EmblemHealth Supports Teen Battle Chef to Teach Students Healthy Eating Habits

EmblemHealth Supports Teen Battle Chef to Teach Students Healthy Eating Habits


NEW YORK, NY (June 23, 2014) — Harlem students from Democracy Prep and the Dream Center faced off in “Teen Battle Chef Live,” a friendly cooking competition that was the culmination of an eight-week culinary course. Working against the clock, two teams of six students, ranging in age from 12 to 17, executed their chosen Korean meal presentation and described its cultural background and nutritional value. The competition was held at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem on Thursday, June 12.

“We are so proud of these wonderful Teen Battle Chef students. These teens serve as examples, to kids and adults, on how hard work and determination pay off and how healthier cooking and nutrition education can lead to healthier families across New York City,” said Lynn Fredericks, Founder of FamilyCook Productions and Executive Producer of “Teen Battle Chef Live.”

Democracy Prep made Bibimbap, a dish consisting of rice mixed with meat, fresh vegetables, a poached egg and chili pepper paste. The Dream Center prepared a Korean hot pot, a soup made with a spicy broth, fresh vegetables, mussels and clams. Celebrity judges Chef Alexander Smalls of The Cecil restaurant and Minton’s Playhouse in Harlem, Food Network personality Ellie Krieger and Izabela Wojcik of the James Beard Foundation praised the students for their creative cooking, presentation skills and ability to compete under pressure.

“EmblemHealth is proud to support Teen Battle Chef and shares the program’s commitment to help our young New Yorkers achieve a healthier lifestyle one small step at a time through culinary and nutrition education,” said Michelle Paige, director of integrative wellness, EmblemHealth. “Just because something is healthy, doesn’t mean it won’t taste good. By teaching teens to cook food that is healthy and delicious, we can help address the type 2 diabetes and childhood obesity epidemics in our city.”

First Lady of the City of New York Chirlane McCray, who greeted the students and audience, stressed the importance of eating healthy and congratulated the students on their achievements. Competition hosts comedian Chuck Nice and Joel Allette, a Teen Battle Chef alumnus and former contestant on the Food Network’s “Chopped,”, kept the crowd and the students entertained as the battle raged on. The neck-and-neck competition ended in a tie. By audience vote, Democracy Prep won the “Culinary Artistry” category, with the Dream Center winning for “Entertaining Cooking Demo.”

Teen Battle Chef is a youth development program that explores cooking, gardening, and food systems while battling obesity and chronic disease. In addition, the students make a real difference in their communities by helping their friends and family make healthier choices. “Teen Battle Chef Live” was produced and directed by FamilyCook Productions. The event was sponsored by EmblemHealth and the Metro-Manhattan Chapter of the Links, Inc.

As the Official Sponsor of Small Steps, EmblemHealth encourages all New Yorkers to take control and manage their health by providing access to fresh fruits and vegetables at sponsored farmer’s markets, free healthy cooking demonstrations and free fitness classes right in the neighborhood. To learn more about Small Steps, visit https://smallsteps.emblemhealth.com/ and join the conversation with #SmallStepsNYC.

Celebrity judges Izabela Wojcik of the James Beard Foundation, Chef Alexander Smalls of The Cecil restaurant and Minton’s Playhouse in Harlem, Food Network personality Ellie Krieger with hosts Chuck Nice and Joel Allette, a Teen Battle Chef alumnus.
Students from Democracy Prep, winners of the “Culinary Artistry” category.
Students from the Dream Center, winners of the “Entertaining Cooking Demonstration” category.

About EmblemHealth
EmblemHealth, Inc. provides quality health care coverage and administrative services to approximately 3.4 million people. Groups and individuals can choose from a variety of PPO, EPO and HMO plans, as well as coverage for prescription drugs and dental and vision care. EmblemHealth offers a choice of networks, including quality doctors and other health care professionals throughout the region, leading acute care hospitals across the tristate area, and physicians and hospitals across all 50 states. For more information, visit www.emblemhealth.com.

About FamilyCook Productions
FamilyCook Productions (FamilyCook) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1995 to teach nutrition through cooking to K-12 students and their families. FamilyCook has reached over 200,000 families nationwide and spawned over 130 programs in 26 states. Along with HealthCorps and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, FamilyCook is collaborating on an NIH funded research project to determine best practices to change behaviors that have been shown to cause obesity. FamilyCook founder, Lynn Fredericks, is a cookbook author, food activist, and food and wine journalist. For more information, visit www.familycookproductions.com.

Press Release