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RIP Keith Floyd
Keith Floyd (1943 – 2009) was a man who achieved a singular reputation as a TV chef. His jobs had previously included Army lieutenant, reporter, vegetable peeler, barman, author and restaurateur before that.
Before his TV career he worked in his restaurant walking round the tables talking to his clientele about their food while helping him self to their wine. This was perhaps the start of his trademark TV style where he would be seen presenting his shows frequently consuming local alcoholic beverages.
He was regarded as a pioneer of taking cooking programmes out of the studio and on location. A veteran traveller writing many good cook books and was an entrepreneur to his end in September 2009.
He was born 28th December 1943 near
Southampton in Hampshire and was raised in a council house in
Somerset where his family managed to put him through private
education. One of his first jobs was as a reporter for the
He left his reporters job after watching the film Zulu and the next day joined the British Army. He rose to the rank of Second Lieutenant where he charmed the chef into cooking Gigot D’Agneau Romarin for the officers’ mess. A lamb dish he always loved.
In 1971 after working as a barman, dishwasher
and vegetable peeler he managed to open three restaurants in
Bristol. Although all three businesses failed and he sold the rights
of his name “Floyd’s Restaurant”, Floyd continued with the
He moved to the south of France to start another restaurant venture but this too ended in financial problems forcing him to abandon the project. With the help of friends he moved back to the UK to start again.
This time he opened another restaurant in
Bristol but without his name the sign outside simply read
Restaurant. The restaurant was however frequented by celebrities and
other people connected with TV.
This was when Floyd got his first job as a
radio chef with Radio West. By 1984 he joined the BBC as a
television chef with his own programme Floyd on Fish. His eccentric,
often shambolic style of presentation endeared him to millions of
viewers worldwide. He became well known for cooking with a glass of
wine in one hand, often in unusual locations such as a fishing boat
in rough seas.
The chef went on to present his shows from around the world, including France, Spain, Italy, India, Australia and the US, cooking on location in his unique chaotic style.
In the late 1980,s He bought a pub the “Maltsters Arms” in Devon and would more often be seen at the bar than in the kitchen. The failure of the Maltsters Arms led to his bankruptcy.
Floyd continued to write his cookery books until 2006 and was a regular television presenter until 2002. He produced over 35 popular cookery books and made 18 world wide TV series.
In April 2008 he travelled to Singapore and
Thailand in pursuit of new business ventures in Southeast Asia.
Until his death he was actively involved in his restaurant Floyd’s
Brasserie, located at the Burasari Resort on the popular Thai island
This was his first Asian restaurant and Phuket’s first ever celebrity chef restaurant, drawing a large following of Floyd fans who remember his many TV series and cookbooks.
He died of a heart attack in 2009 the cause of
his death was not related to drink.
Keith Floyd - Stranglers fan, Army lieutenant, reporter, vegetable peeler restaurateur, barman, writer, pub owner and TV chef. 28 December 1943 – 14 September 2009
a Lover of food and drink.