Culinary expertise and care with ingredients—not to mention his star turn on Netflix’s cooking competition show, The Final Table—has afforded Chef Darren MacLean a growing wealth of opportunities. This January, he added two new spots to Calgary’s dining scene with the opening of Nupo and the aptly named Eight, an eight-seat spot on the backside of Nupo’s kitchen where diners explore Canadian ingredients through a set menu—but only when MacLean is in town and at the helm. Underpinning his success is MacLean’s passion for Japanese cuisine, seasonal ingredients and exacting techniques, all of which continue to make Shokunin a city favourite with its izakaya-inspired dishes, strong sake list and creative cocktails. Along with signature drinking snacks like chicken-skin chips and the eggplant and goat cheese tempura, diners can feast on classic yakitori and kushiyaki skewers of chicken meat, including sweetbreads and miso-cured tenders, beef tongue and duck hearts. Beyond those, though, the menu shines with dishes that reflect MacLean’s inventiveness and understanding of flavour. The rich bison tataki is spiked with yuzu-pickled onions and a scattering of fried garlic, while the white miso-cured bone marrow is offset by a shiso pesto and peppery arugula.