Victory is so Sweet on Live Television: Splenda(R) Brand Chef Splendido Talent...

Victory is so Sweet on Live Television: Splenda(R) Brand Chef Splendido Talent Search Chooses Winner on Telemundo’s Cada Dia

Gian Flores Ruiz from Florida creates delicious, new reduced-sugar Latino dessert and wins coveted title


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Fort Washington, PA–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–October 9, 2007–McNeil Nutritionals, LLC, marketer of SPLENDA(R) Sweetener Products, today announced Gian Flores Ruiz as the winner of the 2007 Chef Splendido National Talent Search on Telemundo’s top-rated morning show, Cada Dia con Maria Antonieta. Gian’s winning creations, Strawberry Cheesecake with Macerated Strawberries in Mint and a Virgin Mojito, reflects his unique touch and replaces the recipe’s sugar content with SPLENDA(R) Sweetener Products. The result was a delicious Strawberry Cheesecake that offered the same sweetness as the original recipes with less sugar and fewer calories.

Gian Flores Ruiz, a student at Johnson and Wales University, competed with three other finalists from prestigious culinary schools during the first live, televised Chef Splendido competition. Along with the coveted Chef Splendido title, Gian also won a $5,000 cash prize and a set of professional knives.

“I’m honored to be selected as the 2007 Chef Splendido among such high caliber competition,” says Gian. “I’m also grateful to the SPLENDA(R) Brand for the opportunity to represent Latino chefs in such an exciting contest that encourages healthier lifestyles.”

A higher percentage of Hispanics in the U.S. are considered to be overweight or obese compared to the general population (1). The SPLENDA(R) Brand created the Chef Splendido National Talent Search to champion the development of creative, great-tasting, reduced-sugar alternatives to Latino recipes. The recipes are then made available to Hispanic families on http://www.splendaenespanol.com and http://www.SPLENDA.com.

The Chef Splendido competition applauds the talents of aspiring Latino chefs and offers them a unique opportunity to gain recognition for their culinary prowess.

A judge’s panel was led by renowned Chef Lorena Garcia, owner and executive chef of Elements Tierra in Miami, and included Cada Dia’s co-host, José Díaz-Balart and Monica Noguera. The panel was moderated by Cada Dia co-host, Mary Gamarra. Each entry was evaluated using four criteria: taste, originality, creativity, and visual appeal.

“This year’s Chef Splendido competition was especially exciting and inspiring,” says Chef Lorena Garcia. “With so much Latino talent at one table, the real challenge was choosing the winner. All of the finalists are winners—their recipes are now available for all of us to enjoy. I applaud the SPLENDA(R) Brand for celebrating Latino culinary talent and for encouraging an emphasis on more healthful cooking and baking.”

Today’s announcement of the 2007 Chef Splendido winner culminates a nationwide search that began earlier this year when students were challenged to develop a Latino-inspired dessert and beverage. The contest finalists were drawn from top culinary art programs at Cypress College in California, the Center for Foods of The Americas in Texas, The Culinary Institute in New York, and Johnson & Wales University in Florida.

About SPLENDA(R) No Calorie Sweetener
SPLENDA(R) No Calorie Sweetener can be used virtually anywhere sugar is used and has quickly become the nation’s #1 selling no calorie sweetener. It stays sweet at high temperatures so it can also be used in cooking and baking for a variety of recipes. SPLENDA(R) No Calorie Sweetener is an ideal sweetener for the whole family.

About SPLENDA(R) Brand
SPLENDA(R) Sweetener Products are marketed by McNeil Nutritionals, LLC. SPLENDA(R) Brand Sweetener is used in more than 4,000 products of major food brands worldwide. You can find out more about SPLENDA(R) Sweetener Products or get recipes and tips on cooking and baking with the brand by logging on to http://www.splendaenespanol.com or http://www.SPLENDA.com, or call 1-800-7-SPLENDA (1-800-777-5363) or (1-888-466-8746).

About McNeil Nutritionals
McNeil Nutritionals, LLC is a global marketer of innovative nutritional products. The company’s mission is to give people the ability to actively manage their own health. McNeil Nutritionals, LLC markets SPLENDA(R) Sweetener Products, VIACTIV(R) Dietary Supplements, LACTAID(R) Milk and Dietary Supplements, and BENECOL(R) Products. McNeil Nutritionals, LLC is headquartered in Fort Washington, PA.

(1) Source: Prevalence of overweight and obesity in US Hispanic populations, American Journal Clinical Nutrition. 1991 Jun;53(6 Suppl)

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Victory is so Sweet on Live Television: Splenda(R) Brand Chef Splendido Talent Search Chooses Winner on Telemundo’s Cada Dia