Keith Floyd – A pioneer TV chef and a true original
Keith Floyd was a pioneer in TV cooking and from the mid eighties he was one of the most entertaining TV chefs. He loved his wine with a meal and he really had a knack for presenting food preparation and travel as a TV combo.
The biggest names in TV cooking have paid tribute to the pioneer of the modern show, Keith Floyd, who has died after a heart attack at the age of 65.
Jamie Oliver said Floyd had been “not just one of the best, he was the best television chef”, and Nigel Slater said his shows had been “a joy to watch”.
Floyd found fame in the 1980s, hosting shows filmed around the world with wine-glass in hand and huge enthusiasm.
He enjoyed a last meal of oysters, shrimp and partridge, with champagne.
Heston Blumenthal said he had forever “changed the path” of food programmes.
His eccentric, often shambolic style of presentation endeared him to millions of viewers worldwide.
“Keith Floyd was responsible for helping to break down many of the barriers of cooking,” said Slater.
“His freeform, somewhat casual style at the stove made cooking look easy, and encouraged people to have a go.”
Floyd was born in Somerset and opened his first restaurant, Floyd’s Bistro, in Bristol, at the age of 22.
Years later, it was while running another establishment near the BBC studios in the city that Floyd was discovered by television producer David Pritchard.
Their 1985 series, Floyd on Fish, was an instant hit, and subsequent series took the chef all over the world.
The programmes were ground-breaking at the time for taking the cooking out of a studio, but it was Floyd’s wine-fuelled flamboyance that viewers loved.
Floyd wrote more than 20 books, many of them best-sellers. His autobiography, Stirred But Not Shaken, is due to be published next month.
Co-author James Steen said: “He was a very generous man, he was very kind and extremely sharp and witty.
“He knew how to eat well and he was able to convey that. He was a genius at what he did.”
Gordon Ramsay called Floyd “a true original, a natural performer and a superb cook”.