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Out of the Frying Pan: Scenes from My Life Paperback – 15 Oct 2001
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When The Naked Chef was crawling around in his birthday suit, Keith Floyd was the undisputed king of cookery programmes. But his culinary career hasn't always flowed as smoothly as the wine he was famous for downing. Hence the title of his autobiography: Out Of The Frying Pan. In the early 80s, following the collapse of another restaurant, Floyd found himself yet again up Jacob's Creek without a glass. "I was 40 years old, virtually bankrupt, a middle-aged man with a brilliant future behind me." Then out of the blue Floyd received a call from a BBC producer asking if he wanted to make a programme about cooking fish. Floyd's first TV series was such a surprising success that his producer told him: "I've created a monster and it's time to load the gun with silver bullets." In hindsight, after 16 TV series, 18 books, three marriages, one receivership and countless kiss-and-tell stories later, Floyd suggests that he may well have fired the gun himself. "If I knew than what I know now, I might have never have made 'Floyd on Fish'." With his programmes still being shown regularly around the world, his many thousands of fans will be pleased that he did. Now the ex-restaurateur has proved himself to be a formidable raconteur. Out Of The Frying Pan gives a frank and colourful account of a turbulent life lived to the full and recalls a career as chequered as a pair of chef's trousers. Engaging and evocative, this life story will leave readers hungry for more. --Christopher Kelly --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
With exuberance bubbling over as much into his words as his cooking, the television personality tells his own story for the first time.
The stories from his childhood in Somerset are vivid and moving: his grandfather with his tin leg, his mother at the mills, and his uncle, the ferret keeper, and the black sheep of the family for ‘carrying on’ with married women.
Keith Floyd spent a short spell on a local newspaper, and then, in a hilarious episode, joined the army. 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 bistros and cafes had dawned and Keith Floyd was in the forefront, cooking in an open kitchen, with Pink Floyd blaring from the speakers.
What is wonderful about this book is the vividness of the scenes he paints and the deftness with which he draws the characters – including his several wives. Those who have admired Keith Floyd’s way with a whisk will now be impressed to discover and enjoy his remarkable skill with words.See all Product description
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Top customer reviews
There is plenty of detail about his career in which he practically gets into just about anything. You really go on an adventure with Floyd as you read this book - not knowing what on earth he is going to do next.
For anyone who has the slightest interest in Keith Floyd I would recommend this book. I found it hard to leave this book down and read through it quickly. I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that its a darn good read.
He confesses that he kept no notes, diaries or copies of his books and as such we may wish to doubt his memory on some of the more outlandish stories. However, he does tell a rattling good yarn, and it was easy to read this book in not much more than a single sitting.
Most people will know Floyd from his excellent cookery series from the 1980s onwards. Never less than hugely entertaining, his exploits still stick in my mind - he's one of the few "television chefs" that you'd like to share your meal with, as well as to cook it in the first place. However this is a wide-ranging gallop through the adventures of his life, and his television career gets precious few pages. The book is no worse for that, and a jolly good read showcasing the passion that he has for cooking. And for life.
I read his first autobiographical jaunt - Floyd in the Soup, which is, I think, a great book still (I have read it several times) and I wasn't sure what to expect of this one. Well, it goes into a lot more detail of his early career, the ups and downs (there are plenty of those). It shows what a brilliant man he is, a bit naive and perhaps slightly gullible - I dunno - but it's all honest stuff, and it had me gripped (I've managed to read most of it in a day - couldn't put it down).
Floyd was born into modest rural circumstances in Berkshire, but brought up in Somerset, his parents struggling to provide him with a good and fee-paying education at Wellington School (the one in somerset, not the grander College in Berkshire), also the alma mater of Jeffrey Archer. He then, after a spell as a cub reporter on a local newspaper, became a short-service officer in a tank regiment, but left when he realized that he preffered cooking to driving tanks. He started a bistro in Bristol, armed with some kitchen experience and a few books by 1950's and earlier (classical) writers on cuisine; Elizabeth David was influential and, from what I could gather (knowing little of cuisine) French provincial was his basic style. He then went on to become a full-fledged restarateur and TV personality.
I feel, from reading the book, that his personality was split between his modest family origins and the veneer of slightly snobby provincial bourgeois aspirations pushed into him by his school and the officers' mess. He had to struggle to find his own way.
I only watch TV chefs when their personality and the location is interesting, so Floyd, The Two Fat Ladies and few others. His ownn programmes very vastly entertaining to me, not least when he got drunk and messed up a bit (or a lot, even creating fires on occasion).
The book details or rather outlines his three marriages, many homes and (mostly failed --from the money viewpoint--) businesses etc. He appears to have been entirely disorganized and was obviously royally ripped off by many. I imagine that he, like me, was bemused to read that other chefs, like Marco Pierre White and Jamie Oliver, have made anything up to £70 million from TV and ad work. Floyd in his own mind was a chef/restarateur, not a TV personality. He needed (as he admits) a business agent and only sometimes had one.
I never met Floyd and have to say that, judging from the TV shows, I rather liked him and thought him basically decent. My wife once encountered him one evening when he was drunk and obnoxious at a social gathering in Wiltshire and still loathes him! Who is right? Perhaps both.
In the end, this is a good read and that is all one can say.
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