Filet of Sole fit for the Queen

Nelson shares his life experiences as well as his most favoured recipes

Although June is still months away, the thought brings back fond memories for me: it marks the epitome of my navel career and the apex of my cooking career in one single event.

The epitome of my naval career came in the spring of 1959 when I was chosen to cook on the Royal Yacht for the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway, which took place June 26, 1959.

The apex of my cooking career took place on the Royal Yacht. I worked with Mr. Raul Obrey (the Queen’s head chef from Buckingham Palace) on the historic luncheon commemorating the opening of the Seaway.

Present at the luncheon were H. M.  the Queen, H. R. H.  the Duke of Edinburgh, Prime Minister Diefenbaker and Mrs. Diefenbaker, President Eisenhower and Mrs. Eisenhower.

I’ve lost a lot of my mementos over the years, but I still have the menu from that luncheon and my Royal Yacht book with my name to prove that I was a Royal Yachtsman.

The only other celebrity that impressed me even slightly as much as that table of royalty was Jean Beliveau of the Montreal Canadians. He was a gentleman and a nice guy as well and I had the pleasure of cooking a steak for him once.

Back to the Britannia. I flew to England to pick her up in Portsmouth and then onto Canada. I could write a book about my time on the Britannia and I will (someday). It was a marvellous experience and I learned a lot about cooking from the chef.

The most important thing he told me—something I always passed onto my students when I was teaching—do not take short cuts. Good food takes time to prepare and you cannot rush it.

Sounds simple but it’s not so easy to do in this era of fast food and little time.

The chef (Mr. Aubrey) did have some recipes for turning out a fast meal when he had to. As well as the Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, there were 20 others in the royal party, and often they would materialize out of thin air just in time to eat.

One of his favourites in these situations was Filet of Sole with a cheese sauce. Here’s the recipe.


2 whole (or more) fillets of fresh sole, skinned

2 cups of white sauce (half cream and half white wine)

1 cup of grated old cheddar cheese

1 tsp. crushed white pepper

One or two leaves of Romaine lettuce

1 tsp. chopped parsley


Lay the fish out on a heat-proof platter. Spread the sauce and then sprinkle on the cheese. Add the white pepper and broil for 10 – 15 minutes. The cheese should be melts and well-browned. Serve on a Romaine lettuce leaf and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve with rice or baked potatoes. Enjoy.



See Ya Next Week!


Just Posted

The weekly COVID-19 map for June 6 to 12. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees only 5 new cases in last week

The Similkameen Valley went a second week without any new cases

Birtch Parlee is one of approximately 132,000 transgender people living across the nation, according to Statistics Canada. Photo submitted
Transgender in a small town – Princeton B.C.

“I buried it. I pushed it down. I lived a lie.”

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Dan Albas
COLUMN: Reopening the international border

Governments in Canada and the United States are working towards reopening plans for the border

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Bear wanders Kelowna on June 15. (Michelle Wallace/Facebook)
Bear climbs fence, uses crosswalk in Kelowna

The bear was spotted on Baron Road Wednesday evening

This photo of the small wildfire burning above Naramata was taken at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021 (Monique Tamminga Western News)
BC Wildfire on scene of small wildfire above Naramata

Smoke has been showing since earlier in the day

Students in the Grade 10 entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School have completed a cookbook with international recipes. (Contributed)
Summerland students create virtual international cookbook

Entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School uses virtual cookbook as fundraiser

Hundreds of people, young and old, joined the three-day Walking Our Spirits Home procession, honouring residential school survivors, those who never made it home and all those affected by the institutions. Here people walk the third portion on June 13. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Walking Our Spirits Home from Kamloops provides path to healing

First Nations in and beyond Secwépemc territory join in to honour residential school survivors

More flames
Lake Country home destroyed in large blaze, 11 dogs rescued

Fire crews are responding to 10839 Hallam Drive

(Facebook/Kelowna Cabs)
Kelowna Cabs reaches tentative agreement with dispatchers union

The tentative agreement could help end the dispute between the taxi company and the dispatchers

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

A boat sharing service is extending to Summerland. The company, Penticton Boat Club and Rentals, is also taking over the boat rentals at Summerland Waterfront Resort. (Photo by Chris Stenberg)
Boat sharing service extended from Penticton to Summerland

Company will also operate boat rentals at Summerland Waterfront Resort

201 First Street West 1980s. Prior revitalization. (Photo from Revelstoke Museum and Archives)
Man who redesigned downtown Revelstoke honoured with lifetime achievement award

Robert Inwood has worked on historical projects across the province

Most Read