Keith Floyd died six years ago this week, but his words of wisdom regarding our relationship with food will hopefully live on for a very long time.
by John Pope on September 18, 2015
It is six years and a few days since the passing of Keith Floyd, surely one of the most colourful characters in the history of the ‘celebrity chef’.
That Floyd was flawed is not even up for debate, he was a terrible businessman who several times lost restaurants, declared bankruptcy twice, was married and divorced four times and drank and smoked far more than was healthy. He was temperamental, outspoken and allegedly had little patience.
Despite any of that he came across on screen and in print as a genuine and likeable man. Keith Floyd was a natural cook of great skill, and a restaurateur, host and television presenter of infectious charm. His passion for food and drink were beyond question, and maybe it is ok to be opionated when a lot of what you say makes so much sense.
Here then are a collection of our favourite quotes showcasing the wonderful wisdom of Floyd.
On food and home
A home is a place where a pot of fresh soup simmers gently on the hob, filling the kitchen with soft aromas … and filling your heart, and later your tummy, with joy.
Food is life, life is food. If you don’t like my approach you are welcome to go down to McDonalds
On shopping and cooking
Watch a French housewife as she makes her way slowly along the loaded stalls… searching for the peak of ripeness and flavor… What you are seeing is a true artist at work, patiently assembling all the materials of her craft, just as the painter squeezes oil colors onto his palette ready to create a masterpiece.
Cooking is an art and patience a virtue… Careful shopping, fresh ingredients and an unhurried approach are nearly all you need. There is one more thing – love. Love for food and love for those you invite to your table. With a combination of these things you can be an artist – not perhaps in the representational style of a Dutch master, but rather more like Gauguin, the naïve, or Van Gogh, the impressionist. Plates or pictures of sunshine taste of happiness and love.
On celebrity chefs
They have all been seduced by TV… all they assemble is gourmet Lego without knowing where it’s f****** come from
We’ve become a nation of voyeurs. We don’t cook anymore, we just watch TV programmes about cookery. Nobody takes cookery seriously now, it’s just cheap entertainment. I’m totally to blame. I started it all and now I’m going to go down in history for having started a series of culinary game shows. It makes me terribly sad.
I apparently said that celebrity cooks are so up their own bottoms that they do not realize that food should be fun, not a station waiting for a train to arrive to take them to a destination to learn how to cook.
I’d like to conclude with words that are not my own. They are instead the thoughts of Marco Pierre White shortly after the death of Floyd. Pierre White, lest we forget, is a man who was once the youngest chef ever to be awarded three Michelin stars, and who before selling his soul to Knorr for the advertising cash, inspired and trained a whole generation of top chefs in his London kitchen.
The thing which is very sad is a little piece of Britain today died which will never be replaced. He was a beautiful man, his ability to inspire people to cook just with his words and the way he did things was extraordinary. If you look at TV chefs today they don’t have his magic. It’s a very, very, very sad day for my industry and secondly for a nation.
Marco Pierre White
Keith Floyd lived with few regrets and ignored the advice of doctors until the very end, choosing to live in his own inimitable way. The sense that he (at times and usually while inebriated) spoke, and the passion for food that he inspired in so many will surely live on for a very long time.