My favourite thing about Keith Floyd are his television programmes where the chef, despite being somewhat soused, proceeds to cook in the most amazing locations – in the middle of a busy street in Ho Chi Minh, bundled up on a sleigh in the arctic or my favourite – amid gawking ostriches in the African wilderness. And in the latter, the cooking was interrupted by the hungry ostriches who decided to eat the ingredients and what Floyd was cooking.
There’s been a lot of not-so-good press about old Keith lately – his inclination to drink (a common English pastime anyway), financial troubles and so on. But the fact is, the man’s cookbooks sell very well ( I have a couple, and they are among my favourites), and his shows are among the most entertaining in the tv cooking show world.
Born in 1943, Keith learned the fundamentals of solid, old fashioned British cooking and the importance of fresh ingredients through his parents, simple country folk who cooked well. He gave up journalism and joined the British army, later entering the catering world through a variety of odd jobs – including vegetable peeler, barman and dishwasher.
He then opened a string of restaurants over the years, all of which had disastrous results. By a stroke of luck, Keith was offered a role as presenter on the BBC and gained popularity quickly, becoming the celebrity chef he is today.
His cookery shows span the world -and Keith can be seen in the most far flung places of the globe from India to America, Africa to Australia. All part of the charm of this old English chap travelling the world and enjoying food, and why not, drink.