America Cooks With Chefs Launches The 800 Calorie Challenge, A New Cross-Platform Health & Wellness Initiative

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America Cooks With Chefs today announced the launch of its 800 Calorie Challenge, a first-of-its-kind health and wellness initiative. America Cooks With Chefs is a collaboration between Palisades Media Ventures, The Clinton Foundation, and the James Beard Foundation and is sponsored by Deloitte and Weight Watchers.

Through an educational and entertaining format, America Cooks With Chefs will address a dilemma facing millions of Americans today: how to incorporate healthy and nutritious food into their daily lives. Six selected contestants will be paired with James Beard Award-winning chefs for a one-day "Kitchen Camp," during which time they will learn tips and tricks for turning raw ingredients into healthy, delicious, and easy-to-prepare meals containing fewer than 800 calories. Entries will be accepted through the initiative website, americacookswithchefs.com, from Aug. 12 through Sept. 3, 2014.

Chefs include Maria Hines (Seattle, WA), Jimmy Schmidt (La Quinta, CA), and Tory Miller (Madison, WI), as well as Top Chef participants Tony Mantuano (Chicago, IL), Mary Sue Milliken (Los Angeles, CA), and Michelle Bernstein (Miami, FL). Each participating chef has received the coveted James Beard Award. "We all know that today's families – whether they are single parents, retirees, or young couples – want to eat better, but don't have the skills," said Susan Ungaro, President of the James Beard Foundation. "We believe our James Beard chefs can be instrumental in inspiring Americans to get back to cooking and better health."

Following the Kitchen Camps, contestants will compete in a Live Cooking Challenge at the Clinton Health Matters Initiative (CHMI) Conference scheduled for January 26, 2015. Conference attendees and online viewers will watch as a panel of celebrity judges selects the winning contestant and recipe.

According to CHMI CEO Rain Henderson, "America Cooks With Chefs is a key contribution to activating wellness in every generation. We look forward to empowering families with the essential ingredients to cook and eat healthier, and we are thrilled to be hosting the live challenge next year at our annual conference."

The presenting sponsors of America Cooks With Chefs are Deloitte and Weight Watchers: two innovative institutions dedicated to empowering others through their leadership and commitment to health and wellness. America Cooks With Chefs is also working in partnership with Good Housekeeping.

Deloitte is incorporating the America Cooks With Chefs initiative into its wellness programs for its professionals by hosting an America Cooks With Chefs event series at Deloitte University in Westlake, TX. "Deloitte is committed to helping our people successfully manage their work-life fit, and a key component of that is supporting their well-being," said Christie Smith, managing principal – Deloitte University Leadership Center for Inclusion, Deloitte LLP. "America Cooks With Chefs presents a unique opportunity for us to take an innovative approach and to lead in this area while also making an impact in the lives of our professionals."

Weight Watchers is bringing to viewers and participants its expertise in helping people to develop healthier lifestyles. "Cooking can be an incredibly empowering and helpful part of a weight loss journey – but it can also be an intimidating barrier," said Lesya Lysyj, President, North America, Weight Watchers. "We hope that America Cooks With Chefs helps the contestants and viewers to see that cooking healthier can be an essential part of changing your relationship with food for the better and achieving your goals."

Palisades Media Ventures President Ken Stern noted, "Palisades Media Ventures is thrilled to have brought together such a remarkable group of partners, sponsors, and chefs to create a new and exciting way to involve the American public in cooking well and cooking healthfully."

SOURCE America Cooks With Chefs