Last month’s draw for Food Club was a celebrity chef again, the late, great Great Keith Floyd!
Keith Floyd came to be 1943 and worked in the army for some time before embarking on his culinary career as either a bar man or a veg peeler, depending on your information source. He had something of a chequered history in the catering trade, opening then bankrupting a group of restaurants in Bristol, then repeating the process later in southern France. A quick scour of wikihistoy confirms the slightly cracked, rakish English sterotype he showed us on telly was maybe not as affected as it might appear- a hard drinking, chain smoking boozer with a string of ex wives and a charmingly toffish speaking voice that lent itself so well to mildly abusing a camera man. James Bond’s cooking cousin perhaps, Mr Floyd was one of the earlier TV chefs with a staggering number of books under his belt as well as a run of beeb shows from the mid eighties until 2001. A staggering number of books it’s not easy to get hold of nowadays it seems as most Victoria Inn cookers were found trawling library order services and ebay in order to get a good selection to chose from.
In general, we loved all the Floyd food we came up with and yes some of it was pretty heavy on the hard stuff as expected. But all of it was good and hearty and nicely traditional, despite being from a number of different cuisines. Some of it ever so slightly retro to my mind, but in a good way. Although traditional doesn’t always mean simple and I certainly skipped over a few options in favour of saving time and shopping hours. The only irks expressed were that some quantities in the recipes seemed a little out of whack (if they were present at all) to the point of questioning the sobriety of the writer at the time of composition. So here we go, Cheers Keith!
Beef Pho by Dave, really flavoursome broth and tender beef. A fine start to proceedings.
A very nice chowder, heavy on the butter and cream nicely cut with some crisp pancetta bits. Indulgence galore, thank you Amanda.
Stuffed tomatoes, meaty and cheesey and everything good. A brilliant result for Sheena from a recipe with no quantities or oven settings! My favourite of the night.
A tabloulleh (that’s a bulgar wheat salad) from me. A favourite of mine historically and went well as a side or as a big bowl of it’s own. Must say I prefer more greenery than Mr Floyd stipulated but it was de-lish.
Pigeon Pie! Hurrah for pigeon pie, supplied by Tom and enjoyed by all.
Poachers Rabbit. I mean Poacher’s-Chicken-Cos-They-Didn’t-Have-Any-Rabbit. Creamy and heavy on the vin blanc, really tasty hearty stew begging for some dumplings! Good job Jason.
A fabulous dish as always from Dr Stuart- I’m guessing an african dish by design of chicken with tomatoes, sultanas and plenty of lemon juice. Fantastically fresh and moreish this was a very, very close runner up for my dish of the night.
Rum cakes from Ian. Ian makes good cake. This was no exception to the rule. Nom.
Floating Islands from Charlotte. That’s bascially meringues poached in custard. Some mixed response here but for my 2 cents the custard was top notch and it worked in that way that traditional old lady dishes do. Yes, it was a bit eggy, what with being made with eggs and all…..Also loved the caramel you can’t quite see on the top. Good work.
This month we welcomed Nigel to the VIFC! Hi Nigel! Nigel made these lovely plum and almond creations, a hefty cakey base cushioning the fruit in the middle. Delicious, and very nicely presented.
As seen many times before, Matt was happy drawing a dessert for the evening. A chocolate and cherry brandy trifely-cheesecake thing. It was double decadent and very boozy. That’s me one step closer to diabetes, and not necessarily unhappily so. Good job.
In summary, we like Floyd and I think I will keep an eye out for any more of his books on my travels!
Next month: Marco Pierre White. No Knorr products allowed.