Sara’s Weeknight Meals: Season 02

Episode 207: Indian Comfort Food


Floyd was a very popular guest! From left to right – yours truly, Adrienne Hammel, Natalie Gustafson and Floyd Cardoz

I had no idea just how delicious Indian food could be until I started working in the test kitchen at Gourmet Magazine in the mid 80’s and had to test recipes from Indian cookbook authors and travel writers. Up until then my only experience with it was my Mom’s lamb curry, a tasty enough dish using generic curry powder. I had no idea then just how exciting true Indian food could be, with all of its layers of flavors and textures, based on the skillful use of many spices. Now Indian food (the real kind, not muddy curry) is my favorite go to food both when dining out and also when trying to mix up my regular menu line up at home. I have been a fan of Floyd Cardoz since he first opened Tabla with Danny Meyer about 12 years ago. I could see that he was not only grounded in Indian home cooking but also talented enough to build on that and take it to further heights. I was thrilled when he agreed to be on the show and we all felt like geniuses because we asked him right before it was announced that he won Top Chef Masters. But, for all his accomplishments, Floyd is a humble sweet guy who loves to share his knowledge – my favorite kind of chef. See Floyd’s bio below.

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About Floyd Cardoz

Floyd Cardoz was born in Bombay and raised in that city and in the fabled trading center of Goa. He trained as a biochemist before he discovered where his real passion lay—in a restaurant kitchen. After culinary school in India and Switzerland, he moved to New York City. He worked in Gray Kunz’s legendary kitchen at Lespinasse and rose to become chef de cuisine there. In 1997, Cardoz teamed up with New York restaurateur Danny Meyer to create Tabla, a groundbreaking restaurant serving New Indian cuisine cooked with the sensual flavors and spices of his native land. With Floyd at the helm, Tabla received numerous accolades including a three star review from The New York Times. The restaurant also spawned an entirely new category of modern Indian restaurants across the
country and internationally. After 12 incredibly rewarding years, Tabla closed its doors in December 2010.

Currently, Floyd Cardoz is the Executive Chef of North End Grill, the forthcoming restaurant from Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group. Located in Manhattan’s Battery Park City, North End Grill will be a neighborhood gathering place for the residents of BPC and downtown communities, as well as the business people who work in the financial district and other nearby areas. The menu will feature the seasonal dishes of Chef Floyd with an emphasis on seafood.

In 2006, Floyd wrote his first cookbook, One Spice, Two Spice (William Morrow Cookbooks). In 2009, he launched a line of meals for online grocer Fresh Direct. He is also the consulting chef for El Verano Taqueria located at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets. Actively engaged in the community beyond the walls of his restaurants, Floyd received the “Humanitarian Chef of the Year Award” from Share Our Strength in 2007.

Cookbook Information:
One Spice, Two Spice: American Food, Indian Flavors
Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks; 1St Edition edition (October 24, 2006) ISBN-10: 0060735015