l'effiloche de canard confit – and a distinctly competitive attitude to his lobster soufflé.
Ready steady cook: William shows why he should avoid the kitchen as Kate gets to grips with a lobster
The Prince and the Duchess of Cambridge, dressed in personalised chef's whites, were taking part in a cookery demonstration at Montreal's top chef school, the Institut de tourisme et d'hotellerie du Quebec.
Although they were greeted by a noisy demonstration by Quebec separatists, the Prince did not let that distract from the main task in hand – proving that he was a better cook than his host, Quebec Premier Jean Charest.
Food for thought: Kate carries a tray of hors d'oeuvres after spending some time in the kitchen as the Royal couple's tour of Canada continues
Mr Charest produced the first soufflé of the lesson, which was brought forward for display with a flourish by the Duchess. Two minutes later the Prince brought his soufflé up, removed the
Premier's and said: 'Much better! This one is mine.'
It was, he said, 'a soufflé-off'. And if that wasn't painful enough, he turned to Mr Charest and rubbed it in with one of those Windsor puns that his father used to love: 'If you could rise to the challenge that would be great.'
Culinary Kate: So far the Duchess of Cambridge has been the centre of attention during the Royals tour of Canada
A despondent Mr Charest, who in fact has a reputation as an accomplished cook, took a sad look at his rejected soufflé and said: 'Now I guess I will have to pack it up and bring it home.'
For the Prince, the demonstration was an opportunity for some light-hearted clowning about, pretending to pinch the strawberries from a bowl and insisting on dipping a spoon into a vat of melted chocolate for a taste. "Is there a time limit? Do we eat as we go? I'm quite hungry.'
Cookery queen: Kate showed she is not only a whiz in the kitchen but also looked great in her chef's jacket
The Duchess, however, seemed to take it all much more seriously. Student Theresa Rindress, 23, who showed her how to make an amuse-bouche of foie gras on a toasted brioche with apple cider jelly, said: 'I showed her how to hold the knife and position her hand so that she did not cut herself. She was fantastic. She was very competent with the knife.'
She added: 'I asked her if she liked to cook at home. She said she likes to cook, but does not do fancy things.
'She more makes big batches, throws a few ingredients together, trying new things. But that's how chefs experiment, throwing things together and seeing if the flavours work.'
Demonstration: Kate and William were welcomed by separatist protesters objecting to the cost of the Royal tour
As ever, the old rule applied: whenever a royal tries something knew, tell them how brilliant they are. When William made goats cheese, baby cucumber and elderberry jam, teacher Jean-Louis
Themistocle said: 'This is the best cucumber I have ever seen!'
It cannot have been all bad, however: afterwards the Duke and Duchess, accompanied by the Premier and his wife and two of the Prince's senior aides, ate what they had prepared. There were not understood to have been any complaints.
The couple had been met by a small group of protesters in the French-speaking province of Quebec as they visited a children's hospital.
Objection: There were anti-monarchist protests in the streets in Montreal yesterday, a far cry form the welcome Kate and William received in Ottawa
About 35 protesters, including members of the separatist group Reseau de Resistance du Quebecois, or Quebecker Resistance Network, stood outside Sainte-Justine University Hospital Centre in Montreal chanting 'A united people will never be vanquished.'
They carried signs that read 'Parasites go home,' 'War Criminals,' and 'Your fortune came from the blood of our ancestors.'
The demonstrations were a rare moment of criticism aimed at the young royals, who have for the most part been welcomed with open arms by Canadians eager to catch a glimpse of the glamorous newlyweds.
The newlyweds were there to meet with cancer patients and visit the hospital's neonatal care facility. The Sainte-Justine University Hospital Centre is the largest mother-child center in Canada.
Visit: Kate and William talk to children in the cancer ward at the Sainte-Justine University Hospital in Montreal
Making friends: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the hospital as part of their royal tour of Canada
William and Kate started their day in Ottawa where they followed in the footsteps of a long line of royal couples as they shovelled earth on to tiny saplings as a living memento of their visit.
Even in killer heels, a chic dress and groomed, glossy hair - Kate proved she wasn't afraid to get her hands dirty as she led the way, smiling as she took the shovel before her husband and threw soil on to the sapling.
Green-fingered: Kate gets stuck in with the shovel and dirt as William looks on from a distance
Monday, 4 July 2011
By REBECCA ENGLISH