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Shooting the Cook Paperback – 29 Oct 2009
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‘Floyd introduced an element of chaos, even danger to proceedings … The book is packed with tales of larger-than-life antics and wacky experiences. There are brilliant descriptions of coming of age in the 60s and 70s, subsisting on things like tripe, onions and tinned pilchard salad and encountering such exotic fare as Lurpack butter and spaghetti bolognase for the first time.’ Observer
‘The omnipresence of telly chefs was first foreshadowed and arguably made possible, by Keith Floyd. The author of this memoir, David Pritchard, was the television-maker who plucked him from his Bristol bistro and put him on telly. Floyd’s unbuttoned style made him an instant hit.’ Daily Mail
‘Heartening – as well as very funny – to read of the lick and stick pioneering days of late 70s and 80s food programme-making. David Pritchard is a dryly companionable narrator of those trailblazing years. His captivating memoir proves that – without his sense of culinary adventure, his artfulness of the apparent insatiability of his appetite – a generation of rich, starry television cooks might never have made it quite so far, or so fast.’ Daily Telegraph
Chosen as a Telegraph ‘Book of the Year’ by Kate Colquhoun
About the Author
David Pritchard developed a passionate and undying love for food in the days of post-war rationing. This was when roast chicken was for the well-off, no one had heard of pizza and Spam fritters with chips and beans were the centrepiece of every boy’s dream. He started work in the film vault at Southern Television and joined the BBC as a film editor in Newcastle-on-Tyne, eventually making it as a television producer when he discovered Keith Floyd in a restaurant in Bristol. He has also produced and directed all of Rick Stein's television programmes.
Top customer reviews
It is. It's a very funny book charting the rise and rise of TV chefs as the new rock and roll stars starting when Keith Floyd came to our screens and started doing cookery programmes for men.
There is no doubt Pritchard created the springboard for the TV formats and celebrity chefs of today, and the book is a laugh a page about how he created those early Floyd and Stein shows. Taking cookery out of the kitchen onto location and beyond the appeal of just housewife TV to an audience who wanted to relax with a glass of wine and not worry about the exact measurements of the ingredients- but just cook!
Pritchard relates how the shows were planned, filmed and received in the era before compliance, Health and Safety, bureaucracy and audience ratings. Stories of only one camera being used, tiny regional TV budgets, the volatile relationship between Floyd and Pritchard from start to finish (including a recent reconciliation), and the latter's reminiscences of the shocking British foods of the 60's and 70's, and how European food was, and still is, his inspiration.
So why 4 stars? Because it's a light, funny and engrossing read, but the book jacket ...it's just so awful!
If you are into food and fondly remember Keith Floyd's hilarious/serious/delirious exploits then this extremely well recounted book will appeal to you. More than that it is an insight to the last days of the BBC old school institution, a lighthearted giveaway of technique on how to film a cookery series and a series of hilarious travelogues.
It is the story of a crazy, talented, inept, brilliant, troubled, self-deprecating and inspired career.
Did I mention the later chapters with Rick Stein?
Honestly I absolutely loved it and could not put it down.