The UNCLE BEN'S® Brand And PTA Families Set World Record For Parents And Kids Cooking Together

Chef Marcus Samuelsson helps Kick-Off Ben's Beginners™ Cooking Contest and Cooking Together Pledge

Aug 20, 2013, 08:00 ET from UNCLE BEN'S Brand

RANCHO DOMINGUEZ, Calif., Aug. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the UNCLE BEN'S® Brand, the number-one selling brand of rice in the United States, along with famed New York chef and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson, joins children and parents from the local New York State PTA to set the record for most kids cooking with their parents at one time. The event celebrates the launch of the second annual Ben's Beginners™ Cooking Contest, a movement designed to inspire healthy lifelong eating habits by encouraging parents and kids to cook together.

"We are grateful for this opportunity to bring PTA families 'to the table' to inspire culinary creativity, to foster healthier food choices both at home and outside the home, and to support our schools as they strive to do the same," said NY State PTA President Lana Jemian.

The record setting event, certified by, takes place at The New York Public Library where PTA families will prepare kid-friendly rice-based dishes from around the world. Chef Samuelsson will provide cooking tips and cook alongside the children. The record will be adjudicated by two officials from

The UNCLE BEN'S® Brand also announces its first-ever Cooking Together Pledge, a way for parents across the country to commit to the value of cooking with their kids and establishing healthy eating habits. Parents can go online to and sign the pledge. All participating parents will receive a printable version of the pledge, a pledge activity sheet, so families can track how many meals they cook together and a certificate of achievement for young chefs committed to healthy eating.

"The UNCLE BEN'S® brand is focused on helping families use time spent cooking together to create healthy relationships with food and each other and I think that is so important," said Samuelsson. "So much of my life is in the kitchen, and it is an honor to be a part of this program and help draw children and families into my favorite room of the house, to discover healthy eating."

The Ben's Beginners™ Cooking Contest is asking families with children in grades K-8 to submit videos of themselves preparing a rice-based dish and discussing their experience cooking together, for the chance to win $15,000 cash, an appearance on the "Rachael Ray Show" and a $30,000 cafeteria makeover for their child's school. Submissions will be accepted at through 11:59 p.m. EDT on October 6, 2013.

"One of the best ways to learn about healthy eating is to step into the kitchen and just get cooking," said Tim Snyder, vice president of marketing, Mars Food US, the parent company of the UNCLE BEN'S® Brand. "We hope Ben's Beginners™ will inspire families to do just that." 

In addition to the grand prize winner, two finalists will receive $5,000 cash, an appearance on the "Rachael Ray Show" and a $10,000 cafeteria makeover for their schools. Additionally, the three schools with the most video submissions in their school size category will also receive $30,000 cafeteria makeovers. More information on the contest can be found at

About the UNCLE BEN'S® Brand
The UNCLE BEN'S® Brand, the number one rice brand in America, is proud to offer a wide range of rice dishes with flavors and textures that will help bring more to your meals, both for convenient side dishes and savory main courses. The UNCLE BEN'S® Brand offers a wide variety of white, whole grain brown, and flavored rices in cook times ranging from 30 minutes to 90 seconds, as well as rice for food service operations such as restaurants, schools and hospitals. The first mass-produced parboiled rice, UNCLE BEN'S® Brand is the top-selling branded rice in the United States and products can be found in more than 100 countries worldwide. The UNCLE BEN'S® Brand products are manufactured by Mars Food NA, part of Mars, Incorporated. For more information, visit

About Marcus Samuelsson
Marcus Samuelsson is an internationally acclaimed chef, successful author, committed philanthropist and the youngest person to receive a three-star rating from the New York Times.  The Ethiopian-born, Swedish-raised chef was the winner of Bravo's Top Chef Masters season two, the champion of Chopped: All Stars and serves as a recurring judge on Food Network's Chopped.  In 2012, Marcus released his New York Times bestselling memoir, Yes, Chef, for which he won his fifth James Beard Foundation Award.  In 2009, Marcus was honored as a guest chef at the White House, preparing the Obama Administration's first State dinner.  A UNICEF ambassador since 2000, Marcus is committed to several local, national and international charities and in the fall of 2012, he was also named to the US State Department's The American Chef Corps. His iconic Red Rooster Harlem has earned two-stars from The New York Times and was named the Best Neighborhood Joint by Time Out New York.  In 2012, Marcus opened American Table Cafe and Bar by Marcus Samuelsson in Lincoln Center's iconic Alice Tully Hall, followed by Uptown Brasserie in JFK airport in 2013.  In Sweden, where he was raised, Marcus is the chef behind Gothenburg's Norda Grill, and Stockholm's American Table and the Kitchen and Table concept throughout Scandinavia; all partnered with Clarion Hotels.  Marcus is also a co-founder of – a website for men who want to eat and drink well, and to live smart.

About is an interactive media company showcasing the best in human achievement. Built on a belief that everyone can be a world champion, The New Yorker says it's "to Guinness World Records as Wikipedia is to the Encyclopedia Britannica." RecordSetter's video-based database hosts over 20,000 world records submitted from 85+ countries worldwide. Their co-founders Dan Rollman and Corey Henderson adjudicate records regularly on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, and recently appeared on the Teen Choice Awards. Find out more at

About National PTA
National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of parent involvement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth. Learn more at