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What Is Life Like In The Downton Abbey Kitchen?

By Anthony Todd in Food on Feb 4, 2013 4:20PM

Photo via Pressroom.

Our favorite part of Downton Abbey is definitely the kitchen. Lesley Nicol plays Mrs. Patmore, everyone's favorite English cook, and did an interview with the Tribune about what it's like to film in that kitchen. Turns out that the producers are obsessed with authenticity, the tea is actually hot, and Nicol doesn't actually know how to cook.

On pretending to cook:

"We also have some very good props guys who are the ones who prepare the dishes, give you the equipment if you’re whisking something or whatever. Luckily one of the prop guys is a chef. So he’s fabulous. But he is a proper chef so fortunately. And I try to avoid doing anything technical so nobody will be able to say well that doesn’t look right."

On Maggie Smith:

"I love her. I haven’t worked with her at all, haven’t done any scenes with her, but I get to sit with her when there are big groups scenes when everybody’s there. ... She’s very witty lady. She’s a funny lady."

On Mrs. Patmore's role in the kitchen:

"[Y]ou won’t find her doing the menial tasks in the kitchen because she doesn’t have to. Her job is Gordon Ramsay. She’s seasoning, she’s checking, she’s making sure everything is up to speed like a proper chef. ... It’s not carrying a tray."

Read the whole interview, and then watch the historical advisor for Downton, Alastair Bruce, touring the kitchen set in the video below.