Ben’s Beginners: Cooking Contest

Isabelle and I started off the week with a real treat thanks to Uncle Ben’s rice and Chef Barbara Lynch. We hopped over the river to Fort Point and settled into the fun, sunlight space that is Sportello along with other families.  On the counters were some ingredients and the most beautiful mixing bowls you will ever see.

Cooking at Sportello with Uncle Ben's Rice for the Ben's Beginners Cooking Competition Kickoff (tongue twister).
Cooking at Sportello with Uncle Ben’s Rice for the Ben’s Beginners Cooking Competition Kickoff (tongue twister).

Chef Barbara Lynch shared her recipe, her passion for cooking and her restaurant, Sportello, with us all.  Last year, I remember hearing this matriarch of Boston’s best chefs during a discussion at Rialto about Women in White (women chefs what it meant, what it means, what works and what is still a battle).  What caught me off guard me away was her reaction to the many food bloggers out there.  Chef couldn’t understand why so many talented cooks were blogging instead of getting out into the larger kitchens of the world.  It wasn’t meant as a dig to bloggers but rather it was the expression of the passion she has for her field.  Once again, at Sportello Barbara Lynch shared her passion for cooking, but this time it was with children and their parents.

Chef Barbara Lynch with Uncle Ben's RiceThe Ben’s Beginners Cooking Contest is encouraging families to put together a cooking video for the chance to win $15,000 for their family and $30,000 for their school cafeteria.  Pick a favorite family recipe or try to create something new.  Upload the video on the Uncle Ben’s site.  Go back into the kitchen and continue cooking together.  All video entries are due by October, 10th 2014.

Here are a few tips to help you as you plan your video:

  • Choose a kid-friendly rice recipe
    (Click for a few tasty suggestions.)
  • Keep your video under 3 minutes!
  • Get your family into the picture. But remember, a parent must be in the video and only one child can be the star.
    (Child must be in K–8th grade.)
  • Introduce family members, but only use first names.
  • Tell us about the recipe and describe each step as you’re cooking.
  • If shooting with a tablet or phone, turn device horizontal, not vertical.
  • Do not use music or show brand-name products that aren’t UNCLE BEN’S®.
  • Do not wear apparel with logos, company names, team names, or messages.
  • Be creative: Think about props and costumes.
  • Make sure you have enough light.
  • Rehearse the action, but be spontaneous and natural.

Chef Barbara Lynch shared her recipe for Chicken & Rice Meatball soup.  It was a great recipe to cook together, even the youngest children in the room could participate.  Now if I can only sneak into the prep kitchen and watch the saucier make that stock!

Cooking at Sportello

10 Comments Add yours

  1. So are you submitting a video? Hope so! I need to find some local cooking classes for my son. Any ideas?


    1. leahklein says:

      Cooking classes are hard to find for kids. There is create a cool in Newton/Needham or sometimes the adult ed places do workshops or check bu gastronomy too


  2. Michelle says:

    I have the perfect recipe for this – if only I can get my son to do it without making yuck faces!


  3. Nancy Brown says:

    Love this and hope to see wonderful videos! I do know someone who teaches kids to cook here in Newton – Mindy’s Cooking


  4. What a great idea to encourage families to get into the kitchen together!


  5. What a fun event! My daughter has really enjoyed watching the kids’ cooking competitions on Food Network and has been to a birthday party at Create a Cook. I love how these things are getting our children to like the idea of cooking.


  6. This was right up your alley! I know how much your daughter loves to be in the kitchen with her Mama!


  7. Krystyn @ Really, Are You Serious? says:

    What a super fun idea! My kids love rice, but I’ve never thought of making something that isn’t just rice under something.


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