Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Heart attack fells wine-loving chef

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 06:  Chef Marco Pier...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

A late post, but a tribute to a great cook… we often watch his cooking shows, and amused at how 'commonly' he approached the kitchen, not to mention his cooking style – makes cooking for an ordinary person something not to be dreaded, but with fun…

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Keith Floyd was a familiar face on television for nearly two decades.
AFP

LONDON - Mr Keith Floyd, television's original celebrity chef, has died after suffering a heart attack. He was 65.

Mr Floyd, who was born Dec 28, 1943, was best known for his enthusiastic presenting style, dress sense and ever-present glass of wine. He revealed earlier this year that he had been diagnosed with bowel cancer.

British chef Marco Pierre White described his death as a "sad day for the nation".

"The thing which is very sad is a little piece of Britain today died which will never be replaced ... His ability to inspire people to cook just with his words and the way he did things was extraordinary."

Mr Floyd's death was announced yesterday morning by Mr James Steen, who ghostwrote his autobiography.

Mr Steen said the chef had suffered a heart attack while watching television at the home of his partner, Ms Celia Martin, in Dorset on Monday night.

He had returned to Britain from France around three weeks ago to start chemotherapy for bowel cancer.

Mr Floyd presented television cookery programmes from around the globe in a television career that began with Floyd on Fish in 1984. His enthusiasm for his craft - coupled with his consumption of substantial amounts of wine as he cooked - made him one of the most distinctive television chefs, and he was a familiar face on the screen for nearly two decades.

His last show, in 2001, was Floyd's India.

Mr Antony Worrall Thompson also paid tribute to his fellow chef, saying he had helped Britons enjoy food and cooking. "All of us modern TV chefs owe a living to him," he said.

"He kind of spawned us all. He turned cookery shows into entertainment. He made cooking approachable and fun. He made us relax about food.

"Until Keith came along, people were very uptight about eating out, and he helped us to chill out about it."

Married four times and divorced four times, Mr Floyd was as tumultuous in his life as in his presenting style. He opened several restaurants, his first in Bristol in the '60s, but suffered financial problems throughout his life and was declared bankrupt in 1996.

He was convicted of drink-driving in 2004 and banned from driving for 32 months.

Mr Floyd started out his career as a reporter on the Bristol Evening Post before joining the army, where he rose to the rank of second lieutenant in the Royal Tank Regiment. He wrote more than 20 books, many of which went straight into the best-seller lists.

His latest autobiography, Stirred But Not Shaken, in which he described his battles with the bottle, is due to be published next month. He is survived by a son and a daughter. AGENCIES

From TODAY, World – Wednesday, 16-Sep-2009


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