Prince was a notoriously private person. But there were a few who knew him well, a few who were among the last to see him alive. His personal chef, Ray Roberts, was one of them.
As Prince wowed audiences with his final concerts last month, Roberts watched the music superstar’s health deteriorate, reports AP. He was stricken with bouts of stomach upsets and frequent sore throats, began eating less and appeared to lose weight.
“It felt like he wasn’t himself probably the last month or two,” Roberts told AP. “I think he was just struggling with being sick a lot.”
The chef and his wife had cooked for Prince six days a week for three years, during which the vegetarian musician developed a fondness for their roasted beetroot, pesto broccolini and minestrone soup with a harissa chermoula.
But he went off such dishes in his final weeks, preferring instead to exist on smoothies and fresh juices to soothe his throat and settle his stomach.
Yet while clearly unwell, Roberts said Prince maintained the incredible energy and work ethic for which he was renowned. “It was amazing. I don’t think I ever saw him really looking bad ever,” he said. “He was always on point.”
Roberts also described the Purple Rain singer as a “caring, thoughtful” person, a man clearly driven by a “higher purpose”.
The last meal Roberts prepared for Prince was a roasted red pepper bisque with a kale and spring vegetable salad, made the night before he was found dead at his Minnesota home. Days later when Roberts returned to Paisley Park for the memorial service, he found the meal in the refrigerator, untouched.
“I wish he was still here,” he told AP, wiping away a tear. “That’s what it boils down to.”