Me and Keith . . .

September 15, 2009 · Posted in Cooking · Comment 

Food again . . . well, yes.

This morning on the train I read a tweet from someone saying that Patrick Swayse had died . . . very sad and all but my only connection to him is a couple of, let’s be honest, somewhat crappy movies that I like (Road House and Point Break). About 2 hours later, and via another tweet, I discovered that Keith Floyd had also passed away and that one hit me a bit harder.

After a little introspection I think the reason is that the way I cook and generally muck about with food was clearly influenced by him. After a quick shuffle over to his page on Wikipedia I discovered that his first TV show, Floyd on Fish, was broadcast in 1984 and on my birthday as well. That would have made me 11 and I vividly remember watching it.

Floyd cooking on TV seemed to be a world of chaos. From ordering a handheld camera wielded by a poor bloke who Keith always thought was pointing it in the wrong direction, “not at me, at the food!”, to occasional spills, the odd missing ingredient, the general feeling that not a whole lot of planning had gone into the actual making of the dish and, of course, a generous glug of wine.

Throughout all this I always got the impression that the man really knew what he was doing. Ingredients weren’t just being thrown in for the sake of it, he knew tastes, he knew his palette and he knew that right now what this dish needed was a little touch of this . . . what I got from his programs, apart from a few laughs (and if I remember rightly some damn fine scenery) was that you didn’t have to follow a recipe like a maths formula, just go with it, create and enjoy

For one or two other view on the late great Keith Floyd you should head over to The Grauniad and check out what a few professionals think.

Keith Floyd, RIP