Chef Darren MacLean is one of Canada’s most acclaimed and outspoken chefs, restaurateurs and environmental advocates.
Seeking to showcase Canada’s culinary scene to international audiences, 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.
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 Japanese izakaya-style restaurant Shokunin, in his home city of Calgary, has been voted one of the country’s top 50 restaurants for three years in a row. Its predecessor Downtownfood was also listed as one of Canada’s top restaurants. In September 2019, he opened Greenfish, North America’s first fully sustainable sushi eatery, take-away and delivery.
Also in 2019, MacLean opens Nupo located in Calgary’s East Village Alt Hotel. This plant-forward restaurant, which focuses its offer on vegetarian, sushi, and large-format fish dishes, features a specialized dry-aging chamber for fish. Furthermore, Nupo will house a discreet, eight-seat, high-dining restaurant where tasting menus focus on MacLean’s unique philosophy of true Canadian cuisine.
Inspired by its ethnic mosaic, MacLean believes this forms the foundation of what defines Canada’s national food culture. His 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.