SALINAS, Calif., March 1 /PRNewswire/ — In less than a decade, the finest culinary institutes of the world may welcome a cooking prodigy: 10-year-old Tanner Kohn from Simpsonville, S.C. An aspiring chef, Kohn was announced today as the Grand Prize winner of the Fresh Express-Do Something(TM) Teens for Greens Amazing Search for Fresh Salad Recipe Challenge for his “Shrimpsational Caribbean Salad.” One of the youngest entrants, whose pre-teen age had him competing against others nearly a decade older, Kohn receives a $3,500 scholarship to the college or culinary school of his choice in addition to the opportunity for his school to receive a $10,000 donation from Fresh Express for a salad bar makeover or an edible schoolyard.
The Teens for Greens Amazing Search for Fresh Recipe Challenge — initiated by the largest salad company in the world, Fresh Express — was a nationwide search and educational initiative launched in the fall of 2006 in partnership with the leading youth volunteer organization, Do Something. Designed to help young people adopt healthier eating habits, entrants ages 10-18 were encouraged to submit their own original and “kid-approved” salad recipes, underlining their commitment to develop healthy eating habits. The Fresh Express “Teens for Greens” program was launched in May 2006 as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to support a healthy eating message directed at teens and to help counteract the nation’s youth obesity epidemic.
Working with the “Teens for Greens” program, Fresh Express has found that many student-age children and teenagers are, despite the allure and availability of high-calorie snacks, choosing fresh foods and developing modern ways to serve them. In processing entries for the Amazing Search for Fresh Recipe Challenge, Fresh Express found evidence that students across the country are committed to eating well-and are creative in the process.
“Pouring through these entries was a delight for our judges as well as our own executives,” said Tanios Viviani, president of Fresh Express. “It was hard to choose one winner — so many were appealing in taste and presentation, as well as being original and easy to prepare. Ultimately, we chose Tanner Kohn’s recipe as the Grand Prize because his passion for food is inspiring for all who want to include more fresh produce in their diets, such as Fresh Express salad mixes and kits.”
Grand Prize Winner Kohn, who uses Fresh Express salads and is a member of Do Something’s volunteer-focused Web community, said he was thrilled to compete for the scholarship but most “pumped” about the salad bar makeover and how it could impact his own school in suburban Greenville, S.C. “Right now, my school is pursuing something called ‘Zest Quest’ where we are learning to exercise and eat healthy foods,” Kohn said. “We do not have a salad bar or a lot of ‘green’ choices. It’s great to win this and help out.”
Kohn’s salad mixed a from-scratch honey-lime vinaigrette dressing with Fresh Express Hearts of Romaine lettuce and toppings such as black beans, shrimp and coconut.
In addition to Kohn, Fresh Express today congratulated several winners in sub-categories:
— Kansas resident Jon Whitlow, 13, for his zesty “Pepperoni Pizza Salad” in the Signature Salad “I Could Eat This Anytime, Anywhere!” Category.
Whitlow, a Boy Scout who wanted to make a salad that captured the taste of pizza, uniquely covered his salad in cheeses with a pesto dressing.
He is the winner of a video iPod.
— Sara Quinn, 17, of Georgia, with her sophisticated “Sara’s Smoky Shallot Salad,” in the Silver Platter Salad “Only For Those Who Are Worthy!” Category. Judges were impressed with vegetarian Quinn’s use of different ingredients such as shallots, asparagus and apples. She is the winner of a digital camera.
— New Yorker, Eva Amesse, 17, for her colorful and cleverly-titled “Jack and the Greenstalk” in the Salad Surprise! “You Added What to Your Salad?!” Category. Amesse, a cooking hobbyist whose salad included white beans and sunflower seeds, topped the salad with a scattering of jelly beans for fun. She is the winner of a digital camcorder.
A collection of winning recipes may be viewed on the Fresh Express Web site, http://www.freshexpress.com/ as well as in a special edition of Do Something’s Build magazine.
About Fresh Express
Fresh Express, a subsidiary of Chiquita Brands International, Inc. (NYSE:CQB), has been a leader in fresh foods for more than 80 years and is dedicated to providing consumers with healthy, convenient ready-to-eat spinach, salads, vegetables and fruits. With the invention of its special Keep Crisp(TM) bag beginning in the early 1980s, Fresh Express pioneered the retail packaged salad category and was the first to make them available nationwide. More than 20 million consumers enjoy Fresh Express salads, spinach and greens every week. For more information, visit http://www.freshexpress.com/.