CHICAGO, Dec. 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- UNCLE BEN'S®, the number one global rice brand, is excited to announce the five winners of the 2017 national Ben's Beginners™ Cooking Contest. Unlike years past, the brand teamed up with schools and local communities to surprise each grand prize winner with $15,000 and a $30,000 school cafeteria makeover at secret hometown celebrations across the country. Nearly 500 families submitted photos showcasing a finished rice-based dish they prepared using UNCLE BEN'S® Rice for a chance to win.
The 25 finalists rallied friends, family, classmates and the public to vote for their original recipe. Each dish was judged on creativity, presentation, appetite appeal and reflection of the Ben's Beginner mission to inspire families to spend more time cooking together. Submissions came from across the country, from kids in kindergarten to eighth grade, and recipes from "Jack-O-Lantern Chicken Rice Bowls" to "Pumpkin Spiced Breakfast Pudding."
Congratulations to the following grand prize winners:
- Gabriela Malkomes' "Peanut Butter Rice Flan" benefiting Martha Reid Leadership Academy
- Joshua Wright's "Whole Grain Fruit & Yogurt Breakfast Parfait" benefiting Holsenbeck Elementary
- Savannah Markwood's "Pumpkin Patch Stuffed Peppers" benefiting Stonegate Elementary
- Owen Osborne's "Veggie Mardi Gras in Your Mouth" benefiting Evangel Christian Academy
- Maya Jacob's "United We Stand Spicy Kebab Rice" benefiting Immanuel Lutheran Christian Academy
"We're impressed with this year's submissions and thank everyone who entered for joining the Ben's Beginners™ movement," said Manish Amin, Senior Brand Manager, UNCLE BEN'S®. "Meeting the families and observing the affection and bonds they've built through cooking together is why we continue the program year after year. The impact these kids are then making on the greater community fuels our mission to inspire families to create healthy meals and meaningful memories."
At all five events, representatives from the UNCLE BEN'S® Brand, media, schools and community supporters and officials surprised the winners with an exciting celebration. To see real time reactions, visit beginners.unclebens.com/winners-gallery. For more information on the Ben's Beginners™ Cooking Contest, kid-friendly cooking tips and the winning recipes, visit beginners.unclebens.com.
About the UNCLE BEN'S® Brand
UNCLE BEN'S®, the number one rice brand in the world, is proud to offer a wide range of rice dishes with flavors and textures that will help bring more to your meals, both for savory main courses and convenient side dishes. 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 products can be found in more than 100 countries worldwide. The UNCLE BEN'S® Brand products are manufactured by Mars Food, part of Mars, Incorporated. For more information, visit www.unclebens.com.
SOURCE UNCLE BEN’S Brand