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Bobby Flay and Aetna Crown America’s Healthiest Chef at the Aetna Healthy Food Fight Finale


HARTFORD, CONN. - Aetna (NYSE: AET) and Bobby Flay today announced the national winner of the Aetna Healthy Food Fight, the 10-city cooking contest that made its way across the country to spread the word about the importance of healthy cooking and eating. Julie Hession, Las Vegas, Nev., out-cooked nine competitors at the finale event in Los Angeles, Calif. on November 18, 2010. Her winning recipe was quinoa stuffed turkey roulades with butternut-apple mash and maple roasted vegetables. She won $10,000 worth of KitchenAid appliances, courtesy of Lowe’s and Whirlpool Corporation.

The Aetna Healthy Food Fight was developed with chefs from The Culinary Institute of America (CIA). Anyone with an original healthy recipe was invited to enter the contest for a chance to cook at one of 10 local events. Chefs from The CIA screened recipes and selected up to 48 entrants for each of the 10 regional events. Local finalists cooked their creations, which cost less than $12 per serving, live and were judged by The CIA chefs and local VIPs. Some even had their dishes judged by celebrity chefs Sunny Anderson, Cat Cora or Sara Moulton. Spectators were encouraged to attend the events to cheer on their local participants, learn about healthy cooking and eating and meet the celebrity chefs.

”Not only has the Aetna Healthy Food Fight created healthy competition but it has also encouraged people all over the country to think about delicious, affordable ways to incorporate healthy ingredients into their cooking. It has been great to be a part of the contest because being healthy really starts with what you put in your body,” said Bobby Flay, critically acclaimed chef/restaurateur, cookbook author and TV personality.

The winner of each local event won an all expense paid trip to Los Angeles, Calif. to cook a healthy Thanksgiving-themed meal for Bobby Flay during the finals. The regional cook-off winners were:

* New Jersey: Sandra Holbrook, New Providence, N.J. – Stuffed collards
* Philadelphia: Sue Fazio, Collegeville, Pa. – Fresh, homemade pasta with roasted vegetables
* Cleveland: Tami Mitchell, Summit, OH – Five shrimp quinoa, yam, black bean and turkey lettuce wraps
* San Antonio: Christine Friesenhahn, Boerne, TX – Baja shrimp tacos with avocado mango salsa
* Houston: Camilla Saulsbury, Nacogdoches, TX - Warm roasted butternut squash-quinoa salad with crispy chickpeas and fresh herbs
* Jacksonville: Michelle Ugarte, Jacksonville, Fla. – Pork tenderloin with butternut squash
* Atlanta: Lisa Hanson, Atlanta, Ga. - Zucchini “pappardelle” with grass fed beef ricotta and spinach meatballs and fresh tomato sauce
* Rancho Cucamonga: Julie Hession, Las Vegas, Nev. – Moroccan spiced vegetable chili
* San Diego: Suzanne Gegna, La Mesa, Calif. -Savory vegetable curry over brown rice with raita garnish
* Los Angeles/Pomona, CA: Joni Hilton, Rocklin, Calif. – Sizzlin’ salmon kabobs over mango brown rice

"The Aetna Healthy Food Fight builds on Aetna’s overall commitment to helping people achieve their best health,” said Frank McCauley, head of Aetna’s Local Employers and Consumers business. “It’s important to recognize that healthy cooking and healthy eating can be incorporated into any busy lifestyle regardless of someone’s budget. Given the amount of community support, inspiration and encouragement, we believe this healthy cooking and healthy eating movement will continue well beyond the campaign itself.”

Overall, 689 recipes were submitted and 11,800 people entered the sweepstakes for a chance to win a 10-piece set of gourmet cookware from Circulon. Circulon also provided Infinite Circulon cookware for each regional cook-off event and the finale in Los Angeles. To check out original recipes from all over the country and photos from each of the local events, visit or follow the campaign on Twitter (@aetnafoodfight) or on Facebook at

About Aetna
Aetna is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 35.4 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities and health care management services for Medicaid plans. Our customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see To learn more about Aetna’s innovative online tools, visit


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