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The vanishing chef on a Phuket billboard: now, sadly, Keith Floyd is gone

Keith Floyd Celebrated Before Heart Attack

Tuesday, September 15, 2009
UPDATE

Keith Floyd, the chain smoking, hard drinking television chef, had just been given the all-clear from cancer, the Telegraph in Britain reported..He had been for a characteristically flamboyant champagne lunch at his friend Mark Hix's restaurant to celebrate and to mark his girlfriend's birthday, and told friends he was feeling better than he had in years. Later the couple were to watch a television documentary about his 25 years in the public eye. However, the man who paved the way for a kitchen-full of celebrity chefs never got to watch that tribute to his talents. He died, aged 65, from a heart attack on his girlfriend's sofa.

Original Report

CELEBRITY chef Keith Floyd has died following a heart attack, aged 65. He had a strong Phuket connection through his eponymous restaurant and a passion for the island.

He died at his partner's Dorset home on Monday, his autobiography ghost-writer, James Steen, told the BBC. Floyd had been diagnosed with bowel cancer in June.

Floyd was a classic bon vivant, entertaining his viewers and his restaurant diners over a lifetime with great food and great stories.

His death was almost as public as his life. A Channel 4 documentary screened in Britain the night before his death was announced.

An extract from a new book recounting his adventures appeared in a British newspaper on Sunday. The book is to be published in October.

Phuketwan had some fun late last year when a large billboard at the Phuket City-airport road t-junction, advertising Floyd's Brasserie at the Burasari Resort in Patong, disappeared . . . except for Floyd's head.

We think he would have had a good laugh.

Once Floyd discovered Phuket, there was no keeping him away. His brasserie at the Burasari in Patong opened three years ago and dining there with Floyd in the vicinity was a memorable experience.

A spokesperson for the resort said today that the relationship with Floyd had always been good and that there has been no decision yet about the future of the restaurant.

It was a grim day for Phuket, with news of the passing of another island pioneer, Bill Owen, coming just hours earlier.

Both Britons, both great contributors and both salesmen for the island, they will be missed. It's hard to imagine either of them being replaced.

In a tribute to Floyd in the Guardian newspaper, Jay Rayner wrote: ''I met him only once, when I was presenting a series called the Food Quiz for Radio 4. We had him booked for an afternoon session and were told in no uncertain terms by Clarissa Dickson Wright, a regular panellist, that getting him after lunch was a very bad idea.

'''Take it from me,' she said. 'I'm a recovering alcoholic and I know.' So we moved the recording to 11am. He turned up, dapper and polite but, I thought, subdued. Looking to make warm things up I told him I had two lovely pheasants in the fridge at home, but that my oven was on the blink. How might I cook them? His eyes brightened, he grinned and said 'pot roast them of course' and then reeled off the perfect recipe.

''That evening I was privileged to eat the best pheasant I had ever tasted.''

Similar tales will be told for years to come.

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