Chef Floyd Cardoz is a celebrated Indian-American chef with restaurants in both India and the United States. Most recently, he opened and serves as partner at the critically acclaimed The Bombay Canteen in Mumbai, of which The Daily Meal said, “If someone comes to Bombay, this is one place I would really want to take them. Not because it’s totally Bombay, but because it’s completely Indian, in a city that celebrates and shelters the diversity which we call India.” His first solo restaurant venture in New York, Paowalla, will open in SoHo in summer of 2016 and his second cookbook, Flavorwalla: Big Flavor. Bold Spices. A New Way to Cook the Foods You Love, was just released by Artisan on April 5th.
True to his life’s work, Chef Cardoz is very fond of quoting the poet Robert Frost…
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
TRAINING AND RESTAURANTS
Chef Cardoz attended culinary school in Bombay, where he apprenticed in the kitchen of the Taj Mahal Intercontinental Hotel. To broaden his familiarity with classic culinary technique, he then attended the Hotel Management Culinary School at Les Roches in Bluche, Switzerland, spending his evenings cooking in Italian, French and Indian establishments.
Chef Cardoz moved to New York City in 1988, and started working under Chef Gray Kunz at the venerable Lespinasse in 1992, where he spent five years rising from Chef de Partie to Executive Sous Chef. In 1997, he left to work with the Union Square Hospitality Group, where he opened the award-winning Tabla in 1998, served as their Consulting Chef for El Verano Taquería (an authentic Mexican taquería with locations at Citi Field and Nationals Park), and then opened North End Grill in 2012. In 2014, he left to open White Street, where he was the Consulting Executive Chef in its first successful year.
In 2015, 28 years after his departure from India for New York, Chef Cardoz returned home to open his first restaurant in Mumbai, The Bombay Canteen, which quickly rose to local and international acclaim. The Daily Pao hailed dining at the restaurant as feeling a part of “one large celebration, in this case the feting of a restaurant done right.” Harnoon Channi-Tiwari of Rediff said, “Like Erich Segal’s Love Story, a meal in the restaurant evoked something deep inside and held on to my heart, refusing to let go.” And Vogue magazine welcomed the restaurant as celebrating as “the variety, diversity and richness of our regional cuisines and ingredients by cleverly designing a menu that suits the palates, lifestyles, and even our drink of choice today.”
In the summer of 2016, Chef Cardoz will open his much-anticipated restaurant Paowalla at 195 Spring Street in New York’s SoHo neighborhood. The menu will focus on small plates that are local, fearless, fun and approachable, helping New Yorkers redefine what they think of as “Indian cuisine,” with dishes including biryanis adapted from his travels in Hyderabad, meat dishes from his home in Goa, innovative seafood and vegetables from Kolkata, and Indian breads made in the restaurants wood-fired brick oven.
BOOKS AND COLLABORATIONS
In 2006, Chef Cardoz published One Spice, Two Spice: American Food, Indian Flavors (William Morrow Cookbooks), which includes his favorite recipes, demystifies Indian food and flavors, and teaches budding cooks how to expertly add Indian spices to American cuisine. In 2008, Chef Cardoz launched a line of convenient “4-Minute Meals” and “Ready-to-Cook” entrées in collaboration with gourmet online grocer Fresh Direct.
Chef Cardoz’s most recent cookbook, Flavorwalla (Artisan), was released on April 5th, 2016. In 100 recipes, he shows readers how to bring extraordinary flavor to every day foods, making every meal distinct and memorable. With Flavorwalla, even the most humble ingredients, like eggs, steak and vegetables, benefit from his nuanced use of spice and the instruction of his impeccable technique.
ACCOLADES AND CHARITABLE WORK
In January 2007, Chef Cardoz received the first-ever “Humanitarian of the Year” Award from Food TV and Share our Strength in honor of his continued commitment to community engagement. He regularly works with Share our Strength, City Harvest, C-CAP: Careers through Culinary Arts Program, and Madison Square Park Conservancy, among others. In 2011, Chef Cardoz was named among the Top 50 Most Influential Global Indians by GQ Magazine.
In the summer of 2012, Chef Cardoz won Season Three of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters. With this accolade, he donated his winnings of $110,000 to the Young Scientist Cancer Research Fund at New York’s Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, which supports young researchers trying to make a difference in cancer research. Later that year, Chef Cardoz helped found the Young Scientist Foundation (YSF), which enables high school and college students to work alongside accomplished researchers to develop new treatments for diseases. To this day, YSF in an integral part of Chef Cardoz’ charity efforts.