The UNCLE BEN'S® Brand Announces The Winners Of The Ben's Beginners™ Cooking Contest

Five Winners are Each Awarded A $30,000 School Cafeteria Makeover and A $15,000 Cash Grand Prize for Inspiring Families and Their Communities to Get Cooking

Dec 18, 2015, 08:52 ET from The UNCLE BEN’S Brand

RANCHO DOMINGUEZ, Calif., Dec. 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The UNCLE BEN'S® Brand, the number-one selling brand of rice in the United States, is thrilled to name its five national winners in the Ben's Beginners™ Cooking Contest. For the fourth consecutive year, the Ben's Beginners™ Cooking Contest brought families together in the kitchen and around the dinner table. This year was bigger than ever, launching with a child-inspired "Dream Kitchen" in the middle of New York City and concluding with a national tour to all of the winner's hometowns. This year's five grand prize winners are:

  • Atticus and his mom Lisa Adducci of Denver, Colo. and their Hawaiian Rice recipe
  • Jackson and his mom April Fulmer of Williamsport, Pa. and their Haystacks with Spanish Style Rice recipe
  • Piper and her mom Rebecca King of Charleston, W. Va. and their Extra Sloppy Joes recipe
  • Jasmy Mavilla and her mom Sowjanya Seetala of Lawrence, Kan. and their Shrimply Delicious Masala Rice recipe
  • Adley and her mom Dawn Sykora of West, Tex. and their West Texan Pita Pockets recipe

The five winners were selected out of hundreds of submissions amongst kids in Kindergarten to eighth grade across the U.S. To qualify, entrants had to create a short video of themselves and their parents cooking a rice-based dish and discussing the experience of cooking together as a family. As part of the Ben's Beginners™ Cooking Contest, the five grand prize winners were each rewarded a $30,000 school cafeteria makeover, a $15,000 cash prize for their family and a hometown celebration.

"Learning to cook at a young age is as essential as learning to read and write," said Lara McCauley, vice president of Corporate Affairs, Mars Food North America, the parent company of the UNCLE BEN'S® Brand. "Our Ben's Beginners™ movement continues to bring families together and this year's winners demonstrate the positive power of the kitchen and dinner table for both the family and the community."

From December 3 to December 17, the UNCLE BEN'S® Brand honored each of the five winners by celebrating their achievement in their hometown. At these hometown celebrations, representatives from the UNCLE BEN'S® Brand and supporters from their communities surprised the winners and their schools with a celebration fit for any young chef – including a cook-up of the winning recipe and a large check presentation of the $30,000 grand prize for the school cafeteria makeover.

For more information on the Ben's Beginners™ Cooking Contest, kid-friendly cooking tips and the winning recipes, visit

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 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 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 North America, part of Mars, Incorporated. For more information, visit