AUSTIN (KXAN) — When Queen Elizabeth II visited Austin in 1991, her food order at the downtown hotel where she stayed still stands out for its surprising simplicity.

Elmar Prambs, executive chef at the Four Seasons Hotel, said he felt nervous to deliver perfection when it came to what he served the queen during her stay 31 years ago. However, he chuckles now thinking about the only thing he ended up making for her: a ham sandwich with the crusts removed.

“Yep, that’s what she wanted,” Prambs explained, “so that was my highlight of my career — a ham sandwich for the queen.”

Elmar Prambs serves as executive chef at the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin, where Queen Elizabeth II stayed when she visited in 1991. (KXAN photo)
Elmar Prambs serves as executive chef at the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin, where Queen Elizabeth II stayed when she visited in 1991. (KXAN photo)

He said the hotel provided the ham for that career-defining sandwich, but funnily enough she brought her own bread for Prambs to use. He also noted the queen traveled with her own tea and scones during her trip despite the hotel having a pastry chef on staff.

Those particulars aside, Prambs said preparing food for the queen back then came with much less security than the four different presidents he’s served during his career and fewer demands than many other famous guests.

“It’s much more exciting to cook for the queen,” he said. “I mean, there’s only one, and she’s been around for so long and such a great person.”

He recounted how the whole city and the hotel brimmed with excitement when she visited. People crowded into the lobby of the Four Seasons when she got there, and he managed to catch a glimpse of the back of her head.

“The whole lobby was full when she came in, and everybody was well behaved — not like nowadays where there’s protesters out there,” Prambs said. “She’s one of those persons which everybody loves, you know — or loved.”

Queen Elizabeth II died Thursday at age 96, ending her reign as Britain’s longest-serving monarch. Her 73-year-old son Prince Charles automatically became king, and he will now be known as King Charles III.