Keith Floyd

If you saw Keith Allen’s affectionate portrait of Keith Floyd last night – shot in the week that he discovered he had cancer – you will be unsurprised to hear the sad news of his death.

Keith Floyd was that very rarest of things: and Englishman who both loved and understood food. Following, self-consciously, in the footsteps of Elizabeth David, Keith Floyd’s cooking programmes of the 1980s were a tribute to what could be achieved with really fresh seasonal and regional produce and a sensitivity to the gastronomic traditions, first of France and then of the world. His shows made you want to cook. So, when I went to university, it was Floyd on France that saw me through. It is still my favourite cookbook.

Unlike Delia Smith, Keith Floyd’s recipies actually work. All of them. His books are a treasure trove of regional recipies, which never disappoint.

So, here’s to you, Keith Floyd. You taught me to cook.