Chef Keith Floyd remembered by memorial plaque in Wiveliscombe

Sculptor John Alder next to the plaque of Keith Floyd, in Silver Street.

Sculptor John Alder next to the plaque of Keith Floyd, in Silver Street.

First published in News Somerset County Gazette: Photograph of the Author by

CELEBRITY chef Keith Floyd, who grew up in Wiveliscombe, now has a permanent memorial in the town.

A bas relief plaque of the raconteur, renowned for his groundbreaking approach to TV cookery, has been put on a wall at the top of Silver Street, where he lived as a child.

It is the work of Wiveliscombe sculptor John Alder, who spent years fundraising through the Keith Floyd Memorial Project following his death in 2009.

John said: “The idea originally was to put up a bronze, life-size statue but we couldn't get the funding so went with the plaque.

“I thought it would be a way of celebrating Keith's achievements because he is a man who made a difference.

“Whether you like him or not what he did for English cooking was quite remarkable.”

Keith grew up in the town and attended Wellington School, before the start of a flamboyant playboy lifestyle.

His days in Wiveliscombe are ones he looked back on fondly, saying in 2005 his time there played an 'important part' in his life.

In a chequered career, he was an army officer, a journalist, a dishwasher, a bartender, a cook, a restaurateur, with restaurants in France, Spain, Britain and Thailand.

He wrote dozens of books and presented a number television series, which were screened around the world as he shot to fame.

After dying from a heart attack in 2009, aged 65, the culinary world paid tribute to the eccentric restaurateur.

Somerset County Gazette: BON VIVEUR: Keith Floyd revolutionised TV cookery shows

Marco Pierre White said: “He was a great supporter of the culinary industry, inspiring many - myself included - to pursue cooking.”

A steering group, headed by John, was set up to guide the project in memory of one of the town's greatest sons.

Funding for the sculpture was raised by donations, a proportion of which came from some of the celebrity chefs who admired Keith's legacy.

For more about the Keith Floyd Memorial Project, click here.

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