Even though he was small of stature, Prince was such a larger-than-life figure in the public imagination that he seemed superhuman or even supernatural. For fans, it might be odd to think of him doing “normal” things like eating to survive. But his shocking death last week has brought Prince’s mortality into sharp focus. He, too, sat down to meals on occasion. But what, exactly, did he eat at those meals? That’s the subject of a strangely poignant article at City Pages by Mecca Bos, who interviews Ray and Juell Roberts, two married Minnesota restaurant owners who served as Prince’s personal chefs for the last three years. Still very much in mourning for an employer to whom they were extremely loyal, the Roberts family offers some insight into Prince’s extremely private, well-guarded personal life. His last, uneaten meal, for example, was roasted red pepper bisque with a kale salad on the side.

As the article explains, Prince was a vegetarian, not a vegan. Meat was on his “don’t” list, as were mushrooms and feta cheese. The Purple One also attempted a ban on onions, but the Robertses used the aromatic vegetables anyway, just finely minced. The mysterious musician lived up to his reputation as a demanding perfectionist, and he kept his refrigerator so organized that it looked like it was “staged for a photo shoot.” But, above all, his chefs remember him as a joyful, fun-loving man who was a delightful employer. That is, until the last few months, when he was plagued by illnesses and didn’t seem like himself anymore. The article is not entirely a downer, though. The happiest revelation here is that Prince was a lover of desserts. Various cakes and cookies were always on the menu, though the musician did not gorge himself. “Some nights,” they say, “that’s all he had to eat.”

Advertisement