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Floyd On Time,
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This review is from: Stirred But Not Shaken (Paperback)
Keith Floyd had the true chef's knack of great timing. He happened to start cooking commercially in Bristol ahead of the "New Wave" of TV celebrity chefs at a time when Bristol was full of BBC programme-makers looking for new characters and ideas. So all the menu items were there for what followed, with "Floydy" as the secret ingredient to recreate the distinctive flavour of cooking-to-camera. In picking up (by Floyd's own admission) the mantle of The Galloping Gourmet Graham Kerr, Keith re-set the template for the next twenty years through Rick Stein and Antonio Carluccio to Gordon Ramsey and Jamie Oliver. So plenty to thank him for (and plenty to blame him for too!). And after a roller-coaster twenty year career in and out of the spotlight, Floydy eventually sets about putting it all down in writing and then promptly dies as soon as his ghosted autobiography is finished. But if he had a talent for timing, there were many other areas of life where he was less than proficient, including financial management, judging people's characters, sustaining relationships, etc, etc. Every time the author picks himself up off the kitchen floor, you know it won't be long before he's flat on his face again. He claims his trade-mark glass of red wine was a mere stage prop, but booze seems to have been the key part of his regular downfalls. The dominant flavours of this book are the author's charm and charisma which mean you are always on his side as he goes through business failures, divorces, bankruptcy, loneliness and finally illness. There's a genuine sense of loss at the end, and a feeling that we all should have appreciated Floydy a bit more when we had the chance.