The 800 Calorie Challenge

The James Beard Foundation (JBF) announced a new partnership with the Clinton Foundation to launch America Cooks with Chefs: The 800 Calorie Challenge, an innovative cooking competition that focuses on healthy eating and nutrition for American home cooks. This collaborative program is being facilitated by managing partner Palisades Media Ventures (PMV) in a creative effort to tackle rising obesity rates and nutrition-induced illnesses on a national scale.

"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. "Our Foundation's annual Food Conference, American Chef Corps, author lecture series and James Beard Awards are some of the ways we champion an interest in American culinary culture, nutrition, and eating well. We're excited about pairing some of America's best chefs with everyday Americans to teach families how to cook healthy and delicious meals."

America Cooks with Chefs: The 800 Calorie Challenge will pair six lucky contestants with celebrity chef "trainers," including James Beard Award winners Tony Mantuano and Mary Sue Milliken of Bravo's Top Chef Masters. An online video series will feature an episode with each duo as they take part in an intense one-day "cooking well kitchen camp," working together to redesign a recipe around healthy nutritional guidelines without sacrificing taste or presentation.

The contestants will get to attend the 2015 Clinton Health Matters Initiative (CHMI) conference in La Quinta, California. They will bring their new skills to a live cooking challenge at the conference, where a panel of celebrity judges will select a winner. The winning recipe will be the best nutrient-dense meal under 800 calories, created in one hour using only ingredients provided. Details on entering will be available at A robust social media program will also be instituted, including the creation of a Twitter platform @AmericaCooks and #800Calories.

"The Clinton Health Matters Initiative is delighted to partner with the James Beard Foundation on this new educational program to increase consumer awareness about how to improve a family's diet," says Ginny Ehrlich, Chief Executive Officer of the Clinton Health Matters Initiative at the Clinton Foundation. "America Cooks with Chefs: The 800 Calorie Challenge 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."