Keith Floyd: the last great Englishman and Gastronomic Pilgrim

Dear Hector,

I finally decided to take a bit of exercise on the historic pilgrim’s way to Santiago. Incidentally the handmade boots from Jermyn Street are bearing up beautifully. D’you know though it’s jolly solitary being a pilgrim — gives one time to reflect and ponder the quiet beauty that is Galicia.

— Floyd Around the Med, Galicia.

My kind of chap Floyd. As he says, religion, art, music and cooking are all intertwined. Though Floyd died about six years ago I’ve been catching up on programs that I missed and have revisited several episodes of ones I originally watched. I can’t believe it’s been thirty years since “Floyd on Fish”. Despite the rash of so-called “edgy” cooks and “personalities” these days, Keith was the real deal. He was just being himself, scathing, unrehearsed, having a damn good time and knowing a huge amount about food and booze — but always the first to admit when he doesn’t. This was the chap who turned me onto cooking as opposed to merely eating good nosebag. And who couldn’t resist the unlikely use of the Stranglers’ classic Peaches as his theme tune and “house” band — no way he’d get away with that now not to mention his onscreen “slurping”. Floyd: the last great Englishman and gastronomic pilgrim.

One of my favourite of his programs was American Pie and specifically his Louisiana/New Orleans stop introducing me to K-Paul’s Paul Prudhomme, recipes I tried with some success from the eponymously titled book:

See if you can find Keith meets Keith (there are snippets on youtube) but failing that check out this pretty standard documentary: