Bobby Silva, who had just joined Chinatown’s Sparrow + Wolf as a chef de cuisine in November, died on March 23. He was 39 years old.
The news spread on Instagram and Facebook when condolences came from chefs, friends and former co-workers.
Silva worked in Las Vegas for more than 20 years, studying at the College of Southern Nevada and Le Cordon Bleu before working as a sous chef at Triple George Grill in Downtown Grand. His long career included stints with Rick Moonen at RM Seafood in Mandalay Place, and then with SushiSamba at Grand Canal Shoppes as executive sous chef. Silva appeared with SushiSamba Executive Chef Herb Wilson on Masters of the best chefs.
Silva went on to work as a corporate executive sous chef for Mina Group, then returned to the Samba family as a 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 then helped open Hatsumi at the downtown Ferguson’s Motel as a chef de cuisine.
Silva has two sons, Robert and Alex.
Condolences came from friends across the city.
“As chefs, looking inward we can be competitive, arrogant, constantly pressuring ourselves and others, seemingly in constant competition with each other. So when I moved to Las Vegas I thought it would be the same. And honestly, it was 11 years ago, we were all hotheaded, we didn’t care about anything but cooking and kicking butt in the strip. When Bobby and I first became friends, I had just started at Tao / LAVO at the Venetian. No matter how his day was, he was a great listener, supporter, and friend. It’s these moments that most people outside the chef circle never see, but that’s what makes our bond so strong. As a chef, the Vegas community is special. 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 suffering together, each of us cooking or working in Our kitchens and restaurants, all linked by the pain of One less chef’s knife on the board. We all miss you Bobby and our crazy circle of Las Vegas chefs. I love you guys, ”wrote Marc Marrone, the owner of Graffiti Bao, on Facebook.
“Thank you for shelling clams in the cold desert for two days, laughing at frustrating moments around a campfire, cooking with me in the best popup I have ever made that I won’t soon forget. Thanks for the tips, laughs, and inspiration. Goodbye friend, ”wrote Justin Kingsley Hall of Main St. Provisions on Facebook.
“I’m shocked 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 together in the kitchen, so many memories and good times. I learned a lot from you, A LOT! How to write a menu, sharpen my knife … My cooking skills were thanks to you. And your food man, your food. “