Shabu executive chef Bob Valaika has spent more than 20 years in the kitchen, cooking alongside notable chefs like David Jarvis, Emeril Lagasse and Nobu Matsuhisa. Valaika developed an appetite for Asian cuisine at the age of 15, where he held his first job at Benihana of Tokyo. He continued to pursue upscale culinary experience at Chicago’s Café Provencal and Melange before receiving his Associates Degree in culinary arts from Kendall College. After moving to Aspen, Colorado, Valakia worked his way to head chef for distinguished restaurants Kenechi and Matsuhisa Aspen, receiving formal training from Chef Nobu, himself. In 2002, Valaika moved to Park City to begin a new culinary venture.
Valaika opened Shabu with his brother, Kevin, in 2003 after he outgrew his own Park City catering company within one year of its launch. Success quickly followed the Valaika brothers, and Shabu has since received accoloades that include Top 12 New Restaurants in America by Conde Nast Traveler in 2005 and Best Restaurant in Park City by Salt Lake Magazine in 2006.
Inspired by the masters who trained him, Valaika has developed his own progressive style of Asian cuisine by fusing ingredients from around the globe. Shabu’s freestyle Asian menu is flavored by Valaika’s passion for skiing, biking and Park City’s seasonal mountain lifestyle.