danilo ibarra

Danilo Ibarra (PHOTO: TARA LEE)


At Blue Canoe Waterfront Restaurant (3866 Bayview St.), Danilo Ibarra looks fondly out at the picturesque setting of Fisherman’s Wharf. For four years, he’s served as Blue Canoe’s executive chef, forming close relationships with nearby producers. This month, he starts a new chapter as the executive chef at the Vancouver Airport Marriott Hotel (7571 Westminster Highway).

Ibarra’s love of cooking began at an early age. “Since I was a kid, I liked watching others, like my friends’ moms, cook. I always tried to imitate what they were making,” he explains. Born in Nicaragua, Ibarra spent his early childhood there and in Costa Rica, before eventually moving to Vancouver in 1988. After earning a culinary diploma from Vancouver Community College and Red Seal certification, he went on to hone his skills at a variety of West Coast and French restaurants, such as The Fish House in Stanley Park, Horizons, Glowbal Grill and Hermitage, before eventually coming to Blue Canoe.



 Tres Leches Cake, Vancouver Airport Marriott Hotel (PHOTO: TARA LEE)


The new Vancouver Airport Marriott Hotel executive chef Danilo Ibarra will be serving this sinfully decadent tres leches cake on his new menu.

Ibarra is excited to bring his unique culinary background to his new position at the Marriott: “I focus on West Coast, Latin, and French flavours, which is a little bit different from what we have around here.” Expect to see some of his signature dishes, like Paella with lingcod, mussels, clams, prawns, chicken and chorizo; a Steak Quinoa Salad with creamy cilantro dressing; and a sinfully decadent Tres Leches Cake, which is a dark chocolate sponge cake soaked in evaporated milk, condensed milk and whipping cream.


The key to a mean ceviche?

As well, Ibarra will be serving Albacore Tuna Ceviche (see recipe), which he says is perfect for summer entertaining. The key to good ceviche is buying fresh, high-quality seafood, having a balance of flavours and not over-marinating the delicate fish. Along with the ceviche, he recommends barbecued rib eye steaks with chimichurri sauce and veggie sides, like a simple kale and mixed green salad with citrus vinaigrette.

Above all, Ibarra emphasizes the importance of sourcing from local producers, like Cherry Lane Farm, J.S. Farms and Organic Ocean. He’s very happy to continue cooking in Richmond since he’s fallen for the vibrancy of its food scene: “I love working here. There’s a great community and lots available from local farmers and fisherman. Richmond is a great city.”



Albacore Tuna Ceviche (PHOTO: BLUE CANOE)


Albacore Tuna Ceviche Recipe

Courtesy: Vancouver Airport Marriott Hotel Executive Chef Danilo Ibarra



  • 4oz sushi grade Albacore tuna
  • 2oz coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp red onion, minced
  • 1 tsp green onions, chopped small
  • 1 tsp jalapeno, minced
  • 1 tbsp tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 avocado, diced
  • salt to taste



In a small bowl mix all the ingredients except the tuna. Cut the tuna into small cubes then mix it with the coconut mixture, season with salt and serve immediately.

Serve with plantain chips, cassava chips, or tortilla chips. Serves two people.