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.
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.
Steve Edwards brings a sterling reputation as a consummate host and accomplished sommelier to his role as General Manager of Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio’s newest location in West Vancouver’s Ambleside neighbourhood.
He built his impressive resume with stops as manager, sommelier and wine director at some of the West Coast’s most acclaimed restaurants including Vancouver’s CinCin Ristorante and Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar and Whistler’s Araxi Restaurant & Oyster Bar and Bearfoot Bistro. He also served a key operations role overseeing a number of establishments under the Viaggio Hospitality Group’s family of restaurants before overseeing the front-of-house operations at Ancora Ambleside in 2019.
A graduate of the international Sommelier Guild and a certified Specialist of Spirits, Edwards strives to enhance the guest experience by providing his genuine warmth, innate knowledge of wine and knack for creating lasting impressions. His front-of-house track record in the hospitality industry was recognized when he was singled out as Manager of the Year at the 2016 edition of the annual Golden Owl Hospitality Awards.
“Ancora Ambleside affords me an excellent opportunity to employ a very specific recipe for success I have developed over the years, which involves a harmony of inspired cuisine, a distinctive-yet-accessible wine list, exemplary service and a warm, inviting atmosphere,” says Edwards.
A new arrival on the Canadian restaurant scene, Jean Laven adds an old-world charm for and passion for hospitality to an already impressive front-of-house family assembled at Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio’s newest location in West Vancouver’s Ambleside Beach.
With plenty of experience both in restaurant management roles and as a pastry chef, Jean has a unique perspective on the reciprocal relationship shared by the front and back of house and how to elicit the best from both sides for Ancora’s guests.
Born in Alsace, France, Jean got his first taste of the industry at a young age while exploring the kitchen at a friend’s father’s restaurant, where the sights, sounds and smells inspired him to pursue a culinary career. He went on to hone his skills while working as a pastry chef de partie under renowned pâtissier Hughes Pouget at the three-Michelin-starred Guy Savoy in Paris.
After further developing his craft as a pastry chef at award-winning Amisfield Bistro & Cellar Door in Queensland, NZ, Jean transitioned to the front of house, taking on the title of restaurant manager at The Cowrie Restaurant in Terrigal, Australia for three years. Prior to joining the team at Ancora, Jean served a two-year term as general manager for various food and beverage outlets at Odin Place in Hokkaido, Japan.