Congratulations to Chef Floyd Cardoz! Along with heading acclaimed NYC Indian restaurant Tabla, the accomplished chef can now add another feather to his cap: winner of Top Chef Masters Season 3.
In the end it was a battle of both the coasts and the sexes, coming down to Cardoz against Californians Traci Des Jardins and Mary Sue Milliken. Their challenge was not just preparing “food memories,” but dealing with potentially devastating outside influences ranging from Southern California rain traffic to fallen soufflés. In the end, Cardoz managed to pull ahead of the pack with ox tail and short ribs, rice flaked snapper in tomato-fennel broth, and a daring wild mushroom upma polenta that played off of memories of his youth.
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Chef Floyd Cardoz joins a pretty elite circle with this win. Seminal Frontera Grill culinary wizard Rick Bayless breezed through Season One to victory, while Aquavit and Red Rooster’s Marcus Samuelsson took the top prize at the finale of Season Two. Along with the honor of the Top Chef Masters title, Chef Cardoz is awarded with $100,000 toward the charity of his choice – in this case, Chef Cardoz has promised the winnings to the Young Scientists Cancer Research Fund in memory of his father.
While it's been pointed out that Chef Cardoz is no longer executive chef at Tabla – for, sadly, the Danny Meyer produced restaurant has since closed – there are still big things in store. Chef Cardoz is currently lined up to run North End American Grill, another Danny Meyer restaurant that – as a departure in flavor from Tabla – will offer Chef Cardoz another set of challenges that he’s sure to tackle with the sure handed nature of a winner.