Medical Center kitchen wins prestigious Dawn Celebration Contest
Chef Reid Sinderud, back row center, poses with members of the Dawn Cleaning Team moments before they scrubbed the Loma Linda University Medical Center kitchen. The cleaning, which is valued at $2,000, was one of two prizes the Medical Center won as a result of Chef Reid’s entry being selected as one of just 10 winners nationally—and only three on the West Coast—of the 2008 Dawn Celebration Contest. The other prize was 30 cases of Dawn products.
Thanks to the generosity of Dawn detergent and the literary skills of Reid Sinderud, Loma Linda University Medical Center’s executive chef, the Medical Center kitchen is cleaner than ever and getting lots of national publicity, too.
Back in February 2008, Mr. Sinderud—or Chef Reid, as he likes to be called—decided to enter the Dawn Celebration Contest, which was sponsored by Procter & Gamble Professional™. The chef uses Dawn products extensively in his professional and personal life, and he liked the enticement of $2,000 in professional cleaning services for the Medical Center kitchen. So he sent in his application along with a brief statement articulating the reasons he uses Dawn.
“Dawn helps keep my kitchen health-inspection ready,” Chef Reid wrote in his application statement. “With the high sanitation requirements of a hospital kitchen, I need a strong detergent that will rinse clean with no residue. No matter what I try on the market, I end up staying with Dawn. Besides, in the middle of cooking 5,000 meals a day, the fragrance takes me home! For my family, staff, customers, and patients, Dawn is the only detergent I trust.”
The chef had all but forgotten about entering the contest until mid-March when he received a certified letter from Procter & Gamble stating that his entry was being considered as a finalist. The company asked him to sign a release acknowledging that he would not expect compensation should his name be used in connection with the contest.
“At that point, I started wondering if I might have won,” he recalls.
His questions were answered on April 10, 2008, when Chef Reid received another letter from Dawn informing him that his entry had been selected. Loma Linda University Medical Center was one of only 10 winners nationwide—and just three on the west coast—that had been selected from a field of nearly 1,000 entrants.
“It was tough choosing 10 winners from so many great entries,” says Maame Stephens, assistant brand manager for Procter & Gamble Professional. “The winning entries came from loyal Dawn users, like Chef Reid with Loma Linda University Medical Center, with compelling stories about how Dawn has been a trusted ally, by helping take care of the greasy challenges they face.”
Needless to say, the chef was pleasantly surprised: “I know it is horribly cliché to say I never win anything,” he acknowledges before confessing that losing seemed to be his lot in life until he found out he had won the Dawn Celebration Contest. “It’s a bit full circle if they use my quote for advertising because I fell in love with cooking while I was working toward a degree in advertising.”
Chef Reid explains that developing slogans for companies is something he has enjoyed doing since childhood. He received encouragement from his mother, who would assign him the task of creating a jingle or commercial for a product.
“She would tell me to come up with a jingle for Idaho that tells people that Boise is the capital and that the state has four Electoral College votes,” he shares. “She knew it would stick in my head that way.” He still likes to create imaginary ad campaigns for companies even now. “It drives my wife crazy,” he confesses, “but we have some good laughs.”
As a result of winning the contest, the Medical Center kitchen received a thorough cleaning from the Dawn Clean Team, as well as 30 cases of Dawn detergent. The cleaning, which is valued at $2,000, took place on Thursday, March 15, 2008, at 7:30 p.m. when a band of five professional cleaners from Coverall of San Bernardino showed up at the Medical Center along with representatives from Procter & Gamble Professional and Sysco LA. The Dawn Clean Team posed for a picture beneath a special commemorative banner, then got down to the serious business of scrubbing tile and grout, aluminum and plastic until the wee hours of the morning. When they were finished, the kitchen sparkled and shone like new.
In addition to Chef Reid, the other Dawn Celebration Contest winners are:
• Jerry Allen, owner, Bama Belles Country Restaurant, Mobile, Alabama
• Carolyn Crist, partner/manager, Griff’s Place, Aberdeen, South Dakota
• Karalisa Duncan, food service director, Bethel Public Schools, Shawnee, Oklahoma
• Keith Esbin, corporate executive chef, Bar Harbor Seafood/Boston Lobster Feast, Orlando, Florida
• Kevin Fox, food service director, D-bar-A Scout Ranch, Metamora, Michigan
• Michele Huisman, owner, Lovey’s Snack Shack, Middleville, Michigan
• Julie Kenney, general manager, Sunset House Restaurant, Cody, Wyoming
• April Pasternak, kitchen manager, Ligonier Camp & Conference Center, Ligonier, Pennsylvania
• Ann Reichle, owner, Angelina’s Pizza, Olmsted Falls, Ohio
According to Ms. Stephens of Procter & Gamble, the purpose of the contest was to thank Dawn’s loyal customers for their support. “Dawn has proven itself for more than 30 years, and we are proud to offer it to the foodservice industry,” said Ms. Stephens. “This exceptional grease-cutting detergent has made an impact on kitchens across the country for years—our loyal customers constantly tell us how much they
love Dawn and the positive impact it has made on their businesses. We want to take this opportunity to thank them for trusting Dawn.”
Despite the fact that Chef Reid’s words will appear in nationwide advertising, he’s got better things to do than let the accolades go to his head. Right now he’s probably working on this week’s Chef’s Special.
Of course, if what he shares about his childhood is true, he’s probably writing a jingle to go with it. Know anything that rhymes with ratatouille?
By James Ponder