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Floyd Cardoz Dead at 59: ‘Top Chef Masters’ Winner Dies After Testing Positive for Coronavirus

The food world is mourning the loss of Chef Floyd Cardoz. The Top Chef Masters season 3 winner has died after testing positive for coronavirus.

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Cardoz’s family confirmed his passing to Indian publication on Wednesday, March 25. According to the outlet, the chef died of an infection after testing positive for COVID-19. The restauranteur revealed on March 17 that he was in the in hospital with a fever.

Floyd Cardoz death coronavirus
Floyd Cardoz Fairchild Archive/Penske Media/Shutterstock

“I was feeling feverish and hence as a precautionary measure, admitted myself into hospital in New York,” he wrote alongside a selfie from his hospital bed. “I was hugely anxious about my state of health and my post was highly irresponsible causing panic in several quarters. I returned to New York on March 8th via Frankfurt.”

The next day, The Hunger Inc, the company that runs Cardoz’s restaurants, confirmed that he tested positive for coronavirus.

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“Floyd Cardoz currently admitted in hospital in New York, USA, tested positive for COVID-19 on March 18, 2020. As a precautionary measure we have informed the Health Department in Mumbai about the same,” the company said in a statement. “We are also reaching out personally to people who have interacted with him during his visit to India, so they can take necessary medical advice should they indicate any symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) and/ or self-quarantine. Floyd Cardoz flew back to New York from Mumbai via Frankfurt on March 8, 2020.”

Bravo released a statement after the news broke on Wednesday: “Bravo and the Top Chef family are deeply saddened by the passing of Chef Floyd Cardoz. Floyd was a talented chef who competed and won Top Chef Masters. He was thoughtful, kind and his smile illuminated a room. He was an inspiration to chefs around the world and we offer our deepest sympathy to his family and friends.”

Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi paid tribute to Cardoz on Wednesday via Twitter and Instagram.

“I am beyond saddened to wake up today and hear the news of my dear friend @floydcardoz’s passing. Nobody who lived in NY in the early aughts could forget how delicious and packed Tabla always was,” she wrote. “He had an impish smile, an innate need to make those around him happy, and a delicious touch. This is a huge loss… not only for the professional food world, but for Indians everywhere.”

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Lakshmi added: “My heart goes out to his wife Barkha and their whole family. RIP Floyd.”

The Bravo series’ head judge Tom Colicchio also spoke out about Cardoz’s passing on Wednesday.

“Horrible news,” the chef tweeted. “Thoughts are with Floyd’s family, rest peacefully my friend.”

Fellow Top Chef Masters contestant Hugh Acheson added that Cardoz was a “gem.”

“You were an amazing human and chef,” he tweeted. “You were a father and husband full of love and grace. I am so sorry. I love you. Rest in Peace my friend. #floydcardoz.”

The co-owner of the Bombay Canteen and O Pedro restaurants is survived by his wife and business partner, Barkha Cardoz, and their two adult sons, Peter and Justin.

Given the constantly evolving nature of COVID-19, Us Weekly wants our readers to have access to the most accurate resources. For the most up-to-date coronavirus information, guidance and support, consult the CDC, WHO and information from local public health officials. If you’re experiencing coronavirus symptoms, call your primary care provider for medical advice.