At Bon Appetit Restaurant, we tend to think every day is extraordinary but last Thursday was really something special. Our very own Chef, Klaus Riedl, was recognized by the City of Dunedin with an award for saving a woman’s life!

The recognition was a result of lifesaving action Chef Riedl took a few weeks earlier. A female patron of the restaurant experienced a seizure in the parking lot. Her car was in motion, making for a dangerous environment for both the driver and others nearby. Bon Appétit’s maintenance manager, Phil Gage, noticed something wrong and ran for help. Chef Riedl quickly jumped into action by breaking the window of the car, turning it off, and monitoring the driver until paramedics arrived on the scene. Chef Klaus’ ability to act quickly changed the trajectory of the car, ultimately saved the woman’s life. 

News travels fast

After the incident, it didn’t take long for the story to circulate internally around the restaurant. Employees who witnessed the events unfold were amazed and inspired by Chef Klaus’ actions and bravery. “This was a big deal,” said Bon Appetit Manager, Debbie Diehl, “he literally saved that woman’s life. Those of us who witnessed him in action were in awe because he just sprang into action and knew exactly what to do. And we felt it was important he be recognized in some way.”

Chef Klaus and Dunedin Mayor, Julie Ward Bujalski in front of Bon Appetit Restaurant

Chef Klaus gets a gold star!

So to Chef Klaus’ surprise, he was honored during a small ceremony, set outside on the steps of the restaurant, coordinated by Debbie Diehl. Mayor Julie Ward Bujalski and Dunedin Fire Marshal Michael Handoga, presented an award to Chef Klaus Riedl reading, “In honor of your courage and lifesaving heroism.”

After presenting the award to Chef Klaus, Mayor Bujalski closed her speech by saying, “You know this is what Dunedin is all about. It’s community. It’s giving back. And it is taking care of our neighbors. And Klaus is the epitome of that today and we thank you so much.”

Film at 11…

Dunedin TV captured it all (we will be sure to share their footage when we can) and looking on were Chef Riedl’s employees, his family, team members from Bon Appétit Restaurant, and the owners of Bon Appétit Group, Peter Kreuziger and Karl Riedl. We are all so proud of our Chef!