Chef Nikhil Abuvala

Chefowner Nikhil Abuvala2_Courtesy of The Workmans

Chef Nikhil Abuvala, Chef-Owner of Roux 30a, Nanbu Noodle Bar, Nanbu Too and The Daytrader Tiki Bar & Restaurant in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, recognized his fierce passion for cooking before he could even reach a kitchen countertop. Perched on a chair alongside his grandmother, a young Nikhil helped her to roll out fresh Indian flatbread, admiring the way she moved about the kitchen collecting herbs and spices. Born in Atlanta and later moving to South Walton, Florida in his early teens, Abuvala credits experiences like this for the motivation to immerse himself in his culinary interests throughout his childhood. Abuvala’s continued curiosity later led him abroad, to explore the cultures and cuisines through cooking in kitchens of nearly 30 countries, developing a meaningful understanding of global ingredients, food culture, and culinary entertainment. His time spent in a myriad of vastly different ways of life helped to expand both his palate and his understanding of himself, identifying his aspirations to share worldly cuisine with family and friends. With this experience, he returned home to South Walton and opened his first culinary venture, Roux 30a in beloved Grayton Beach. A true chef’s table concept, this award-winning restaurant seats only 44 guests and offers private dining, tasting menus and regular dining series by reservation only.

Abuvala conceptualized and debuted his second venture Nanbu Noodle Bar in early 2019. Born from his early love of Asian fare, Nanbu (translates to ‘Southern’ in Japanese) offers Japanese cuisine with Southern flair. Expanding upon the success of Nanbu Noodle Bar, Nanbu Too, located within the City Food Hall in Destin, opened in early 2023. His most recent venture, The Daytrader Tiki Bar & Restaurant, opened its doors in Seaside, Florida in May of 2023.

The Daytrader features locally sourced seafood and ingredient-driven cocktails inspired by the many islands that make up Polynesia with a respectable nod to tiki culture. Because of Abuvala’s sincere love for his community, he regularly participates in and sponsors charity fundraising events throughout the Southeast. Chef Abuvala has been featured in national publications such as Forbes, Garden & Gun, Fodor’s Travel, and Southern Living. He currently resides in South Walton with his wife and two dogs.