Chef Darren MacLean Welcomes Global Culinary Talent for International Chef Exchange


CALGARY — Critically acclaimed chef, Darren MacLean, and founder of three of Canada’s Top 100 Best Restaurants – Shokunin, EIGHT and NUPO – is welcoming leading culinary talent from across the world to collaborate in its annual International Chef Exchange, hosted in Calgary. The exchange aims to promote Alberta’s and Canada’s culinary background and cross-cultural character around the globe, while learning about cooking styles and practices from other countries.

During their visit, each chef will participate in local foraging and fishing and head to secluded streams by helicopter to collect the country’s freshest seasonal ingredients. Then, MacLean works alongside the chefs to create varied and innovative, cross-collaborative menus. The menus are then served across two ticketed dinners during each chef exchange. The first is being hosted at Shokunin and the second is being hosted at EIGHT.

From May 30 to June 4, MacLean is joined by Japanese chefs, Shin Tagaki and Masako Morishita. Tagaki is the chef and proprietor of Zeniya, a two Michelin-starred kaiseki restaurant in Kanasawa, Japan. Originally from Kobe, Japan, Morishita is currently executive chef at Perry’s in Washington, DC.

From July 3 to 12, MacLean will be joined by Australian chef Shane Osborn, who has worked in many acclaimed kitchens, including Michelin-starred L’oranger and Pied à Terre in London. Since 2014, Osborn runs his own restaurants, including Michelin-starred Arcane in Hong Kong and recently opened Cornerstone in Los Angeles.

From August 21 to 27, Rodrigo Pacheco of Boca Valdivia in Ecuador will join MacLean. The pair will also collaborate with Canadian chef Nuit Regular, executive chef and co-owner of PAI, Kiin, By Chef Nuit and Sukhothai, as well as the executive chef of Selva in Toronto.

From October 1 to 8, MacLean will be joined by British chefs, Andrew Clarke and Daniel Watkins, who opened famed London restaurant, Acme Fire Cult.

Lastly, from October 23 to 29, MacLean will be joined by British chef Andrew Wong, proprietor of two Michelin-starred A. Wong in London.

“We’re pumped to be entering our second year of the Chef Exchange. Throughout its existence, we’ve invited in talented friends from across the globe as an exercise in cultural diplomacy – it’s the best way for us to learn more about ourselves, whilst learning from each other,” says MacLean. “Food is ordinarily the first interaction we have when exploring new cultures. The exchange is not only a discussion on what Canada has to offer, but rather fostering a catalyst of creativity and collaboration.”

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