Rancho Dominguez, Calif. (August 20, 2013) – 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


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