HeThe single first-class clam pie I ever tasted wasn’t pulled from a custom brick oven somewhere in Brooklyn; it came from the kitchen of Floyd Cardoz, the Mumbai-raised, Swiss-educated, Top Chef Masters-winning, New Jersey-residing New York chef who died on Wednesday on the age of fifty nine.
Cardoz debuted the pie in 2012 at North End Grill, the now-closed present day American restaurant he ran with Danny Meyer. The simplicity of the dish belied its subtleties. The bread exhibited a wafer-like crispness. The clams had been assertively saline. The chiles lent a tender kick. And on at least one visit, Cardoz substituted the typical parsley with cilantro, an unusual addition that channeled South Asia or South America greater than Italy or the U.S. The grassy fragrance softened the oceanic aromas.
Pete Wells, in his New York Times overview, stated the shellfish pie changed into so precise it’d’ve bested the heralded one at Franny’s. For me, it turned into extra than that: It have become the model towards which I’d evaluate each other clam pizza I’d ever have.
Cardoz’s leader legacy became making area for contemporary Indian fare within the pantheon of New York satisfactory dining. But I recount the pizza anecdote to highlight a bigger reality approximately the past due chef: He rarely allow himself be sure by way of subculture, be it that of his local cuisine or his adopted ones. This became in particular actual of Tabla, which opened in 1998 as a part of Danny Meyer’s then-nascent empire, and which helped pave the manner for a contemporary class of innovative and high-priced South Asian spots like Indian Accent and Junoon.