Spice, Spice Baby


Born in Mumbai, and educated in Switzerland (at Les Roches), chef Floyd Cardoz has been the force behind New York’s famed restaurant Tabla since it opened in 1998.But for the 43 year-old Goan, it hasn’t always been about providing Manhattanites with high-end New Indian cuisine.

Cardoz’s beginnings were humble. It was in college (while studying to become a biochemist) that he discovered the Arthur Hailey novel Hotel and realized he could make a living cooking. His decision to switch over to catering school “stunned” his parents. So did his taking an entry-level job at the Taj— where the first day’s assignment was to peel 200-kilos worth of onions.

He put in his time—six days a week, from 8 AM to 11 at night—earning 150 rupees a month.

Fast forward a few years, and Cardoz is now at the top of his culinary game.

His new cookbook One Spice, Two Spice: American Food Indian Flavor, released last month, features healthy “fusion” creations like Kashmiri greens and roasted chicken with fenugreek. Critics call the recipes “surprisingly uncomplicated with accessible ingredients.”

To check out Floyd Cardoz’s cooking first-hand contact: Tabla, 11 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10010. Tel.: 212.889.0667. (Tabla is currently taking reservations for its New Year’s Eve chow-fest).

December 29, 2006
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