This week I am delighted to be joined by friend and fellow Apricot Plotter, Caroline James. I also love her books and really want to be her one character Hattie! Caroline is going to tell us about her real life hero …
My real-life hero was a chef by the name of Keith Floyd. With a background in the hospitality industry, I was an agent for many years, representing some of the chefs seen on TV. Floyd, or ‘Floydy’ to his fans, was a cult figure who revolutionised food programmes on television and was talked about with great respect within the culinary world. Floyd was a fantastic foodie and, for me, always a real-life hero.
My interest in Floyd inspired one of my novels, Coffee Tea the Chef & Me, set in Southern Ireland. Floyd fell in love with the town of Kinsale after visiting a riotous event which is their annual Gourmet Food Festival, held each October. I followed Floyd’s footsteps to magical Kinsale and could easily understand why he chose to make the town his home for several years, and he described his time there as the happiest years of his life. In his words, he ‘Slipped into the manic merry mayhem of Irish life, like snow melting off a steeply corrugated roof.’
Floyd is a wonderful writer, with many books to his name and words that bring the places he visited to life. There is no wonder that he loved Kinsale. It is a foodie haven with many fabulous restaurants and pubs and the finest ingredients, fresh from the Wild Atlantic Way.
Floyds shows are still shown on screens around the world. Cooking on television and the internet continues to dominate our screens, creating new stars in the kitchen and legions of adoring fans. But in the early days, Keith Floyd inspired a generation to cook when he took his cookery roadshow out of the studio and around the globe. He delighted us with what was then a relatively new way of viewing – cooking on location.
Floyd was married four times, and women adored him. He was charismatic and made cooking sexy, informative and appealing to men, too, as he was essentially a bloke’s bloke. Passionate about rugby, he loved a drink and was always seen with a glass nearby and was well-known for taking a slurp whilst cooking. His bespoke clothes came from the finest tailors, and he was flamboyant – often described as the rock and roll chef. When Floyd bounced onto the scene, he generated an attitude that hugely influenced the next generation of chefs and many that I worked alongside.
Here’s Floyd talking about his cookery programmes:
“It was a cookery programme about a madman who travels around the world, cooking, eating and drinking. He has no scripts, no nothing. He was a bloke called Keith Floyd. Floydy. I didn’t recognise him at all it was like watching a stranger on the screen.”
Floyd’s TV series stand the test of time and he is as effervescent and brilliant as ever. Very much a match for the Jamie’s, Heston’s and Gordons that he inspired. I am sure that Floyd lives on in his culinary heaven, cooking and entertaining some of the greatest foodies who have ever passed through the Gourmet Golden Gates. For those that remember him, Floyd will live on in our memories, too, for many years to come.
What a lovely tribute to a man who obviously made a big impression on you Caroline. Thank you. Mx
Caroline James Bio
About Caroline James
Author of women’s fiction, Caroline James has owned and run businesses encompassing all aspects of the hospitality industry, a subject that often features in her novels. She is based in the UK but has a great fondness for travel and escapes whenever the pandemic allows. A public speaker, which has included talks and lectures on cruise ships world-wide, Caroline is also a consultant and food writer. In her spare time, Caroline can be found walking up a mountain with Fred, her Westie, or sipping raspberry gin and relaxing with her head in a book and hand in a box of chocolates.
Books by Caroline James:
To Contact Caroline, you can use the following links:
Facebook: Caroline James Author
My review of The Best Boomerville Hotel
5 Star – What a delight! It took me a couple of chapters to get to grips with the cast of characters, but when I did, I loved every minute! Love irreverent, unpredictable Hattie – I wish I was more like her. This book has a touch of everything – love, mysticism, pathos, humour, dark elements, real life scenarios. When I retire I want to live somewhere like Boomerville and be more like Hattie…
My review of Boomerville at Ballymegille
5 star – I loved this book! The author has a way of making you care about the characters – all of them! There is a varied cast of characters, some familiar from the first Boomerville book, some new. Even the animals involved are lovely and play their parts. Hattie is still my favourite and I want to be more like her – just can’t seem to fit my lipstick down my bra!
Most of the book is fun and escapist, but there are more serious elements to the plot. I laughed and I cried. A perfect escape from day to day life. We now need a film or television series of these books!
International Bestseller Summer at Lucerne Lodge was published as an eBook on 20 April 2021 and now available as a paperback and audio download too – Amazon Check on my Choc Lit author page for other purchasing options here