October 27th 2014

​Ora.TV's America Cooks With Chefs Reveals Six Contestants In Nationwide Healthy Cooking Competition

October 27, 2014 - WASHINGTON D.C. – America Cooks with Chefs, a nationwide health and wellness movement, revealed the identities of the six contestants who will be paired with James Beard Award–winning chefs to participate in a challenge to create the ultimate delicious and healthy dish.

The six contestants will attend Kitchen Camps, where the chefs will teach them how to “make under” their favorite high-calorie dish and turn it into a nutritious, easy-to-prepare meal. The contestants will put their new culinary skills to the test when they compete in a Live Cooking Challenge at the Clinton Health Matters Initiative Conference in January 2015.

The initiative is an effort between Palisades Media Ventures, the Clinton Foundation, the James Beard Foundation, and Good Housekeeping and is sponsored by Deloitte, Weight Watchers, Barilla, and Mayo Clinic.

Viewers across the country will be able to follow contestants’ progress through the America Cooks with Chefs original video series produced by Ora.TV. The seven-episode series will run from December through February on Ora.TV (www.ora.tv/americacooks). “America Cooks with Chefs is an innovative digital series and a great cause,” said Ora.TV CEO Jon Housman. “We are excited to partner with the Clinton Foundation, the James Beard Foundation, and of course Palisades Media, to both produce the episodes and to be the digital home of the series on Ora.TV.”

  • Maria Hines – Co-Owner/Head Chef, Tilth, Golden Beetle & Agrodolce
  • Jimmy Schmidt – Executive Chef, Morgan’s in the desert at La Quinta Resort
  • Mary Sue Milliken – Co-Chef/Owner, Border Grill Restaurants & Truck 
  • Naomi Pomeroy – Owner/Chef, Beast
  • Tony Mantuano – Chef/Partner, Spiaggia and Bar Toma
  • Michelle Bernstein – Co-Owner/Head Chef, Michy’s and Crumb on Parchment

Contestants & James Beard Award–Winning Chef Mentors:

  • Jonathan Saturay (New York, NY) works for the Pure Food Kids Foundation and teaches children about the importance of making healthy food choices. He will be paired with chef Maria Hines (Seattle, WA).
  • Vanita Lark Williams (Los Angeles, CA) is interested in learning how to make her popular Caribbean and Southern dishes more nutritious. She will be paired with chef Mary Sue Milliken (Los Angeles, CA).
  • Kathy Partak (Auburn, California) has had six knee surgeries, making exercise difficult.Healthy eating is a top priority for her and her active-duty military husband and son, who is a budding chef himself. She will be paired with chef Naomi Pomeroy (Portland, Oregon).
  • Jordan Kennedy (Alexandria, VA) is preparing for her wedding and hopes to build the next chapter of her life on a foundation of sustainable healthy cooking and eating practices. She will be paired with chef Jimmy Schmidt (La Quinta, CA).
  • Victoria Phillips (Lake Forest, IL) and her husband enjoy trying new foods, but their children are picky eaters. She would like to learn healthy recipes that appeal to the whole family. She will be paired with chef Tony Mantuano (Chicago, IL).
  • Michel Angelo Gonzales (Miami, FL) loves the Latin cuisine of his culture, but heart disease and high blood pressure run in his family, making nutrition especially important to him. He will be paired with chef Michelle Bernstein (Miami, FL).

Each contestant will also be paired with a Weight Watchers Leader who will support them one-on-one to assess their current lifestyle, then identify and incorporate behavior changes to help them develop healthier habits.

Presenting sponsor Deloitte will host an America Cooks with Chefs event series as part of the organization’s commitment to provide its professionals with a healthy work-life fit. The event series will take place at Deloitte University in Westlake, TX, during Well-Being Week and will include celebrity chef competitions. Christie Smith, managing principal of the Deloitte University Leadership Center for Inclusion, Deloitte LLP, said, “Deloitte’s sponsorship of America Cooks With Chefs will bring innovative and educational programming to our professionals to further support their well-being and empower them to own their health.” The participating chefs will include Jimmy Schmidt, Tory Miller, Mary Sue Milliken and Paul Qui.

Italian food company Barilla has joined America Cooks with Chefs as a presenting sponsor. Together, they will showcase the healthy food choices that make up the Mediterranean lifestyle, including pasta as a vehicle for healthy ingredients like vegetables and lean protein.“Barilla is committed to helping people live better by bringing well-being and the joy of eating into their everyday lives,” said Prita Wadhwani, Barilla Marketing Manager. “We are excited to work with the contestants and chefs to share how pasta can be a part of a healthy lifestyle through wholesome and delicious pasta dishes that anyone can prepare.”

America Cooks with Chefs also announced a new sponsorship by Mayo Clinic, a worldwide leader in medical practice, research and education. Mayo Clinic offers a number of healthy living offerings to consumers and patients, including the comprehensive Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program, with goals closely tied to those of the initiative. “The America Cooks with Chefs initiative complements our commitment to preventive care and living a healthy lifestyle. We look forward to working together to help Americans find solutions to achieve a healthier life,” said Paul Limburg, M.D., Medical Director, Mayo Clinic Global Business Solutions. # # #

About America Cooks with Chefs

America Cooks with Chefs is nationwide health and wellness movement that connects Americans with celebrity chefs to translate food into healthy, tasty and practical dishes. Through an educational and entertaining cooking competition, the initiative provides videos and resources to inspire people to make healthier choices in their daily lives. The initiative is an effort between Palisades Media Ventures, the Clinton Foundation, the James Beard Foundation and Good Housekeeping and is sponsored by Deloitte, Weight Watchers, Barilla, Mayo Clinic and Aetna. For more information visit www.AmericaCooksWithChefs.com.

About Ora.TV

Ora.TV is a television production studio and on-demand digital network with its home at www.ora.tv. Ora (which means “now” in Italian) launched in July 2012 with “Larry King Now,” available on Hulu and on Ora.tv, and is viewed millions of times per month online, and broadcast on TV around the world. Ora.TV’s other programming includes Politicking with Larry King (globally distributed both digitally and on linear TV), NewsBreaker, NewsBreaker en Espanol, Daily ReHash, DweebCast, and the recently launched Off The Grid with Jesse Ventura. In April 2013, Ora.TV acquired Stick Figure Studios, an Emmy award-winning documentary and reality series production company based in New York. Stick Figure is the producer of Catching Hell, which premiered on The Weather Channel on June 1 and airs digitally on Ora.TV. Ora.TV is funded by América Móvil, the leading Latin American wireless service provider, with a majority interest held by noted global business leader Carlos Slim Helú.