Saturday, 20 April 2013

Honesty.......The Best Policy By Far

As an enthusiastic cook I am a regular viewer of TV food and cooking programmes.  Over the years my family has suffered thanks to my valiant efforts to replicate the recipes of the celebrity chefs.

Today individuals such as Nigella Lawson, Rick Stein, and Jamie Oliver are no longer just chefs or food writers, they are celebrities and major media stars in their own right.. They are consulted by government and earn vast amounts of money from their TV programmes, books and personal appearances.

The late Keith Floyd however, struggled with stardom.  As a restaurant owner he faced bankruptcy on more than one occasion. Yet he was a great chef and entertainer who in the opinion of many, stands head and shoulders above his peers.

What made Floyd different from his contemporaries?  For me it was his enthusiasm for his craft; his love of a good ‘slurp’ while cooking; and his politically incorrect views on a whole variety of food related topics. Above all he is the only TV chef who was honest enough to show his work with minimum editing.  Culinary disasters were broadcast.  From the inedible Indonesian chilli crab to the failed Mediterranean sea bream baked in rock salt, Floyd owned up, and in the sanitised world of media cookery perfection, that takes courage. It was this honesty which endeared Keith Floyd to millions and encouraged ordinary people to ‘have a go’.

In many walks of life, including public life, owning up to mistakes or indiscretions is not a common occurrence, yet ‘covering up’ is nothing new.

The Old Testament relates the timeless tale of David, King of Israel. He had an affair with a beautiful woman named Bathsheba who became pregnant. To prevent her husband from finding out, King David had the man killed. While it appeared that he had ‘got away with it’, God through his prophet Nathan exposed David’s crime. There were a number of consequences for David’s wrongdoing. Bathsheba’s son died and strife was visited on David’s household for the rest of his life.

In Psalm 32, King David wrote about the drain on his life when he covered up his wrongdoing, and the relief of owning up and knowing that God can forgive the very worst in us.

“When I kept silent my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.

 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me, my strength was sapped, as

 in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity.

 I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord’, and you forgave the guilt of my sin.”

Wise words from the Bible. Honesty and transparency is the best policy.  Perhaps Keith Floyd knew the story of David and Bathsheba.     

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