Floyd Cardoz, Season 3 winner of Top Chef Masters, passed away at the age of 59 after testing positive for coronavirus. Cardoz’s family revealed the heartbreaking news to Indian publication Scroll.in this morning. The renowned chef revealed in an Instagram post one week ago that he was “feeling feverish” and had admitted himself to a hospital in New York as a “precautionary measure.” Not long after, his health complications worsened due to the respiratory illness.

Hunger Inc., the company that runs Cardoz’s restaurants, confirmed that Cardoz tested positive for COVID-19 on March 18. They are currently reaching out to people who interacted with the restauranteur during his visit to India, so they’re able to “take necessary medical advice” if they experience symptoms of fever, coughing, or shortness of breath.

Many are mourning this immense loss to the culinary world. Said Bravo in a statement: “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 wrote a heartfelt message to the late Cardoz via her Instagram:

Cardoz first rose to prominence in the 1990s with his New York restaurant Tabla before winning Top Chef Masters in 2011. He’s survived by his wife and business partner Barkha Cardoz along with their sons Peter and Justin.

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