Ricardo Valverde‘s fascination with the culinary world started at the young age of seven, in his hometown of Lima, Peru. With a curious palette and the hunger to learn about west coast flavours, Ricardo moved to Vancouver in 1998 to pursue his passion against his parents’ wishes for him to become an engineer. Instead, he dedicated his time to refining his culinary skills by learning the intricacies of French cooking and received a Culinary, Pastry/Baking and Hospitality Management Diplomas at the prestigious Dubrulle French Culinary Institute of Canada.
Captivated by the ambiance of a restaurant and the bustling sounds of a kitchen, Ricardo went on to enrich his palate by working for some of Vancouver’s most respected restaurants and earning numerous accolades for his culinary flair and sophisticated taste. Throughout his career, his signature fare has been recognized in the pages of several publications including Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants, Vancouver Magazine, The Globe and Mail, the National Post and other notable local and international food magazines.
He remains determined to break down culinary barriers by introducing Peruvian cuisine to Vancouver’s innovative food culture, and has formed his very own trademark by combining his Peruvian roots with West Coast techniques and ingredients. In 2019, Ricardo was honoured by his home country when he was bestowed the honour of ‘Illustrious Peruvian Citizen in Canada’ by the Consulate General of Peru in Vancouver.
This Japan native brings some serious culinary chops (and matching knife skills) to Ancora’s kitchen. Originally from the port city of Tsururga, Yoshi is a born-and-bred seafood lover. He brought his passion with him when he moved to Vancouver at the tender age of 19, where he began building his reputation and CV as a masterful sushi chef. The certified Fugu (blowfish) and Japanese-specialty chef co-owned and served as head of various local kitchens, including Shijo (from 1987 to 1996), and Yoshi (1996 to 2002).
In addition to running kitchens at his own establishments, he was responsible for building the raw bar and exceptional sushi offerings during his tenure at the renowned Blue Water Cafe, and during his time as Master Sushi Chef at Ki Modern Japanese.
Yoshi’s dishes are marked by their beauty and immaculate execution. Lauded as one of the best cut-men and sushi chefs in Western Canada, Yoshi’s expert sushi and sashimi creations have earned him his own cult following.
When this self-proclaimed sushi purist isn’t serving up his artistic flare to Ancora’s guests, you can find him on a nearby golf course, creating pottery or travelling to select sunny destinations with wife Teresa.
Rebecca has always been intrigued by the integral role food plays in our lives, and how a lovingly prepared dish can transcend geography and culture. She applies her curiosity and passion for food daily as pastry chef at Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio, leading her team in crafting exquisite desserts that leave diners happy and comforted.
Rebecca was born in Mississauga, Ontario, but spent a significant amount of her childhood living in her mother’s hometown of Bangkok, Thailand. There, she helped out at a local bakery and was instantly drawn to the joy her desserts gave to customers. After moving to Vancouver, Rebecca completed a degree in Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, where she expanded her knowledge on global cultures and customs. She then went on to pursue her culinary career at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, graduating first in class with a dual diploma in Baking & Pastry and Culinary Arts before joining the Ancora team as pastry cook. Now, as the restaurant’s pastry chef, Rebecca oversees development and production of the pastry menu; trains and mentors staff; manages pastry selections for special events; and crafts bespoke desserts for eager guests.
When she isn’t dreaming up new desserts, Rebecca spends her time exploring the Lower Mainland – particularly the ice cream shops – and trying out treats crafted by fellow baking enthusiasts. She dreams of opening her own café in the future, but for now Rebecca is focused on chasing adventures, travelling, and challenging herself to try new experiences.
EXECUTIVE PASTRY CHEF
At Ancora, Barret Pearson fully indulges his talent for orchestrating unforgettable dining experiences enhanced by impeccable wine service.
After embarking on his first foray into the culinary world as a line cook at a number of Vancouver-area restaurants, he switched gears and began working at The Sutton Place Wine Merchant, where he discovered his true passion among the shelves of diverse vintages and varietals.
Barret then devoted himself to the study and pursuit of wine knowledge and earned a Wine Spirits and Education Trust (WSET) Level 3 accreditation with distinction from the institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Quebec during a brief sojourn in Montreal in 2015. From there, he further immersed himself in the craft of small-batch winemaking at Trail Estate Winery in Ontario’s renowned Prince Edward County region, working a full season in the vineyard and cellar as a winemaker’s assistant.
After returning to Vancouver in 2016, he stepped into his first role as a restaurant Sommelier at Gastown’s Wildebeest and moved on to oversee the wine program at Michel Jacob’s downtown mainstay Le Crocodile before joining the award-winning front-of-house family at Ancora in 2018.
“I am thrilled to work with a passionate team that so seamlessly blends a welcoming environment and fine standards of service with great food and a wide-ranging list of unique wines,” Barret says. “For me, the key is all about nurturing lasting relationships and expanding a community of diners and industry professionals.”