Chef Floyd Cardoz was an icon of the culinary world. The Mumbai-born chef worked his way through the trenches of New York’s food scene at Gray Kunz’s legendary Lespinasse before teaming with Danny Meyer to open Tabla. The restaurant earned the chef three stars from The New York Times and cemented chef Cardoz and his Mumbai- and Goan-inspired South Asian cuisine in New York’s food identity.
But that was only the beginning for the chef. Cardoz went on to win season three of Top Chef Masters, guide Anthony Bourdain around Hindu temple canteens in the Outer Boroughs episode of No Reservations, and open lauded South Asian restaurants in New York and eventually back home in Mumbai. The chef appeared as recently as this month on the second season of chef David Chang’s Ugly Delicious, where he guided Chang and pal Aziz Ansari through meals at his Mumbai restaurant. Chef Cardoz’s spent his life illuminating the beauty of South Asian cuisines and his impact was monumental.
According to a statement from the chef’s hospitality company, Hunger Inc., Cardoz was admitted into a New York City hospital on March 17th with a viral fever. According to that statement, Cardoz had flown back from work in Mumbai via Frankfurt, Germany, on March 8th. Cardoz made a post seven days ago on his Instagram account detailing what happened saying, “I was feeling feverish and hence as a precautionary measure, admitted myself into hospital in New York.”
It was announced this morning he succumbed to complications from the virus. He was 59 years old at the time of his passing.
Chefs, foodies, and critics have poured out their shock at this great loss for the culinary world.
.@floydcardoz made us all so proud. Nobody who lived in NY in the early aughts could forget how delicious and packed Tabla always was. He had an impish smile, an innate need to make those around him happy, and a delicious touch. This is a huge loss… pic.twitter.com/Q6eRVIpZkL
— Padma Lakshmi (@PadmaLakshmi) March 25, 2020
Floyd. You were a gem. You were an amazing human and chef. You were a father and husband full of love and grace. I am so sorry. I love you. Rest in Peace my friend. #floydcardoz
— Hugh Acheson (@HughAcheson) March 25, 2020
Devastated to hear that @floydcardoz has passed away. A singularly talented chef, knowledgeable teacher, and an extraordinarily kind human being.
— Binging With Babish (@BingingWBabish) March 25, 2020
I don’t want to believe this
Coronavirus: Chef Floyd Cardoz, co-owner of Bombay Canteen, dies of Covid-19 in New York City https://t.co/4wqWaYcA0a
— Dave Chang (@davidchang) March 25, 2020
In 2014, @RogerMSherman made The Restaurateur, a documentary that chronicled the origins of Eleven Madison Park & Floyd Cardoz's Tabla, with footage starting in 1998. It's a gorgeous film and a really poignant watch for today. https://t.co/ogrqx14Ero
— Kat Kinsman (@kittenwithawhip) March 25, 2020
Terrible news. Floyd Cardoz – brilliant chef and wonderful man – has fallen to the Corona virus. A huge, huge loss.
— ruthreichl (@ruthreichl) March 25, 2020
Floyd Cardoz was an exceptional talent, a chef equally at home with undiluted Indian flavors as he was with the delicious union of French, Indian and American food, a personal idiom that he invented. https://t.co/7NcTes1D01
— Pete Wells (@pete_wells) March 25, 2020
Floyd did so much to advance the cause of Indian food and Indian people in America. He was generous, funny, and warm, and I've always wished I could turn back time and eat at Tabla. Sending love to his family. https://t.co/nLMm9ALwmW
— Priya Krishna (@PKgourmet) March 25, 2020
Thought are with Floyd’s family, rest peacefully my friend. https://t.co/pZdbfJkmaH
— Tom Colicchio (@tomcolicchio) March 25, 2020
We stank that day. But laughed so much. I miss this man already, woke to the news that the great @floydcardoz passed away from C19. Never met a more positive and warm hearted soul. His wife Barkha and their kids are in our thoughts. Please send some good… https://t.co/72NLAe8POW pic.twitter.com/lYikcOSBFp
— Andrew Zimmern (@andrewzimmern) March 25, 2020