MANILA, March 26, 2004 (STAR) KITCHEN SPY By Heidi Ng - The so-called MTV generation knows who KC Montero is. He is one of the lucky video jocks who is watched over MTV broadcasts around Southeast Asia and the Philippines. His job is enviable: He gets to travel free, hang out with his music idols, interview global superstars and become popular, doing all of these in front of the camera.

Some people dismiss him as just a good- looking lad who canít speak straight Tagalog. However, heís got talents beyond just good- looks. He can rap, dance and sing, and he has done a pretty good job of hosting as well. In fact, he has three shows on MTV Ė MTV Jam, Lokal, which is the local version of MTV, and Diyes, which ranks among the top 10 music videos in the country. His talents are honed by being part of the Sunday variety show SOP, airing over GMA-7, where he shares the stage with veteran entertainers Janno Gibbs, Ogie Alcasid, Asiaís Songbird Regine Velasquez, soul divas Jaya and Lani Misalucha. Gabby Eigenmann, hot R ín B prince Jay-R and actor Dingdong Dantes jam with the whole crew as well. KC loves doing live shows in schools, because it offers a more personal interaction with his audience.

He models, too. His first modeling gig, which he counts as his most memorable, was in 1998 with Leviís. He toured Cebu, Manila and Davao because of those shows. Before that, he was in the Philippines for a year, accompanying his MexicanóFilipino best friend here. He stayed mostly in the north Ė the Ilocos region, La Union and San Fernando Ė just hanging out with his buddy and his relatives. The following year, his older brother Troy Montero got an offer to model in Manila, and KC offered to go with him, since he could take Troy around town as he was here the year before. KC eventually got into modeling himself, because of his height and good looks. Standing at 6í3" with his mestizo looks, he was on his way to fame.

He dabbled in sitcoms, like Beh Bote Nga, with Aubrey Miles, Anjo Yllana and Janno Gibbs and Hiwalay Kung Hiwalay, with Assunta de Rossi, Christopher de Leon and Zsa Zsa Padilla. He also came out in a movie with Judy Ann Santos. However, his biggest break was winning the 1999 MTV VJ hunt. Together with Belinda Panelo, he started hosting MTV Philippines, the Philippine version of MTV, that is actually produced in the country.

Last Feb. 14, when he was in Singapore for the MTV Asian awards, he got to hitch a ride with the band Simple Plan to the after-event party at Equinox at the Swiss Hotel. I guess when you are an MTV VJ, you get to hang out with the music industryís demigods and act as if youíve been friends with them for your whole life?

But KC still gets starstruck. Unbelievable? He tells us that the first time he met Brian Mcknight, he even had to call his mom to tell her. Heís got all his albums and meeting him was a surreal experience. His mother even told Brian Mcknight on the phone that KC is his biggest fan! Well, there went his play-it-cool attitude, thanks to KCís Filipina mom.

His other favorites are Black Eyed Peas, Simple Plan, Britney Spears and Michelle Branch.

But still first on his list of faves is Geneva Cruz.

Geneva, who is now in the States, is indeed KCís girlfriend. Yes, he made no denials during our interview. Genevaís son, Heaven, actually helped him in creating their kind of funny pizza. Heaven is now 7 years old and stays with KC while Geneva is abroad. It is clear that KC and Heaven have bonded well. Heaven even calls him Daddy-O. They share the same fondness for wrestling and sports and the same pet peeves in terms of TV shows. Heaven counts ketchup, buffalo chicken, fish fillet, shrimp, squid and baby octopus as his favorite foods. It is Heavenís dream to become a chef some day, and working on his own pizza with his Daddy-O at Don Henricoís that day, all dressed up in a toque and an apron, his dream became reality.

For the dough:
250 g. flour
7.5 g. active dry yeast
1 Tbsp. sugar
1tsp. salt
1 cup water

For the sauce:
2 ozs. tomato sauce
1 cup mozzarella cheese

For KCís half of the pizza:
Italian sausage
black olives

For Heavenís half of the pizza:

Mix all the dry ingredients first, then add water. It will appear to be too dry. Do not add extra water. Keep working the dough until it is smooth. Let the dough rise once (approximately 1 hour). Push it down and knead again.

At this point, you may choose to freeze some of the dough. If you do freeze it, be sure to wrap it well and freeze it quickly. With either fresh or thawed dough, let the dough rise a second time.

After it has risen, punch it down and use it for your pizza. The dough will rise a little while you put the rest of your pizza toppings on it. Then bake.

The great thing about pizza is that you can put whatever toppings you like in the quantities that you prefer. Use mozzarella cheese for real pizza goodness. Quickmelt cheese may serve for homemade pizza.

* * *

Special thanks to Don Henricos, West Avenue for hosting the shoot. Call its easy-to-remember numbers at 3-717171 and 3-727272 for pizza delivery, party reservations and other inquiries. Thank you also to Eli Roque, Miss Tess and company of the Don Hen statistics/planning unit for their assistance.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved