America Cooks With Chefs: The 800 Calorie Challenge

by | Jan 14, 2014 | Uncategorized | 0 comments


The James Beard and Clinton Foundation have launched a new online cooking competition titled, America Cooks with Chefs: The 800 Calorie Challenge. The contest is intended to educate the American household in healthy meal practices and to bring awareness to rising obesity rates.

The multi-phase educational program and contest will pair six lucky contestants with celebrity chef “trainers,” including James Beard Award winners Tony Mantuano (Spiaggia; Chicago) and Mary Sue Milliken (Border Grill; Los Angeles) of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters.

The competition will begin with open auditions solicited from the American public, to fill six contestant spots. Once the contestants are chosen, they’ll each be teamed up with a James Beard award-winning chef for “Kitchen Camp”, where the chefs will teach their teammates how to take raw ingredients and cook fast, healthy meals with fewer than 800 calories per portion.

The Foundation will follow the contestants’ progress in an online video series that captures the chefs imparting their experience and knowledge about how to make nutritious food that tastes great.  With their knowledge and new skills in hand, the contestants will meet again at the Clinton Health Matters Conference in January 2015, where they’ll have a set amount of time to take a selection of hidden ingredients and cook a dish that stays within the 800 calorie limit. A judge panel made up of their chef teammates, experts and celebrities will select the best dish and crown the winner in front of a live audience.

“We all know that today’s families, whether they are single parents, retirees or young couples, want to eat better but often don’t know how. The goal of this multi-phase program and contest is to help educate and inspire people to cook healthier under the guidance of award-winning chefs,” said Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation.

About the James Beard Foundation:

Founded in 1986, the James Beard Foundation’s mission is to celebrate, nurture, and honor America’s diverse culinary heritage through programs that educate and inspire. A cookbook author and teacher with an encyclopedic knowledge about food, James Beard, who died in 1985, was a champion of American cuisine. He helped educate and mentor generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts, instilling in them the value of wholesome, healthful and delicious food. Today the Beard Foundation continues in the same spirit by administering a number of diverse programs that include educational initiatives, food industry awards, scholarships for culinary students, publications, and chef advocacy training.

About the Clinton Health Matters Initiative:

The Clinton Health Matters Initiative (CHMI) works to improve the health and wellbeing of all people by activating individuals, communities, and organizations to make meaningful contributions to the health of others. The goals of CHMI are to reduce the prevalence of preventable health outcomes, close health inequity and disparity gaps, and reduces health care costs by improving access to key contributors to health for all people.

About Palisades Media Ventures:

Palisades Media Ventures (PMV) is an innovative media development that specializes in taking major public policy issues and framing innovative productions that advance conversations among thought leaders, senior policy makers, and the public. PMV’s media content projects resonate through events, newspaper articles, special sections, television programming and digital projects

Details for entering the contest are listed a 

For more information on the series,  please visit 

–Joseph Amella, Jr.

Downtown Magazine