From the Back Cover
In the living room, a Victorian mahogany table was laid with embroidered table mats and set with bone handled knives and forks. There was a large cut glass salt cellar. There was a freshly cut loaf of burnt crusty white bread from the Golden Hill Bakery. There was a weeping, golden yellow brick of salty farmhouse butter. There was a small, ten year old boy, in a white shirt, tie and grey short trousers with a yellow and purple snake belt and sandals, sitting – elbows off the table – waiting for his lunch which would have to be eaten in silence while his grandfather grumpily slurped his stew, as the announcer from the radio in the corner said' "This is the BBC Home Service – this is the 1 o'clock news."
Keith Floyd's exuberant personality, as much as his cooking skills, have made him a favourite both as a bestselling author and as a television presenter. But here for the first time, he tells his own story and it is full of surprises.
The stories from his childhood in Somerset are vivid and moving; his grandfather with his tin leg, his mother at the mills, his uncle, the ferret keeper – and the black sheep of the family for 'carrying on' with married women – tales of an England that seems long gone.
His experiences of office life of the period are fascinating, funny and moving, in particular scenes form his time of employment on a local newspaper. Still exploring his potential, still looking for a way to earn a penny, Keith Floyd took the decision to join the Army. The stories of his training, the management of survival courses, his life in the barracks and eventually the officers' mess are both hilarious and a brilliant drawing of the life of a soldier in peacetime, including wonderful portraits of his companions.
After he and the Ministry of Defence decided that they did not suit each other, he took his first cooking job as an assistant vegetable cook in a Bristol hotel. The great period of the bistros and cafes had just dawned and Keith Floyd was in the forefront, cooking in an open kitchen with Pink Floyd blaring from the speakers. At one time in this period, Keith Floyd was juggling with running two restaurants, starting a third, trying to set up his first married home, and constantly creating new dishes, new menus and new venues for enjoyable eating.
'Out of the Frying Pan' is a wonderful rollercoaster ride. Those who have admired Keith Floyd's way with a whisk will now be impressed and delighted by his remarkable skill with words.