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Aaron Isip, Raul Fores, Miko Calo and other chefs to watch in 2019

From Poblacion to El Nido
/ 07:20 AM January 17, 2019

Keep an eye on these chefs on the rise as they shake up the food scene.

Alphonse Sotero and RJ Ramos: Lampara in Poblacion

Alphonse Sotero and RJ Ramos


Already creating a buzz early into the year is this dynamic duo who opened Lampara at the end of 2018.

Situated in bustling Poblacion in Makati, Lampara—as the name suggests, it aims to shed light on local cuisine— manages to stand out amid the growing number of businesses in the neighborhood.


The food is refined, like the chefs themselves.

Miko Calo: Partnership with Elbert Cuenca

Miko Calo

Schooled in Ferrandi Paris, Calo trained in a string of Joel Robuchon restaurants, including Atelier Robuchon in Singapore, where she was assistant sous chef.

She has been doing underground supper clubs with cousin RJ Galang, in which she showed her flair in French techniques.

She now teams up with Elbert Cuenca at Metronome, where she can show her full potential in a space a chef her caliber deserves.

Raul Fores: Easy-to-prep line

Raul Fores

Nokal, also in Poblacion, has been giving us a taste of what Fores is capable of doing.


In 2019, the United States-trained chef will go all out as he opens a new and improved Made Nice, with equally talented partners Jack and Gabbi Flores.

He will also have a hand in the expansion of Mamou and Recovery Food, and later in the year, his own easy-to-prep food line.

He will invade your homes soon—think frozen pastas and bottled sauces.

Don Colmenares: Asian joint in Bacolod

Don Colmenares

An Enderun college alumnus, Colmenares was happily feeding families privately and resort guests before breaking out and introducing us to his type of cuisine through regional food events.

On the last week of 2018, he opened Berbeza Bistro, a Southeast Asian joint in Bacolod, where people finally can sample his food and see his promise unfold.

Patrick Go: Korean cuisine at The Grid

Patrick Go

Black Sheep Restaurant may have closed, but Go is proving that a chef with great talent just cannot be contained.

In 2018, he collaborated with Bar Pintxos and Francis Lim and created one of the year’s most memorable meals. He also released a line of food-theme shirts under the brand Lazy Sunday, with partner Pamela Simbulan.

This year, he joins The Grid, Power Plant Mall’s food hall, as he launches his take on Korean cuisine

Edward Mateo: New dessert line

Edward Mateo

The lone pastry chef in the group, Mateo has been silently stirring the food scene.

He has been baking towering, intricately designed wedding cakes, making cover-worthy plated desserts for a food magazine, and styling ads for major brands like Magnolia Ice Cream House and McDonald’s.

This year, the Breville brand ambassador will launch an exciting range of desserts under his brand, Royale Patisserie Co., and release a cookbook.

Aaron Isip: Seafood menu in El Nido. PHOTO BY MARC GO AND KEVIN EVORA

Aaron Isip

After rising through the ranks in Michelin-star kitchens in Paris (Apicius and Senderens, to name a few) and running his own at Restaurant Pan, the Chef Espoir 2015 Ile de France awardee came home in 2016 to open shop.

This year, we are seeing the fruits of his labor, starting with the Jungle Restaurant in Bacuit Bay, Palawan. A boutique eco resort is next in line, at El Nido with a magnificent view of Pinagbuyutan Island. It offers a sunset view and a menu focused on seafood, fruits and wood-fire cooking.–CONTRIBUTED

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TAGS: Aaron Isip, Chefs, Miko Calo, Raul Fores
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