Gave American Fine Dining an Indian Flavor
My old friend for decades, Mumbai-born and Goan origin, Celebrity Chef Floyd Cardoz, the 59-year-old restaurateur based in the USA, has died. Chef Cardoz had tested positive for COVID-19 in USA, on March 18th and was being treated for the same at Mountainside Medical Centre, New Jersey, USA. He is survived by his mother Beryl, wife Barkha and sons Justin and Peter. Chef Floyd’s mother, Beryl Cardoz worked as Executive Housekeeper in erstwhile Centaur Hotel Juhu Beach in Mumbai.
Floyd Cardoz, an international restaurateur and the first chef to bring the sweep and balance of his native Indian cooking to fine dining in the United States. He was the first chef born and raised in India to lead an influential New York City kitchen, at Tabla, which he and the restaurateur Danny Meyer opened in the Flatiron district of Manhattan in 1998.
Chef Cardoz, a product of Institute of Hotel Management (IHM Dadar) Mumbai 1984 passed out. He began his culinary journey at Iconic Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai soon after passing out from IHM. He did his primary education from St. Andrew’s High School in Bandra and Higher secondary from St. Xavier’s College at Dhobi Talao in Mumbai. He was the co-owner of two successful restaurants in Mumbai – The Bombay Canteen and O Pedro. Earlier this month he had launched a third venture, the Bombay Sweet Shop. Chef Floyd shot to fame when he won the top honour of the television reality show, Top Chef Masters Season 3 with an upma dish with a twist. He successfully ran New York’s acclaimed, Tabla restaurant for 12 years before it shut down in 2010. The news of Chef Cardoz’s demise has stunned the culinary world from all over the world. Many leading chef’s came on record to share their feelings about chef Cardoz.
Chef Sanjeev Kapoor – Padmashri Awardee and Celebrity Chef said “ We have lost a shining star of Indian culinary. He was the torch bearer for fine Indian cuisine across the Globe. He will be missed immensely. His mark on the restaurant industry in both New York and Bombay was remarkable and it’s unimaginable to think he is no more because of this dreaded virus”.
Arun Kumar Singh – Principal Institute of Hotel Management (IHMCTAN Dadar) Mumbai said “Chef Cardoz, a well established innovative chef’s death has cause huge loss to the fraternity of international culinary industry. He showed world, how Indian cuisine should be celebrated and presented and make it poular. We are proud that Chef Floyd was a alumunus of IHM Mumbai. We have lost a great chef. We all in IHM Mumbai, along with the alumni would like to pay our tribute to chef Floyd and pray for his Soul Rest in Peace”.
Chef Satish Arora – Grand Master Chef, Former Director Food Production Taj Group of hotel (Currently runs a Restaurant in Dubai namely Mahek By Satish Arora) said “Chef Floyd began his career under me when I was a Executive Chef at Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai. He was very passionate in cooking and always came forward with unique ideas. He was very hard working and always smiling. Beides his regular work in the kitchen he kept himself busy in creating something new and unique. I met him few years ago in Mumbai, he touched my feet and smilingly said Chef you are my Guru, and besides cooking, I have learnt so many things from you, one of them is keep smiling and do your job. Chef Floyd’s demise is a great loss to the Indian Culinary chef fraternity”.
Chef Milind Sovani, Culinary Director Hospitality innovations, Singapore a batch mate of Chef Floyd from IHM Mumbai said “Its such a painfull news to digest, about the sad demise of my batchmate Chef Flyod Cardoz. He was a bright student and one the most talented Chefs I have known. I had the pleasure to cook along with him for a 4 Hands promotion in singapore few years ago. He truely is the torch bearer of Indian cuisine in USA and has made us all the Indian chefs proud for years. May his soul rest in peace and give strength to his wife Barkha (also our batch mate) and his family to tide over these difficult times”.
Chef Amit Choudhary – Executive Chef – Taj Mahal Palace Hotel Mumbai, who is a batch mate of Chef Floyd in IHM Mumbai said “ As I remember, Floyd was a very compassionate person who would do things differently and would always try and help people in need of genuine help. I had a long chat with him last year, when he visited Mumbai and stayed at theTaj Mahal Palace . I met him maybe after 25 years! He spoke about his way of presenting Indian dishes to the global community. He was more into progressive Indian food.He has inspired many budding chefs across the Globe and would encourage them by constantly interacting with them. His untimely demise is a big loss to the culinary world and to the chefs fraternity. He will be so deeply missed.”
Celebrity Chef Vineet Bhatia in his message said “ A pioneer, maverick and brilliant chef who showcased Indian food to the world through his restaurant in New York and now in India with Bombay Canteen and O Pedro. I was fortunate enough to work under him as a trainee at Oberoi’s in mid 80’s. I met him numerous times at hisNew York Restaurant and and my restaurant in London. I Am shocked to say the least and my heart goes out to his family. The heavens are fortunate to have him and, I can only imagine the wonderful feast he would make for the Gods. You will be missed my friend RIP, you will always be the ‘Modern Indian Chef’ for me”.
Chef Floyd’s batchmates from IHM Mumbai are known names in the hospitality industry in India and abroad that includes Chef Amit Chaudhary– Executive Chef Taj Mahal Palce Hotel Mumbai,
Chef Milind Sovani, Culinary Director Hospitality innovations, Singapore, Chef Rajesh Wadhwa – Executive Chef Taj Palace Delhi, Chef Sudhir Pai – Leading Chef Consultant (Formerly with Unilever Food & Holiday Inn Mumbai), Chef Gautam Narayan – Former Executive Chef at Taj Sheba, Sana’s Yemen & currently Culinary Nutrition Consultant in Newzeland, Manoj Mathew, former GM Taj Group of hotel & currently VP Operations Tamara Leisure, Shelley Thayil – Chief Operating Officer of The Paul Resorts & Hotels, Chef Hardeep Chaddha owner of Khane Khas Restaurant at Bandra in Mumbai, Dhiraj Bhamray – Head Yum Restaurants International to name a few.