Floyd Cardoz of The Bombay Canteen and O Pedro fame no more

Updated: Mar 25, 2020, 20:00 IST | Karishma Kuenzang | Mumbai

Mumbai-born chef-restaurateur dies in New York after testing positive for Covid-19

Chef Floyd Cardoz
Chef Floyd Cardoz

Bandra boy and world-famous chef Floyd Cardoz, who tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this month, died of the infection in a hospital in New York City on Wednesday. He was the co-owner of two restaurants in Mumbai – the Bombay Canteen and O Pedro, and had returned to the US after March 8, after launched his third venture, the Bombay Sweet Shop.

Official quote

It is with deep sorrow that we inform you of the passing away of Chef Floyd Cardoz (59 years), Co-Founder, Hunger Inc. Hospitality, on March 25, 2020 in New Jersey, USA. He is survived by his mother Beryl, wife Barkha and sons Justin and Peter. Floyd tested positive for Covid 19, in USA, on March 18th and was being treated for the same at Mountainside Medical Centre, New Jersey, USA.

- Spokesperson for Hunger Inc. Hospitality.

Cardoz had been admitted himself to a hospital in New York, where he lived, with a fever around March 18. He had posted that he could have possibly contracted the infection in transit in Frankfurt.

Meldan D'Cunha, the owner of Bandra eatery Soul Fry, who worked with Cardoz at The Oberoi from 1986 to 89, says, "We were working together in the Indian kitchen, and we became good friends. He was always efficient at his work but made a great decision to pursue his avenues in the US, as there's a lot of scope for Indian food there," recalls D'Cunha, who spots Floyd's brother, Kim - a singer and performer - frequently at Soul Fry.

While the world will remember him as the master chef who gave the city some excellent food, for musician Merlin D’souza, who grew up in the same neighbourhood, he was someone who loved to sing and dance as well. So much so that he also acted and sang in a musical that D’souza was directing. "I was 17 and he was 19-20. He was quite passionate about his work and music. His brother, Kim and I also formed a band called Fame back in the day, and his sister is my son's godmother. He was always quite supportive of the community and the arts. He wanted to do more in life, which is how he ended up going to Switzerland to pursue his culinary education. We were all so proud of him for making Bandra and all of us proud. And he's always been a foodie," she reminisces.

And though she hadn't met him in 20 years they did catch up for a few minutes during Christmas of 2019, when chef was in town. "I was just about to go on stage, when someone tapped my back and I turned to see Floyd, asking me if I recognised him. The meeting was cut short as I had to perform next, and by the time I was done, he had to leave. The world is going to miss him, but what a legacy he's left behind. It is premature," D'souza says. She is planning to sing a few songs and dedicate it to Cardoz soon.

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