May 24, 2004  (STAR) KITCHEN SPY By Heidi Ng  -  The Lux glamour girl is now happily married and pregnant! I know, I know. For some men, it is still difficult to accept that Donita Rose Cavett Villarama, Asia’s favorite MTV VJ and one-time Time Magazine cover girl, has happily settled down with her childhood family friend. She has appeared in numerous magazine covers, was on nine shows on MTV, had a CNN television special with Veronica Pedrosa, did hosting stints in Guam, Singapore, Malaysia, Jakarta, Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, and has made more than 20 movies. She has had celebrity interviews with Tom Cruise, Bon Jovi, The Cranberries, Jordan Knight, 98 Degrees, Westlife and Carson Daly. Apart from Sharon Cuneta, this lady is probably the most popular local brand endorser, ranging from Modess to Fila Philippines, i2i Eyewear, Lux shampoo, Pepsi, Globe Gentxt, Sharp Singapore, Secret deodorant, Rejoice shampoo, Lux beauty soap and Jollibee.

Even if she is five months pregnant with her first child, Donita Rose is one Energizer bunny. When she cooked one day for Kitchen Spy, she did not mind the heat, was game in cooking a family recipe and managed to steal a kiss or two from Eric Villarama, her hubby of almost-a year.

They are now based in Singapore, and Donita is currently taking a five-month hiatus to spend quality time with her husband. She still swims and is active in discipleship for her cell group in Singapore. It is no secret that Donita is a devoted Christian and is vocal about it.

She discovered the Lord in 1997, and there has been no turning back since. She firmly believes that getting married to Eric was one of the best choices she made in life.

Little known is the fact that she has been suffering from bulimia and Eric was instrumental in helping her get out of it. Donita says, "The craving was replaced by love. Now, I make it a point to balance food, nutrition and exercise. I don’t starve or deprive myself anymore. And I don’t throw up anymore. Eric helped me change that bad habit."

Her daily activities include swimming and cooking. She learned how to cook because she was tired of eating Filipino food when she was growing up. She grew up in a US naval base, where all kinds of imported or instant foods were readily available. However, her Filipino mom only cooked healthy or Filipino food and declared a lot of food bawal. No burgers, no fries and no fattening American food. She got a $20 dollar allowance every two weeks, and she used that to buy American food that she hid from her mother. So, at 11, she started making her own tacos, cooking spaghetti and baking cake.

At the moment, she tries to cook healthier dishes, like tuna curry rice for her hubby. She cooks almost every day in Singapore, and her priority is really her husband.

"My priority is to give him pleasure. It makes me happy to see him content. Pinaglihian ko si Eric. Gusto ko makita na busog siya," she says with a smile.

She shares that in Oklahoma, where the Cavett family hails from, it is a tradition to put cottage cheese in almost all the dishes that they eat. Thus, in today’s recipe, she makes some goulash with cottage cheese in remembrance of this favorite Cavett family dish. She also shares a simple chicken curry dish that is a Singaporean favorite. Goulash With Cottage Cheese

1/4 cup olive oil

3 cloves garlic

1/2 kilo ground beef

50 g. red and green bell pepper, chopped

2 cans tomato sauce

6 whole peeled tomatoes

125 ml. tomato paste

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 Tbsp. sugar

100 g. mozzarella cheese

2 Tbsps. pickle relish

340 g. fussili pasta

Boil the fussili pasta for about 12 minutes until al dente. In a saucepan, add olive oil and sauté garlic. Throw in the ground beef and sauté. When beef turns brown, add red and green bell peppers. Add tomato sauce, whole peeled tomatoes and tomato paste. Mix in the pickle relish. Add the salt and sugar. Top with the mozzarella cheese. When ready to serve, add some cottage cheese. Simple Singaporean Chicken Curry

1/2 cup olive oil

1/8 cup garlic

1 cup onions

1/2 cup celery

1 cup potatoes

2 Tbsps. curry mix

1-1/2 cup chicken stock

1/2 kilo chicken



Heat olive oil on medium heat. Add the 1/8 cup garlic. Add onions and stir briefly before adding celery and potatoes. Stir in curry powder. In a separate bowl, mix the chicken stock with water. Add the chicken stock into the mixture. Add the chicken and simmer for about 20 minutes. You can add as much raisins and apples as you like, if desired, before simmering the chicken. Serve with rice on the side. * * *

Special thanks to Don Henrico’s West Avenue for hosting the shoot.

Donita Rose’s apron is by the Chef Republic Workwear. Call chef Humphrey Navarro at 0917-8906865 for inquiries.

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Feedback is welcome. E-mail

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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