EXPIRED: 09/14/09 – Keith Floyd, 65, mixed drinking & cooking before most celebrity chefs could hold a knife. After driving at over 3x the alcohol limit he lost his drivering license for 2½ yrs. Later he was diagnosed with malnutrition. In the end he had a heart attack while suffering from bowel cancer.

Rare, yet well done!

Born in 1943, Floyd developed an interest in cooking while serving in the British Army, trying out his culinary creations in the officers’ mess. He later worked in kitchens in Britain and France before opening his own restaurants in Bristol, in southwest England, where he was discovered by a TV producer.

Starting in the 1980s, series like “Floyd on Fish’’ and “Floyd on France’’ made him a household name in Britain and were shown around the world. He became famous for his bow tie, ever-present glass of wine, and unscripted banter with his cameraman that sometimes tipped over into bickering.

More than anything, he got men interested in the world of cooking.

“At that time, it was thought that if you were a man you couldn’t cook,’’ a colleague said. “But Floyd said: ‘I’m a man. I love rugby. I love women. I can cook.’ ’’

To his friends he was generous to a fault and once personally guarenteed £30,000 worth of drink for a party. It was this flamboyance that led him to declare bankruptcy in 1996. His drinking got worse. He collapsed in a pub in Staffordshire in 2008.

His health and finances never fully recovered. But despite all the tabloid stuff you read, Floyd did what he came to do. He encouraged a generation to get back into the kitchen. And we are grateful..



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