It is a story of time, intention and partnerships. It involves a chef, his wife and his trainee who came together to launch spice blends in a year when tragedy struck. Last March, the celebrated chef Floyd Cardoz passed away due to complications related to covid-19. One of his unfinished projects was a line of masala mixes from India. Seven months later, his wife Barkha Cardoz launched a brand, Floyd Cardoz Masalas, on BurlapandBarrel.com. It’s an online retail platform that sells spices, and was founded by Ethan Firsch, who was trained by the late chef. Since the launch, Floyd Cardoz Masalas have garnered rave reviews.
It all started with his family. “Simple, fresh, fragrant and balanced,” said Barkha describing the masalas in an interview with television show host Rachel Ray. She shared that they have been in the making for almost 20 years when Floyd was with the famous restaurant Tabla in New York. Barkha was working full-time and their two sons were young. Floyd would often come home, hoping for a meal of warm Indian food while his wife had days when she would be exhausted. “I started cheating a bit and would get blends from the store,” she shared with Ray. But, Floyd would detect that something was amiss. He offered to help by blending masalas and bottling them in jars for her. Years later, he packed them for his sons when they were leaving home for college. Roughly about two years ago, he started to work on them as a product that can be standardised and sold.
The three spice mixes—Goan Masala, Kashmiri Masala and Garam Masala—are retailed on an online platform that works with small farmers locally and from all around the world. Recipes with the masalas such as Goan pork stew, chicken tikka and kebabs can be viewed on the website floydcardoz.com. A dollar from the sale of each bottle will be donated to Cookies for Kid’s Cancer, a California-based NGO. Floyd has donated generously to several causes relating to cancer research and healing through his life. After his death, Barkha decided to take his legacy forward not just with food, but also philanthropy.