Tuesday, 15 September 2009

A glass to Keith Floyd

rip keith floydImage by Katiya Rhode-Singh via Flickr

I'm raising a glass (A Fat Expat Martini as you ask) as we speak, in memory of Keith Floyd. His cookery programs inspired many a would-be cook to give it a go, making light of disaster (courting it, in fact, with his ever-present glass in hand) and bringing a casual, light-hearted and generally devil-may-care approach to cookery that was in delightful counterpoint to the stuffy and rule-bound types that preceded him.

Floyd was an early influence for me as a cooker of things - and I loved him all the more for having provided space for a young Hugh Cornwell to play guitar at his restaurant, the reason why Floyd's programs intro'd to The Stranglers' music: he was a fan.

Floyd made food fun, made it an adventure and was eccentric, slapdash and earnest in equal measure. He cared about food, but in a way that made cookery fun to try, accessible and an adventure. I suppose he must be part of the reason why we have Jamie Olivers and Nigel Slaters, presenters and writers who are free to let people just have a go rather than get all Cordon Bleu about food. And I always think of him as being a little bit similar to Rick Stein, a man for whom I have enormous regard as a cookery writer and presenter.
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But Floyd was there before them all, apparently making all the wrong business decisions and creating financial disaster around him. But inspiring me and tens of thousands of others to have a go at stuff, try stuff out and not be afraid to make an awful mess of it.

I'm sad he's gone, but raising a glass seemed the right way to say 'bye...

6 comments:

Keefieboy said...

Hear, hear!

Media Junkie said...

amen.

Mita said...

Yes and really sad that he just rates a line on ticker tape on the idiot box especially BBC considering the large sums he made for them.

RIP.

the real nick said...

Damn I didn't even know. Sad. He was good and likeable. Loved his 'Floyd in India' programs, and 'Floyd on Fish' is a staple reference booklet.
You are right about Rick Stein, too.
Jamie Oliver is a pain in the arse, though.

nzm said...

He went out in typical Floyd style too!

Susan said...

Very sad, his books were the first cookery books I owned and I still use Floyd on France regularly - his recipe for Chicken in Pineau de Charentes is the first thing my husband ever cooked for me.

I'm glad he went out in style though - a quick end after a jolly good lunch has got to be something to aspire to after a good life lived to the full!

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