Chef Floyd Cardoz, former ‘Top Chef Masters’ star, dies of coronavirus at 59

Revolutionary chef Floyd Cardoz, who wowed critics and diners alike with his bold cooking at Tabla and Bombay Bread Bar in Manhattan, has died from COVID-19, two people with knowledge not authorized to speak publicly confirmed. He was 59 years old.  

Cardoz, who co-owned The Bombay Canteen and O Pedro in Mumbai, had returned from India via Frankfurt on March 8 feeling feverish. He admitted himself to a New York hospital believing he had the flu, according to close friend Lou Palma. On his Instagram account, Cardoz apologized for worrying anyone about his health. “I am so sorry for causing undue panic,” he said. 

He reportedly died in Hackensack Meridian Health Mountainside Medical Center, according to the Hollywood Reporter and CNN. 

Cardoz, who was born in Mumbai and grew up in Goa, entered the dining scene in Manhattan in grand fashion in 1998 with the opening of Tabla, a swanky fine-dine Indian restaurant that introduced food lovers to authentic, bold Indian food that went well beyond chicken tikka masala, a dish that he would point out isn’t even Indian.

Floyd Cardoz aith chef Mitchell Acholtz

“The perception that Indian food is always heavy, over-spiced, greasy or that it will give you an upset stomach… restaurants just don’t cook like Indians cook at home.” he told Greaves Tours, an Indian travel company.

The restaurant was owned by Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group and was famous for its Indian bread.

In 2011, Cardoz won the Top Chef Masters Season 3 reality show challenge.

Four years ago, he opened a restaurant in SoHo which he closed last year.

He is survived by his mother Beryl, wife Barkha and sons Justin and Peter. 

Check back for developments on this breaking story.

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