***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***
DERBY, CT (June 6, 2014) – Seymour Middle School sixth grader Faith Rousseau achieved plating perfection recently, taking first place in the Valley Initiative to Advance Health and Learning in Schools (VITAHLS) Healthy Cooking Competition.
Rousseau’s Black Bean and Corn Salad was named best by a panel of judges that included elected officials from Ansonia, Derby, Seymour and Shelton and Dr. David Katz, founding director of Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center (PRC) and well-known public health expert, at Molto Bene Italian American Kitchen in Ansonia last month. As the winner, Rousseau received a Massaro Community Farm Tote bag and a $20 gift certificate to their farm stand, a cookbook from Claire’s Corner Copia Restaurant in New Haven, a personalized apron, and $75 worth of cooking equipment and a free healthy cooking party for her and five of her friends from Chef’s Equipment Emporium in Orange.
“I am really happy that I won, especially considering the competition,” Rousseau said. “I can't wait to make new healthy recipes with the cookbook and cooking supplies.”
The other six-grade contestants, Kiersten LaRue, of Prendergast School in Ansonia, Madysen Miller, of Perry Hill School in Shelton, and Natalia Wyszkowski, of Derby Middle School also received cookbooks and gift certificates for winning the best healthy recipes in their school districts.
The event was hosted by Neil Fuentes, a Connecticut chef who has been featured on The Food Network hit show Chopped! and is a contributor on The Food Channel.
VITAHLS is a childhood obesity prevention initiative collaboration between Griffin Hospital, Yale Griffin PRC, and the Ansonia, Derby, Seymour and Shelton school districts. Since 2011, VITAHLS has integrated a variety of nutrition and physical activity programs into the existing school structure to help reduce childhood obesity.
Pictured above: Faith Rousseau, of Seymour, prepares her Black Bean and Corn Salad at the Valley Initiative to Advance Health and Learning in Schools (VITAHLS) Healthy Cooking Competition Finals
Pictured in header image: Cooking Competition winners.jpg - From left: Kiersten LaRue, of Ansonia, Dr. David Katz, director of Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, Madysen Miller, of Shelton, Chef Neil Fuentes, Faith Rousseau, of Seymour, and Natalia Wyszkowski at the Valley Initiative to Advance Health and Learning in Schools (VITAHLS) Healthy Cooking Competition Finals.
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