Episode 19: Floyd Cardoz + Home-style Indian Food

Chef Floyd Cardoz of Tabla and Top Chef Masters fame joined us in the studio this week. He shed some light on what home-style Indian food is and how it differs from the Indian cuisine in restaurants. We also discussed his casual modern Indian restaurant, Paowalla, which opened last year.

First, we share what the best things we ate were this week. Shout-out to Caleb Chao's surprise pizza and Samsen's delicious Thai noodles in Hong Kong! Iris then talks about why she thinks it's important to talk about the gap between home-style food and restaurant food, and how only being exposed to restaurant food can misrepresent a cuisine.

We then talk to Floyd Cardoz and ask him what home-style Indian food is and how it's different to Indian food in New York. He tells us about how when he moved to the US, the Indian food he found was nothing like the food he grew up eating. Floyd had never had naan until he was 18 years old! He then talks about pao, the Portuguese-influenced bread he grew up eating in Goa, as well as the various other breads at Paowalla.

13:50 "Most Indian restaurants, I believe, are not about spreading the good news of the cuisine. Take French food, Japanese food, Italian food. It's the chefs who want to show the world, "come and look at what we have". It's this wide variety of ingredients and dishes that you can enjoy and not be afraid of. Indian restaurants for the longest time, haven't done that." - Floyd on why Indian restaurants in the US haven't ventured beyond the usual chicken tikka masala until recent years.

Lynda then asks what Indian dishes Floyd eats or cooks at home that isn't found on the typical Indian restaurant menu. He talks about the fish curry and pork vindaloo he grew up eating in Goa and the importance of seafood in this region. He recalls memories of the fresh food he ate in Goa, and how his grandmother slaughtered pigs and used all parts of the animal over the course of days. Floyd also talks about how he ended up becoming a chef.

Finally, we discuss how Indian food is finally becoming cool and Floyd hints at an exciting new project that he can't reveal until later this year!

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