Interview with Chef Danilo Ibarra

Vancouver is home to some of the best chefs in the world, many have worked for the top chefs and restaurants around the world as well as around the city. Dishing with the Chefs is a series of Interviews with some of the top chefs in and around Vancouver.

Danilo Ibarra

Danilo Ibarra

I went to Vancouver Community College taking the culinary program graduating in 1997, worked at Monk McQueens. I then worked for 6 months at Café de Paris, then at La Régalade (2001), from there I worked at Don Francesco for awhile, then as the Sous Chef at L’Ermitage. From there I moved on to The Fish House for a year, then Horizons for 2 years as the Exec Sous Chef. I returned to L’Ermitage for 2 years, then moved on as the Exec Sous Chef at Glowbal Grill for 3 years. In 2012 I became the Executive Chef of Blue Canoe Restaurant where I have been ever since.

You can follow Chef Danilo Ibarra on twitter @daniloibarra 

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When did you start your Cooking Classes?

I started them 4 years ago, my friend had a store “Cooks and Corks” and I taught classes there for 3 years (until the store closed). I recently started teaching classes at the Golden Ears Cheese Crafter.

What types of Cooking Classes do you teach?

It is more like a demo class, French cuisine and some Latin American cuisine.

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What style of Cooking have you done?

Classical French

What Challenges you as a Chef?

  • Balancing my personal life with the industry is very challenging
  • Keeping up with what is new
  • Prices of ingredients, food costs

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What are your Favourite Foods and Cuisine?

Fresh seafood and fish; and French and Latin American Cuisine

Tell me about your Spot Prawn adventure last year

I had the opportunity to go out on the boat with Frank of Organic Ocean Spot Prawn fishing. I cooked a meal right on the boat and blew him away just as the spot prawns were brought up from the water.

1st dish:

Halibut Ceviche

Halibut Ceviche

Halibut Ceviche


coconut milk




crispy plantain chips

What was your inspiration behind this dish?

Usually do it with shrimp but I like halibut and I added cilantro for flavour along with cassava and plantain chips.

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What are your favourite restaurants outside of where you work?

  • Flying Pig
  • Seventeen 89 Restaurant

What are the Top 5 Ingredients in your home pantry?

  1. Achiote
  2. Paprika
  3. Fresh Herbs
  4. Saffron
  5. Bay Leaves

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What do you like to do in your Off Time?

  • Family time
  • Relax time

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2nd dish:

Strip Loin Steak & Quinoa Salad

Strip Loin Steak & Quinoa Salad

Strip Loin Steak & Quinoa Salad

Black beans


Red peppers




Steak\crispy shallots

Creamy cilantro dressing

What was your inspiration behind this dish?

In Nicaragua we had a rice and beans dish, so I did with quinoa instead, which is healthier.

Are you working with any Local Farms?

  • Cherry Lane Farms
  • JS Natural Farms
  • Blake Farms

What is your relationship with your Farmers?

They are asking me what they can grow for me, that is what drives the dishes I have on my menu.

How far ahead do you plan your dishes/menus?

Most of these ingredients I am using in my features based on when they are harvested and available.

3rd dish:

Chocolate Tres Leches Cake

Chocolate Tres Leches Cake

Chocolate Tres Leches Cake




Baking powder

3 milks: evaporated, condensed and whipping cream

Chocolate syrup

Cocoa powder

What was your inspiration behind this dish?

Nicaraguan origin, I added cocoa powder and chocolate.

Who are some of your Local Suppliers?

  • Organic Ocean
  • Original House of Sausage

Stay tuned for the next chef in the Dishing with the Chef series.

By: Richard Wolak

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