The UNCLE BEN's® Brand Names Twenty-Five Finalists In The Ben's Beginners™ Cooking Contest

Finalists Stir Up Nationwide Support for Chance to Win One of Five Grand Prizes and Show Their Family Recipe is Worth $45,000

Nov 10, 2015, 11:59 ET from The UNCLE BEN’S Brand

RANCHO DOMINGUEZ, Calif., Nov. 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The UNCLE BEN'S® Brand, the number-one selling brand of rice in the United States, is thrilled to announce the 25 finalists in the Ben's Beginners™ Cooking Contest. Now in its fourth consecutive year, the Ben's Beginners™ Cooking Contest continues to bring parents and their young chefs together in the kitchen cooking fun and healthy meals. The following finalists were selected out of entries from across the Unites States:

  • Lisa Adducci and Atticus of Denver, Colo.
  • Linda Bevec and Grace of Kenosha, Wis.
  • Stephanie Brady and Ethan of Edmond, Okla.
  • Rebecca Brewer and Hamilton of Winona, Minn.
  • Laura Carrico and Tyler of Sylvan Lake, Mich.
  • Elisha Cliette and Amir of Durham, N.C.
  • Vaughn Crichlow and Arielle of Boca Raton, Fla.
  • Aditi Crosby and Rani of Redondo Beach, Calif.
  • April Fulmer and Jackson of Williamsport, Pa.
  • Josh Gordesky and Sydney of Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Viola Grommes and Daliala of Blaine, Minn.
  • Aysha Hagene and Logan of Evanston, Ill.
  • Lora Iossi and Faith of Elkhorn, Neb.
  • Rebecca King and Piper of Charleston, W.Va.
  • Khai Lu and Kiora of Redondo Beach, Calif.
  • Walter Morris and Maggie of Oak Park, Calif.
  • John Ramirez and Arianni of Kissimmee, Fla.
  • Cindy Reichel and Kaitlyn of Sartell, Minn.
  • Tonya Springer and Dakota of New Era, Mich.
  • Dawn Skyora and Adley of West, Tex.
  • Sowjanya Seetala and Jasmy of Lawrence, Kan.
  • Chun Tai and Isabella of Hagerstown, Md.
  • Ebony Thomas and Chandler of Missouri City, Tex.
  • Debbie Tilley and Ben of Riverview, Fla.
  • Mark Van Auken and Lauren of Yorba Linda, Calif.

To qualify, each of the 25 finalists submitted short videos of themselves and their families preparing a rice-based dish and discussing their experience cooking together. The 25 finalists and their families will now rally their communities to not only vote for their recipe, but support them as they work to inspire healthy, lifelong eating habits by encouraging parents and kids to cook together.

"Ben's Beginners has become more than just a contest – it's transformed into a movement to inspire parents to cook with their children and connect to make healthier life choices," said Lara McCauley, vice president of Corporate Affairs, Mars Food North America, the parent company of the UNCLE BEN'S® Brand. "Learning to cook is as essential as learning to read and write and these 25 finalists prove that an education in the kitchen is fun, and can lead to healthier lifestyles."

From now until November 30, individuals can visit to vote for one of the 25 finalists' cooking videos. After the close of the voting period, five grand prize winners will be selected to each win $15,000 cash for the family, a hometown celebration and a $30,000 cafeteria makeover for their child's school. For more information on the contest, kid-friendly cooking tips and recipes, please 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