Those who have seen Donita Rose dabbling in cooking demos should know she isn’t just dabbling. Truth be told, the actress-host—who by the way is officially the Philippines’ first-ever MTV VJ out of the Singapore headquarters—is a proud holder of a culinary arts diploma, with the kind of work experience any restaurant chef would love on their resume.
Rose studied at the Academy for International Culinary Arts in Pasig City, and from there pursued her internship with the Red Crab Group of restaurants. She then lived and worked in the kitchens of Crown Plaza Manila Galleria for her externship, finally deciding to try her luck in the United States in the early 2010s. There, she braved the tough competition in Las Vegas, and was hired by renowned chef Akira Back for the latter’s four-star Japanese restaurant, Kumi in Mandalay Bay.
“Yes, I’ve taken my passion for food quite seriously,” smiled the ever lovely and ever-sweet celebrity at a luncheon in GMA Network. She was promoting an upcoming cooking capsule show titled “Heart Mate Kitchen,” where she is excited to teach viewers recipes she personally developed using Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil in a swift 12 minutes.
“Some people might think I went ahead this career path just to add something to my arsenal, but really, my motivation was simple though intense. I’ve just really always loved food!”
Rose shared how as a young girl, she has always been drawn to cooking shows more than anything else, and how kitchens fascinated her.
“Actually, after my stint with MTV in Singapore was over, I applied for a job at Food Network because it was something I’ve always wanted to do. But since I had no background, they told me to come back again when did,” she giggled.
So serious was the actress in turning her passion for food into a full-fledged profession that she chose the more difficult options in culinary school while she trained.
“I’ve always known that to be a chef is really a man’s job, because it requires so much more than just kitchen skills. It requires strength. So while women in culinary schools tend to go the way of baking, pastries, pastas, I said, ‘Forget it! I want to be hardcore.’ So I went for butchery! And it all paid off especially when I worked in Las Vegas.”
Done with exploring the world of food beyond the Philippines, the chef has come home eager to combine her pair of expertise—hosting and cooking, which is exactly what ‘HeartMate Kitchen’ will have her do.
Running from August all through October, the cooking shorts will air in between commercial gaps of “Unang Hirit,” “Kapuso Festival,” and “Sarap Diva,” and will focus on healthy cooking.
“The various recipes I’ll feature in each episode are simple Filipino recipes that anyone can whip up at home, but with the use of a healthier option in canola oil,” the celebrity chef related.
The show comes at the heels of Rose’s ongoing partnership with Jolly, which had her traveling around the country in 2016 for cooking demos at festivals like Cagayan de Oro’s Higala-ay and Vigan’s Raniag.
“I had such fun there because I was able to develop recipes using the province’s local ingredients, which I will also share with viewers in Heart Mate.”
Asked whether she is still open to acting jobs, the witty Donita Rose quipped in ending, “You know, like this product, I’m very versatile, so yes I am!”