Keith Floyd: Mussel Man Extraordinaire

Recipe: Mussels in Garlic and Wine

Photo: UPPPA/Photoshot

So as you’ve probably guessed, I spend a fair amount of time sucking tube in the form of cooking programs. In truth, I’m something of a whore for TV cooks and will watch almost anything, so long as it involves chopping and stirring, and generally the more outrageous, out-of-control and outré the chef the better. Witness my love for Paula Deen. So out there, so over the top, so Southern — I just cannot get enough, y’all. Similarly, I’ll jack into YouTube and watch Mrs. Child, the Two Fat Ladies or Graham Kerr for hours on end. It’s like crack for me.

Imagine my excitement then, when my pal Joe Hoover over at Londonsurvival introduced me to the manic, magical, utterly soused world of Keith Floyd. Though no longer with us, the great Floyd virtually created the cooking show genre in the UK, or so I gather. Now, if you search on YouTube, you’ll find dozens of fabulous episodes all guaranteed to please. My personal favorite involves our hero preparing ostrich meat and eggs on a brazier in the Outback, surrounded by a gaggle of free-range ostriches, who are apparently oblivious to the cannibalism going on right under their beaks. It’s pure kitchen magic, folks.

But here’s the thing. The guy could actually cook, and most of the time he made it look effortless — and even if it wasn’t effortless, it still looked really fun. So here he is with a lesson in the preparation of mussels. It’s not one of his more outrageous episodes, but it is one of the more instructive. If you have questions about how to choose mussels, or any other seafood, there’s a vintage Slattern post that covers the subject pretty completely.

Hot tip: If you buy farm-raised mussels, they’re much less apt to be sandy and thus are less fiddly to prepare.

About WSW

Writer, wife, mother. Toiler in the bottomless, black, soul-sucking coal mine of domestic life. Thank God for the portable bar.

Posted on March 12, 2012, in Cooking, Seafood and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. My respect for you just keeps on growing with the mentioning of Two Fat Ladies. Such a wonderful, chatty, entertaining mess of a show that was. 🙂

    • Sadly we’re now down to one fat lady with the death of Jennifer Patterson, but I’m with you. It was a hot mess of a show and I loved every minute.

  2. I’m glad you like him, bit of a legend. R.I.P.

    He always travelled with the same cameraman so they would have this rapport, and he’d more often than not be a little bit drunk – as I’m sure we all are when we’re cooking. No, just me? Oh.

  3. God I remember that guy. From my part of the country too, he used to do a local cooking show there and then went national. A bit of a character to say the least.

  4. Loved the video. I’m not a great mussel fan but it brought me back to when I cooked a lot with wine and sipped my share. The video reminded me of Graham Kerr in the bad old days. I’m working on an all-purpose red sauce for Wednesday’s post. Check it out at

  1. Pingback: Avoid the bad clam « Kitchen Slattern

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