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OP: Flavorwalla

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by Floyd Cardoz

Floyd Cardoz (1960–2020), born and raised in Mumbai, made an enormous impression on the food scene as the executive chef of Union Square Hospitality’s restaurant Tabla. There he applied assertive, Indian-inspired flavor profiles and textures to European-American fare. It was a bold approach for the more conservative fine dining scene at the time, and, though the restaurant received rave reviews, it struggled to defend its rightful place among the greats and shuttered after a 12-year run.

Cardoz moved on to other projects, but what he did at Tabla certainly helped pave the way for a younger generation of chefs looking to approach fine dining from a distinctly non-white, non-European-American perspective.

His 2016 cookbook, Flavorwalla, though oriented to the home cook, was a clear homage to the imaginative style that made Cardoz such a memorable and versatile chef. Take, for example, the New York strip loin with mustard, coriander, and rosemary—a simple but aromatic variation for steak night. Dishes like an Indonesian-inspired rendang short rib, a chicken tagine, and baked eggs with poblanos and potatoes all serve to demonstrate Cardoz’s range and efficacy at applying global flavor profiles to a variety of classic dishes.

Tragically, Cardoz passed from COVID-19 in March of 2020. His loss is a heavy blow to the culinary community.

This copy is a Near Fine first printing signed to Mark, issued without dust jacket.

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