Floyd Cardoz, the New York City chef who calls Verona home, finally won one last night on “Top Chef Masters.” The chefs had to take food that has been the downfall of contestants on “The Biggest Loser” and whittle down its calorie count. Cardoz drew a request for a meatball sub from a “Biggest Loser” contestant who hails, ironically enough, from West Orange. The chef’s creation, a buffalo meatball loaded with veggies and the Indian version of ricotta cheese, won him $10,000 to donate to the charity he is playing for on the show, the Young Scientist Cancer Research Fund at Mount Sinai Medical School. (The recipe also calls for farro. Verona residents Manny and Sharon Licitra carry the Italian grain at their store, Mia Famiglia, in Millburn.)
This was Cardoz’ second attempt at a meatball dish. He got dinged in the Quickfire Challenge of episode 2 for a beef and bacon combo that celebrity judge Kelis thought too salty. The India-born Cardoz explained in that episode, and again last night that he had been inspired to experiment with meatballs to help one of his sons lose weight. You can see all his recipes here.
Cardoz has been a mostly strong contestant since the first episode on April 6, when judge (and former Gourmet magazine editor) Ruth Reichl declared that she wanted to learn how to make his oat risotto at home. Alas, that recipe still isn’t posted, but tThe video below shows some of the making of the dish.