Chef Darren MacLean Launches the Cultural Chef Exchange Program

Chefs Colibri Jimenez of Maria Raiz Y Tierra in Merida, Mexico (left) and Darren MacLean, creator of the Cultural Chef Exchange Program

CALGARY — Chef Darren MacLean has crafted the Cultural Chef Exchange Program, a series of individual tours to introduce the world’s best chefs to Canada.

The program dives into the historical, cultural and environmental importance of the country’s bounty. Each month, visiting chefs learn and collaborate through natural and cultural experiences.

Last week, participating chef Alberto Landgraf of Oteque in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, who was recently named San Pellegrino World’s Best 50 Restaurants winner, visited Canada. Highlights of his trip included Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass fly fishing, Castle Provincial Park camping and foraging with Light Cellars’ Denis Manzer and Full-Circle Adventures’ Julie Walker.

“His participation in this program is a win for Canada,” says chef MacLean. “Chef Landgraf gets hearts beating with fresh, forward food interpretations. Bringing Chef Landgraf here – in wild, natural, cultural and culinary exploration – we showcase the value and importance of true food diplomacy through travel. We have much to learn about nature, sustainability, ourselves and about one another. As with all chefs, this local-to-global network is about progress and stewardship. When I bring fresh experiences and intelligence through travel home to my community online or my guest community at home, the food tastes better because it means and matters more. Each dish has a story. Our program participants will naturally do the same, and the impact ripples vastly in positive directions.”

In addition to ticketed dining, discussions about contemporary issues and opportunities were hosted free-by-donation at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology Hospitality Campus. This program also has support from Food Tourism Strategies, Nespresso, ALT Hotels, WestJet, Square, East Village, Medium Rare Chef Apparel, Garland and Hazaki Knives.

The 2022 lineup of participating chefs in the Cultural Chef Exchange Program include:

  • Sommelier Yoshinobu Kimura – Sushi M, Tokyo
  • Chef Colibri Jimenez – Maria Raiz Y Tierra, Merida, Mexico
  • Chef Alberto Landgraf – Oteque, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Chef James Knappet – Kitchen Table, London, U.K.
  • Chef Aaron Bludorn – Bludorn, Houston, Texas.
  • Chef Sam Tran – GIA, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Chef Aminder Sandhu – Bliss Food Experiences, Delhi, India.
  • Chef Nathan Gould – Shelter, Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.
  • Chef Aishling Moore – Goldie, Cork, Ireland.
  • Chef Shane Osborn – Arcane, Hong Kong

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.