Saturday, September 19, 2009

Rest in Peace, Floyd

Just learned that Keith Floyd, one of tv's most beloved chefs, has died. Of all the tv chefs I regularly watch, Floyd was the most infectiously passionate about food (Jamie Oliver and Kylie Kwong come close). He was always genuine and unrestrained, as if his shows knew neither script nor outtake-- in one episode he absent-mindedly cooked a plastic bottlecap for about five minutes before he took it out.

I started to watch him when I was in undergrad, and on days I have to cook my own lunch I'll try out (i.e., bastardise) his recipes. My first forays into cooking foreign food-- Indian and African food-- was inspired by Floyd. And most of what I know (or pretend to know) about French wines was courtesy of the Floyd on France series, where he didn't really care for the practice of spitting out wine during tasting.

If there was anything Floyd was more passionate about than food, it would be alcohol. Rare is his show where he does not take a big swig of wine or beer. Alcohol will always find its way in the recipe, although not being on the ingredient list is no reason for alcohol to disappear. The only episodes where alcohol was absent was when he visited the more conservative Muslim countries where alcohol is banned, and in those episodes he harped about wanting to take a swig.

With all his rich foods and pints of alcohol, I guess it was just about time before the inevitable happened. Rest in peace, Floyd. Hope they have Bourdeaux, Riesling, and Guinness over there.

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