Mumbai-born chef Floyd Cardoz dies in New York of COVID-19

Floyd Cardoz
Floyd Cardoz, image via Facebook

Cardoz was behind critically acclaimed New York restaurants like Tabla and Bombay Bread Bar.

This is a news that will send the Indian as well as the New York food industry in despair. Chef Floyd Cardoz, the man who pioneered Indian food in America and was behind famous city restaurants Tabla and Bombay Bread Bar, has died of Coronavirus.

The Indian American chef contracted COVID-19 and died of complications arising from the disease. He was 59. Cardoz had returned to New York from India via Frankfurt in Germany on March 8. Last week, he admitted himself to a hospital in New York after developing high fever.

Cardoz was in India, earlier in March, to shoot for the Netflix food series Ugly Delicious. He was documenting traditional sweet treats such as ‘Nimish’ (cream pudding) made by the mithaiwallas (sweetmakers) of Lucknow, capital of Uttar Pradesh state, for the series.

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Cardoz was also accompanied on the India trip by Indian American comedian Aziz Ansari, who, too, makes an appearance in the Netflix food series.

Cardoz’s demise was met with shock and a sense of deep loss by friends.

“He was a great person and a fabulous creative chef,” wrote prominent Indian American philanthropist Chandrika Tandon on her Facebook page. “His restaurants were legendary. My heart breaks. It is hitting everyone. Please stay home. Stay safe. Love Light Laughter.”

Washington, DC, -based Chef K.N. Vinod, who is behind the hugely successful and acclaimed restaurants Indique and Bombay Bistro, wrote in a Facebook post, “A huge loss to the Industry! Gone too soon. I still cannot believe it.”

“A thorough professional and an Ambassador of Indian Cuisine. He will be missed immensely. So many pleasant memories of dining at his restaurants and the warmth and hospitality that he would extend to me and my family.”

“I remember the time when I went up against Bobby Flay and lost, the first person to call me was Floyd. Still remember his words – ‘you were robbed’.

“Floyd would travel any distance if he was given a chance to promote Indian cuisine,” Vinod said. “What a loss! My heart goes out to Barkha, family and friends. RIP”

Indian American tech guru Sree Sreenivasan, who was a friend of Cardoz for two decades, wrote on Facebook that he was shocked to learn about the check’s death. “Saw him last in 2018 and we talked about doing an event together,” the former Chief Digital Officer at New York City Mayor’s office.

A much-respected name in food circles, Cardoz launched the ground- breaking restaurant Tabla in 1998 in partnership with Danny Meyer.

Even though, the eatery closed in 2010, it put Indian cuisine on the gourmet map of America. He also ran the hugely successful Paowala in Soho, New York which was then relaunched as Bombay Bread Bar before closing last year.

(This post has been updated.)

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One Comment

  1. B. S. (Babubhai Sardarji) Patel

    who cares man! good ridannce, we don’t need him. Gujjus don’t like non-veg people.

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