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Will Metronome Be The Same Without Miko Calo?

After five years, the award-winning chef bids adieu to the renowned French restaurant

After five years, award-winning chef Miko Calo has called it quits with Metronome, one of the most popular fine dining destinations in the metro.


I first learned of this news when I saw a Facebook post from Elbert Cuenca,   president and CEO of Metronome, looking for a new executive chef for the restaurant. I immediately contacted Chef Miko if she’s leaving. The moment she confirmed, I panic-booked a table for two to have one last bite of her food at the renowned establishment.


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A statement released on April 18 2024 via EAT Public Relations confirmed rumors of her departure. The Robuchon-trained chef tendered her resignation on March 18 and became effective a month later. She leaves the restaurant with her business partner and cousin, RJ Galang.


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Chef Miko Calo at Metronome | Metronome's official Facebook account

While the exact reason behind her resignation wasn’t disclosed, Calo said, “I have always advocated for women in my industry to find their own space… A place where they can freely express their creativity and find fulfillment in their craft. Today, I walk the talk.”


The statement also read that “the direction regarding Metronome’s future has led to divergent opinions among its leadership team” for several months now, which led to a “climate of unease and doubt.” 


Chef Miko remains grateful for “Metronome for providing her with a stage to showcase her creative talents.” 


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Under her leadership, Metronome has received multiple recognitions locally and internationally, including being named one of “50 Best Discovery” restaurants by Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. In 2022, Calo also received the “Chef of the Year” award from Tatler Dining Philippines. She also brought together the best local and international talents for sold-out collaborations, including Margarita Forés, Asia’s Best Female Chef 2016; Johanne Siy, Asia’s Best Female Chef 2023; Pichaya “Pam” Soontornyanakij, Asia’s Best Female Chef 2024; Bettina Arguelles, the first female executive chef of the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila; Jordy Navarra of multi-awarded Toyo Eatery, Bruce Ricketts of soon-to-open, Iai; Stephan Duhesme of Metiz; Erica Paredes of Reyna Paris; and most recently, Jorge Mendez of Mōdan.


Aside from her stellar French-forward menu, Chef Miko championed her heritage in the most gracious and delicious ways. While she graduated on top of her class at Ecole Grégoire-Ferrandi (now Ferrandi Paris) and honed her skills at various Joël Robuchon restaurants around  the world, she continues to pay homage to her Butuan roots. Her passion for food and cooking, which was deeply inspired by celebrated broadcast journalist and her late aunt Susan Calo-Medina, was evident in every dish. Even during the pandemic, when Metronome launched the take-out concept Lazy Oeuf, which focused on burgers, sandwiches, quiches, and quaint French pastries. Despite the challenges brought about by the lockdown, they were still able to find collaborators for Lazy Oeuf to support other local businesses, like Ijo Bakery in Lipa, Batangas. 


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What's next for Miko Calo? | EAT Public Relations

Metro.Style also reached out to Cuenca for a statement, who shared the restaurant’s official response: “It is with regret that we confirm Miko Calo’s departure from Metronome as Executive Chef… She continues to be a shareholder of Metronome French Restaurant Inc.


“We thank Miko for her contribution to Metronome’s great success and wish her luck in her next endeavor,” he continued. 


The prolific restaurateur (who also owns Elbert’s Collective, Elbert’s Steak Room, and more) also mentioned that they are already “in the planning stages for new and exciting things to come.“


For now, Metronome remains business as usual–a relief for many, I’m sure. 


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Our favorite spot in Metronome | Metronome

So, will Metronome be the same without Miko Calo? The answer is yes, for now. Foodies and loyal fans of the restaurant might be a bit worried that Chef Miko’s departure from Metronome may spell changes in terms of menu offers and quality of service, but Cuenca confirms the restaurant remains on “status quo for now, but for sure there will be changes coming.”


“Alain Borgers (one of the managing partners) and I are fully committed to ensuring the continued success of the restaurant,” he points out, sharing that there have been overwhelming interest from both local and foreign chefs to join the restaurant in the wake of Calo’s departure. 


While it will be business as usual at Metronome, discerning diners will be following to see what's next for Chef Miko and how the restaurant will fare in her absence. So we, the hungry public, are  intently waiting.


As a lover of great food, especially of the French persuasion, I personally love Metronome. We’ve celebrated birthdays and anniversaries here and when my budget permits we go on an occasional date. The potato puree alone is already worth the visit. While I haven’t been to this restaurant as much as I wanted and as weird as it is to be affected by this change, to say that I was heartbroken over Chef Miko’s departure would be an understatement.


While she’s no longer cooking in the Metronome kitchen, you can still enjoy Chef Miko Calo’s culinary creations at Taqueria Franco, her French-leaning taco restaurant in Makati City. 

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