The seriousness of the situation became very clear and real when renowned Chef Floyd Cardoz succumbed to the deadly COVID-19, or the novel Coronavirus on Wednesday, March 25. The 59-year-old restaurateur and the Co-Founder of Hunger Inc. Hospitality, which owns the Bombay Canteen, O Pedro and The Bombay Sweet Shop, went to New York from India on March 18 and admitted himself at the Mountainside Medical Centre in New Jersey once he developed the symptoms related to the pandemic.
The news of his death is as much a shock to the American restaurant industry as it is to the Indian industry. Cardoz rose to fame in the 1990’s with his restaurant Tabla in New York, where he was one of the first Indian chefs to present a different side of the Indian cuisine than the usual curries and biryanis. He, along with restaurateur Danny Meyer of Union Square Hospitality group started the restaurant in Manhattan in 1997, which closed down in 2010 after gaining the much deserved critical acclaim.
In Mumbai, he partnered with Sameer Seth, Yash Bhanage and Thomas Zacharias to form Hunger Inc. Hospitality in 2015, of which he was the Culinary Director. He also won the TV reality show Top Chef Masters Season 3 in which he created a variation of Indian Upma.
Condolence posts from reputed restaurateurs and from those whose lives he touched kept flooding social media. Aditi Dugar of Masque, Gauri Devidayal of Food Matters, his former partner Danny Meyer, actor Rahul Bose, actress Tisca Chopra are some of the many that expressed their grief over his death.
Love you so much @floydcardoz
— Danny Meyer (@dhmeyer) March 25, 2020
Danny Meyer is an American restaurateur and CEO of the Union Square Hospitality Group
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
Andrew Zimmerman is an American culinary expert, chef, journalist and a food critic.
This is so heartbreaking.
Coronavirus: Chef Floyd Cardoz, co-owner of Bombay Canteen, dies of Covid-19 in New York City https://t.co/9vpWaaVDgI
— Vikas Khanna (@TheVikasKhanna) March 25, 2020
Vikas Khanna is an Indian Michelin-starred chef known for his restaurant Junoon in New York.
.@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