Bobby Silva, who just joined Chinatown’s Sparrow + Wolf as chef de cuisine in November, died on March 23. He was 39.
News broke over Instagram and Facebook as condolences poured in from chefs, friends, and former co-workers.
Silva worked in Las Vegas for more than 20 years, studying at College of Southern Nevada and Le Cordon Bleu before working as a sous chef at Triple George Grill at the Downtown Grand. His long career included stints with Rick Moonen at RM Seafood at Mandalay Place, and then with SushiSamba at the Grand Canal Shoppes as executive sous chef. Silva appeared with SushiSamba executive chef Herb Wilson on Top Chef Masters.
Silva went on to work as corporate executive sous chef for Mina Group, and then returned to the Samba family as lead culinary trainer for Samba Brands Management. Silva opened Sake Rok at The Park as executive chef and went on to work as chef de cuisine at Momofuku at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. He went on to help open Hatsumi at Downtown’s Ferguson’s Motel as chef de cuisine.
Silva has two sons, Robert and Alex.
Condolences came in from friends across the city.
“As chefs, outside looking in we can be competitive, arrogant, constantly pushing ourselves and each other, seemingly in constant competition with each other. So when I moved to vegas figured would be the same. And honestly it was 11 years ago, we were all hot headed , not a care in the world besides cooking and kicking ass on the strip. When Bobby and I first became friends,I had just started at Tao/LAVO in the venitian, No matter how his day went he was a great listener and supporter and friend. It’s these moments most people outside the chefs circle never see, but that’s what makes our bond so strong. As a chef community vegas is a special one. I am surrounded by some of the most talented cooks in the world here, and we are all in this crazy craft together.... and today, we are hurting together, each of us cooking or working in Our kitchens and restaurants, all linked by the pain of one less chef knife on the board. We all miss you Bobby, and to our crazy vegas chef circle. I love you guys,” Marc Marrone, the owner of Graffiti Bao, wrote on Facebook.
“Thanks for shucking clams in the middle of the cold desert for two days, laughing through frustrating moments around a fire pit, cooking with me at the best popup I’ve done and won’t soon forget. Thanks for advice, laughs, & inspiration. Farewell friend,” Justin Kingsley Hall of Main St. Provisions wrote on Facebook.
“I am shook right now,” Starseed Lyss wrote on Facebook. “Bobby I wouldn’t be the chef I am today if we never crossed paths. So many long nights in the kitchen together so many memories and good times. I learned so much from you SO MUCH! How to write up a menu, sharpen my knife.... My plate up skills were all thanks to you. AND your food man, your food.”