Chef Floyd Cardoz of Tabla and Bombay Canteen Fame Dies of Covid19


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Floyd Cardoz, a famous Indo-American chef from New York who has had a huge impact on the international culinary world, died on Wednesday after being tested positive for COVID-19 a week ago.

Cardoz, 59, was being treated at Mountainside Medical Center in New Jersey after being tested positive for the virus on March 18, a spokesperson for Hunger Inc. Hospitality, of which he was a partner, told BuzzFeed News. He is survived by his mother, Beryl, his wife Barkha and their sons Justin and Peter.

Cardoz, four-time James Beard Award winner and winner of the Best chefs, ran the iconic Tabla restaurant in New York before it closed in 2010.

He was the partner of two popular restaurants in Mumbai, India – The Bombay Canteen and O Pedro – and had recently launched a third establishment – The Bombay Sweet Shop.

Cardoz’s death was shocked and saddened by chefs, food critics and writers, restaurateurs and others across the culinary world where he was long regarded as a pioneer in bringing Indian flavors to America.

Jason Perlow, a former culinary blogger in Florida, has often met Cardoz at culinary events in New York and Tabla, where he dined frequently with his wife and friends in the mid-2000s.

“He’s always been the most accommodating person,” Perlow told BuzzFeed News.

Perlow said he distinctly remembered that Cardoz was one of the first people to import Indian mangoes to New York and presented the fruit to the American food world in Tabla.

Perlow recalled how Cardoz took him and his wife to the back of his kitchen in Tabla where there were “boxes and boxes of Indian mangoes”. Cardoz would peel “special” for Perlow and his wife and make a dessert for them, usually rice pudding.

“He was the happiest guy and the most welcoming host of all the restaurants he worked for,” said Perlow. “It’s a huge loss to the food world now that he’s gone. ”

“For those who have watched this thing sequestered in our homes, you hear people dying on the Internet. But it only really hits you when you know someone, “said Perlow.

Joshua D’Costa, a 28-year-old chef in Mumbai, said Cardoz was his mentor, a culinary figure “you would only strive to be.”

D’Costa told BuzzFeed News that he met Cardoz when Bombay Canteen opened for the first time in 2015.

“He was kind and polite, unlike the chefs you meet regularly,” said D’Costa. “Even though I left to start my own business two years later, he was always very kind and asked me about my well-being every time we met,” he said.

D’Costa last met Cardoz when the Bombay Sweet Shop opened.

“He was so happy to see me,” said D’Costa, adding that Cardoz had been kind enough to ask him about his back injury which kept him away from the kitchen. He offered D’Costa to join his restaurant after his recovery.

“We chatted for a good 20 minutes and took a few pictures that will keep his memory alive in my mind,” said D’Costa.

Many others in the food industry have paid tribute to Cardoz on social media.

Padma Lakshmi, the host of Top Chef, said that Cardoz “makes us all so proud.”

New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells called Cardoz “exceptional talent.”
Danny Meyers, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group who worked with Cardoz for 17 years and was his partner at Tabla and North End Grill, paid emotional tribute to his close friend, saying he had “made a monumental contribution To the industry.

“Few people have done more than Floyd to impact an entire industry, the career paths of more cooks or the palates of more restaurant enthusiasts,” said Meyers. “He was beyond the skill of a cook. He was a super-taster, big-hearted, stubborn as the day is long, and the most loyal friend, husband and father you can imagine. My heart is just broken. ”

Food industry writers and other members of the South Asian diaspora have paid tribute to Cardoz, recognizing his revolutionary role in the advancement and reinvention of Indian food in America.
Many in the Indian food industry have also mourned the loss of Cardoz.
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