HOLLYWOOD - For more than two decades, Donita Rose has had a successful career as a TV host and actress in the Philippines.
Last year, she moved to Las Vegas to be with her family and to pursue her dream of becoming an accomplished chef.
"There's a part of me that has always longed to come back to the States and be with my family. Kasi I started showbiz when I was 15 going on 16. And then pumutok ang Mt. Pinatubo and my family left and they moved to Japan already. After that, hindi ko na sila nakikita. Eh panganay ako, close ako sa pamilya. Less than two years ago, I had this dream of wanting to go into culinary arts," she said.
The former MTV Asia VJ said she gives her all in everything that she does. Her dream of becoming a chef included.
Her no-shortcuts approach to excellence, included going to culinary arts school in Manila, while she was busy with her family and her work as a Kapamilya host in "Umagang Kay Ganda." She did her thesis on French molecular gastronomy.
"As soon as I finished, umalis na ako papunta dito. Kasi I want to gain the knowledge as a chef na the best of the best. If ever gusto ko mag-restaurant in the future, I want to have that, you know, the creme de la creme experience," she said.
Donita competed with more experienced applicants that made it difficult for her to get hired.
A year after moving to Las Vegas and still getting turned down for chef jobs, she was close to second-guessing her decision. Until she got a much-awaited call when world-renowned chef Akira Back gave her a big break.
This week, Donita is part of the opening of the famous chef's Kumi Japanese restaurant in Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas.
"I'm very overwhelmed but I'm so excited because it's such a huge challenge for me and I like challenge, " she said.