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Lloyd Grossman…

Mayhem! Chats with Lloyd Grossman

Mayhem! featured an interview with Loyd Grossman in our summer special. We have provided a cheeky preview below for you, to read the full interview published in our back issue online, please click here.

Loyd Grossman was at this years Brighton Food Festival, which was blessed by the weather! Hundreds of people dropped in to taste the delights and sip a few mojitos and straight off stage to relaxing in the shade with his Panama hat, Loyd Grossman took a few minutes out to explain how he found himself getting saucy after a long career in journalism and television presenting.

Loyd Grossman Interview: So, what ’s with that voice and how has it affected your career?

I moved from Boston to England in 1974…that’s it! It has been a blessing and a curse though – I remember once going to a hotel and when the receptionist saw the name on my credit card, she wanted to know if it was me. I didn’t want to make a fuss so I said no. She was really sweet and said that was a shame, but that it was my lucky day as the hotel must have thought it was the ‘real me’ because they had upgraded me to a suite! Another time when I was playing with my band a fan came over and asked if I was the same guy from the TV. I said yes and his girlfriend asked me to talk to her, which was a bit weird. I started chatting and she just cut me off half way through a sentence, saying “it’s not him” and walked off!

Loyd Grossman Interview: You’re best known as a journalist and television presenter, but here you are making your own brand of sauces? Can you connect the dots?

Well, my first job was as a journalist working for Harpers and Queens, now known as Harpers Bazaar. During that time I was asked to write for all sorts of other people and I eventually found myself at the Sunday Times. While I was writing
I frequently got asked to be on the radio and stuff like that. Someone just rang me up one day and said we’re starting a new television company which turned out to become TVAM. I didn’t know anything about television and I didn’t really have any interest in it – but I went in to see them. They were looking for new ideas for programmes and they had quite a nice atmosphere, so I went off with a couple of friends and invented ‘Through the Key Hole’. As a result of that I got asked to do a lot of other programmes – I wanted to do a food programme in particular and I had heard about ‘MasterChef’. It was all relatively accidental you know, I didn’t have a plan.

Loyd Grossman Interview: How did ‘ Through the Keyhole’ shape your career and what do you think about the latest series of Masterchef?

‘Through the Keyhole’ was very, very successful on TVAM, so much so that it went to prime time and, at its peak in the 1980s, it was probably the most watched British Entertainment Show. But, you know, it was only ever meant to be tongue in cheek – I really don’t care about anyone’s wallpaper! I was asked recently if I would do it again if they revived it, but I did it for 20 years and I think that’s enough! As for ‘Masterchef’, I think these days it’s more about professional chefs trying to make a name for themselves, rather than wholesome food, well made.

Loyd Grossman Interview: What’s your favourite style of food nowadays?

Whatever’s put in front of me! The only thing I hate is pompous food, I prefer ‘real’ food, you know? I mean, if anything came out to me on one of those silver platters with the lid, I’d rather leave the restaurant right then! I think Michelin Stars are over rated too, I know lots of Michelin restaurants I wouldn’t go back to and lots of fabulous places without them.

Loyd Grossman Interview: What did you learn from your early experiences with Harpers and Queens with regards to food writing?

It was largely self taught in those days, simply because they were very few of us. There were only a couple of other restaurant critics in the country, so there was no one to copy as it were. I always like doing stuff for which I’m not really qualified. I like learning how to do things, which is why I’ve gone back to University. I don’t need another degree, but I like learning stuff.

Loyd Grossman Interview: You’re also in a band, can you tell us a bit about that?

Well I’ve always played in bands, since I was 14. Getting to the stage where you have the time to really do it well is terrific! I have to say, playing Glastonbury is thrilling – playing big festivals is fabulous, a really amazing thing to do. I did Rebellion in Vienna a couple of years ago which was great!

Want to read more? Please click here to checkout the full interview in our back issue online!

Interview by Daniel Tidbury and Mia Habens