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Sunday
Sep272009

Keith Floyd, R.I.P.

When I was a new mother with my first child in 1989 and I was home for the first time during the day, there was a cooking show on TV that I would watch.  It was reruns of a cooking show from the BBC.  I loved it so much that I started taping it.  I felt like I was the only person watching it.  Years later, I took that tape and had it transferred to DVD because it was so important to me and no one in this country seemed to know about this cook.  To this day, I still think it's the best cooking show I've ever seen.

The cook was Keith Floyd of Great Britain and the shows, "Floyd on France" and "Floyd on Fish",  were shown extensively in the U.K., where he was a household name.   They were wonderful travelogue type of shows, with Floyd traipsing all over the countryside, taking over people's kitchens and cooking outdoors a lot.   He had a great sense of humor and was so fun to watch,  slurping from a glass of wine while he was cooking, arguing with his cameramen, and always flirting with the women he would be cooking with.  He was ahead of his time, lecturing about all the things that the "eat local" movement is talking about now.  He always referred to the viewers as "gastronauts".    The theme music from "The Stranglers" set the tone.  To this day, the shows make me laugh out loud. 

 

And he was an amazing cook.  He was, so many times, set up in difficult circumstances to cook - he would be outdoors on the banks of a river, whipping up some fish on a hotplate or in some tiny galley kitchen on a boat, cooking up a feast for the crew.  He made you think that if he could do that in those circumstances, surely you could whip up some tasty meal in the luxury of your own kitchen.  He made the point that it was the ingredients that were the star - if you had the freshest fish, the best quality olive oil, real garlic and herbs, you could make a delicious dish that was not at all complicated.  

When I heard he died on September 14th, my heart sank.  I read that even Marco Pierre White said that Floyd had the best cooking show that was ever made.  I had always wished that someone, somehow would bring him to American T.V.  Although I have those episodes on my DVD, they are not great quality, having been recorded onto a VHS tape and then transferred to DVD.  But I am so glad I have them!  I had looked  for years on the internet to see if they were ever made into DVDs but I could never find them.  Some segments of many of his shows have been put on YouTube, but unfortunately,  you still can't find all of the "Floyd on France" or "Floyd on Fish" episodes.   But if you are not familiar with Keith Floyd,  I leave you with this video.  I hope it inspires you to watch some of the others that are online.  I guarantee you'll learn a thing or two about great, simple cooking.  And you'll most definitely laugh.

 

 

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Reader Comments (16)

I know that they are for sale on Amazon.com (the UK verson of Amazon). You might want to see if they ship to the US. Good luck!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Keith-Floyd-Cookery-Collection-Travel/dp/3865387365

September 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie

lets raise our glasses to him, he would approve...
lovely tribute

September 28, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterrachel

I never saw him before..I could watch every episode I am certain.Loved this one..Great sense of humor and loads of charm..Speaks French beautifully also from what I heard.

Mme Moulin was charming..I laughed out loud~

September 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMonique

I only saw one or two shows of his years ago and loved them - thanks for a nice tribute!

September 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCooking with Michele

The episode was delightful. Wonderful tribute. I will be watching more.

September 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNatalie

We have Keith's shows here in Malaysia and I love watching his eccentric ways.His funny and charming and he will be missed.

U have a lovely blog. I found it through La Table de Nana...I'll be coming back for more.

October 3, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterzurin

i also have in not great (but certainly acceptable)condition
Floyd on France, on Fish, Britain and Ireland,on Food,
and Floyds American Pie on dvd transfer I will stay in touch.
Im trying to get a better quality transfer
Cheers

October 16, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterpeter in australia

Thank you for introducing me to Keith Floyd. My life and cooking will on be better for it.

April 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

I absolutely loved this video and cant wait to see more of Keith Floyd! I am sorry he is gone esp before i got to know of him. I grew up with british humor and could not contain myself and cant wait to use 'dragon' the next time i talk about my mil. thank you very much for sharing!

August 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterZelda

I loved Keith's shows too when working in the UK. At the time I was there "far flung Floyd" was aired for the first time and it inspired me to make Asian dishes and buy his book. Amazon UK does have all of his shows on DVD. So if you can de-regionalise your player you can watch them straight out of the box. Another source for footage might be the ITunes Store provided you have an UK account set up.

April 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFred Kaesmacher

I remember the series and enjoyed them very much when I lived in Holland at the time.. One time the result didn't turn out as it was meant to be. He was baking a fish in salt and the result was poor. But Keith talked himself out of it in a very funny way. Also the poorer results (if any...)were shown and that's what I liked about it!

July 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJan

I JUST LOVE WATCHING ANY FLOYD PROGRAM.BUT CAN ANY ONE TELL ME,WHAT IS THE HAUNTING MUSIC THEY PLAY IN THE BACK GROUND ON FLOYD ON ITALY?.

November 12, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterles

does anyone know the answer to my question dated nov 2013 ?

March 4, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterles

From The Italian Dish:

Les: I'm sorry - but I don't know that music at all. It's nice! Maybe someone can help.

March 4, 2014 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

Hi Les,

I was trying myself to find the music. It will be performed by Crocodile Music (.com) who also do the music for Rick Steins' programmes. Incidentally he has the same production team that Floyd used. Hence the connection. You'll see on their homepage the info on how to find the music you're after.

Nick

July 31, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNick

Hi all, but particularly Les and Nick.... The music is definitely not down to Crocodile Music or any other production company for that matter, in the way that Rick Stein's music may very well be. As you're no doubt aware, Keith was more than just a little maverick and anarchic, which is what seems to endear him to so many of us, and fittingly, his choice of title music for the show was 'Waltz in Black' by the English punk band 'The Stranglers'. You can find it on a number of their greatest hits albums, which I would wholeheartedly recommend you purchasing!

January 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAndy

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