“World’s 50 Best” Winner Chef Alberto Landgraf Visits Canada for the First Time as Part of Nation’s Inaugural Cultural Chef Exchange Program

He Joins Ten More World-Acclaimed Culinary Leaders to Explore Canada Now Through 2023. Bringing diverse perspectives through authentic cultural, travel and food experiences with Chef Darren MacLean, collaboration sparks innovation and re-imagines Canada’s culinary identity.

Chefs Colibri Jiminez and Darren MacLean Explore Culinary Cultures in Canada

As part of Chef Darren MacLean's Cultural Chef Exchange initiative, Mexico's Chef Colibri Jiminez visited Canada to explore, forage, collaborate and help define modern Canadian cuisine. More than 10 of the world's very best chefs will participate in the program to raise appreciation for Canada as a culinary destination.
As part of Chef Darren MacLean’s Cultural Chef Exchange initiative, Mexico’s Chef Colibri Jiminez visited Canada to explore, forage, collaborate and help define modern Canadian cuisine. More than 10 of the world’s very best chefs will participate in the program to raise appreciation for Canada as a culinary destination.

Calgary, Aug. 01, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — From rivers and forests to fields and farms, Chef Darren MacLean has crafted a series of individual tours to do more than introduce the world’s best chefs to the proud staples and surprising ingredients of his birth country. 

The Cultural Chef Exchange Program dives into the historical, cultural and environmental importance of his nation’s bounty, discerning Canada’s true culinary value on the global stage.

Its mission: Show the world the best of Canadian food through the lens of the world’s best chefs.

Each month, visiting chefs come, learn, collaborate and carry a re-energized and re-imagined definition of Canada – through innovative natural and cultural experiences – back to their communities, in the millions. 
“To make travel count, authentic learning is in order and impressive culinary tourism adventures achieve that,” says Chef Darren MacLean about the impetus of this bold multi-year program.

“To attract thoughtful and responsible travel to our country, there are no better partners or messengers than the creative culinary geniuses from Brazil to Britain and beyond who are about to get their passports stamped: Canada!”

Made possible with support from ticket sales and supporters – Food Tourism Strategies, Nespresso, ALT Hotels, Westjet, Square, East Village, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Medium Rare Chef Apparel, Garland and Hazaki Knives – here is the 2022 line-up of chefs participating in MacLean’s brainchild agenda:

Sommelier Yoshinobu Kimura – SUSHI M (Tokyo, Japan)  
Chef Colibri Jimenez – MARIA RAIZ Y TIERRA (Merida, Mexico)  
Chef Alberto LandgrafOTEQUE (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)  
Chef James KnappetKITCHEN TABLE (London, UK)  
Chef Aaron BludornBLUDORN (Houston, USA)  
Chef Sam TranGIA (Hanoi, Vietnam)
Chef Amninder Sandhu – BLISS FOOD EXPERIENCES (Delhi, India)  
Chef Nathan Gould – SHELTER (Martha’s Vineyard, USA)
Chef Aishling MooreGOLDIE (Cork, Ireland)  
Chef Shane Osborn ARCANE (Hong Kong)

While the full roster of 2023 participants is in the works, Chef MacLean is proud to be next welcoming newly named San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants winner Chef Alberto Landgraf of Oteque in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from August 2-7, 2022. 

Highlights of his trip plans include: 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 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, each of the programs important academic and community discussions about contemporary issues and opportunities hosted free-by-donation at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology Hospitality Campus.

During the most recent visit of Chef Colibri Jiminez to Canada,  she explored the  Canadian Rocky Mountain and Foothill regions, examined the experiencing the agricultural differences between Mexico and Canada, and celebrated the similarities in the chef’s connections with local farmers, and their sustainable practices.

Learn more here.

Follow Chef Darren MacLean on Instagram @chefdarrenmaclean for highlights of the program, as-it-happens.


About Chef Darren MacLean Chef Darren MacLean is one of Canada’s most acclaimed and outspoken chefs, restaurateurs and environmental advocates. Achieving the nation’s only “hat trick” in 2022 with all three of his Calgary restaurants placing in Canada’s 100 best list. In addition MacLean was Canada’s sole contender and a finalist on Netflix’s global cooking competition ‘The Final Table.’

He is also the first-ever Canadian chef invited aboard to consult and collaborate with Princess Cruises, He uses his profile to showcase Canada’s culinary scene to international audiences. MacLean is passionate about sustainability and the food building community.

While he regularly participates in events as an educator, speaker and culinary judge in Canada and abroad, he is happiest in his kitchens. MacLean’s three restaurants – Eight, Nupo and Shokunin – in Calgary are all listed in Canada’s 100 Best of 2022. NUPO, opened in 2020 is located in Calgary’s East Village Alt Hotel offering Canada’s first ever Omakase Sushi Experience focusing on vegetarian, sushi, and large-format fish dishes and featuring a unique-in-Canada dry-aging chamber for fish. EIGHT is a discreet, eight-seat, high-dining restaurant where tasting menus focus on MacLean’s unique philosophy of true Canadian cuisine.  Shokunin, MacLean’s flag-ship restaurant is a charming 50-seater in Mission. Opened in late 2015, Shokunin continues to delight with small plates, crafted cocktails and charred yakitori with sake, seasonal, and local ingredients.

Inspired by all the cultures of Canada’s indigenous and multi ethnic mosaic, MacLean’s appreciation for diversity leads him to travel extensively, further developing his unique perspective on food and the culinary experience. MacLean spent extensive time traveling in Japan studying the cuisine of the country that inspires him. Believing in the power of food to bridge cultures, he welcomes global chefs to his country and kitchen and travels often — from Tokyo to Mexico City — to collaborate with others.

By DQ Studios, exceptional still and video footage documenting each journey and resulting dishes are available for media use. 

Chefs Colibri Jiminez and Darren MacLean Explore Culinary Cultures in CanadaSponsors
Square, Westjet, Nespresso, East Village, ALT Hotels, Food Tourism Strategies, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Medium Rare Chef Apparel, Garland, and Hazaki Knives.

  • Chefs Colibri Jiminez and Darren MacLean Explore Culinary Cultures in Canada
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