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Chef Keith Floyd remembered by memorial plaque in Wiveliscombe
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.
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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