Chef Floyd Cardoz, a culinary magician who knew his spices

Popular Indian chef Floyd Cardoz dies of COVID-19 in New York
Floyd Cardoz | Photo: Facebook page

The coronavirus pandemic has claimed the lives of about 20,500 people worldwide, with some of the popular names too involved in it. The virus has already claimed the lives of Real Madrid former manager Lorenzo Sanz, screenwriter Terrance McNally, African saxophone legend Manu Dibango and Rose – Marie Compaore, the vice - president of the national assembly in Burkina Faso. Noted Indian American chef and restaurateur Floyd Cardoz, who is the co-owner of two popular restaurants in Mumbai, Bombay Canteen and O Pedro is the latest celebrity to die after testing positive for the COVID-19. He had recently launched the Bombay Sweet Shop as well in Mumbai.

Floyd who was born and brought up in Mumbai had in fact trained as a biochemist. However, he soon turned to cooking after realizing his true passion for the culinary arts. After completing culinary courses in India and Switzerland he began his career as a young chef in New York. Here, he was mentored by the influential chef Grey Kunz at the Lespinasse.

Chef Cardoz had risen to fame when he joined hands with chef and restaurateur Danny Mayer to open the acclaimed Tabla restaurant in New York in 1997. In 2012, he opened the North End Grille and the White Street restaurant in 2014, both in the United States of America. In 2011, he was the winner of the season three of the popular reality show Top Chef. He had cooked a gourmet variety of the local Indian dish, upma, to impress the judges in the finale.

It was in 2016 that he returned to his hometown in Mumbai to open the Bombay Canteen. The same year, he started the Pav Wala hotel in New York which serves authentic Indian dishes. Cardoz has also written culinary books like the Flavorwalla and One Spice, Two Spice.

Cardoz’s death has shocked many in the culinary world, both in India and in New York.

Floyd Cardoz, 59, died of COVID-19 while undergoing treatment at a hospital in New Jersey. The celebrity chef was in Mumbai until March 8 to launch his latest venture Bombay Sweet Shop. On March 18, he had informed on social media that he was admitted in the hospital in New Jersey.

The Hunger International, which manages the restaurants, had personally contacted those who had been in contact with Cardoz and advised them to go on quarantine. The health officials at Mumbai too had been alerted.