ZEBULON — For Wyatt Reid, 8, mayonnaise can be put on “anything your mind tells you.” But only if it’s Duke’s.
Wyatt and his aunt Wendy Perry, both of Franklin County, were recently chosen to appear in Duke’s Mayonnaise commercials.
“Wyatt wants to be famous and in Hollywood by the time he is 14 and loves Duke’s Mayo,” Perry said of why she initially taped her young nephew for a Duke’s Mayo Facebook video contest.
He loves it so much, when she brings him lunch to school, he has his own bottle of Duke’s Mayo, which he proudly held up in his contestant video while talking about his State Fair award-winning corn muffins which use the ingredient.
“I think angels in Heaven use Duke’s Mayo cause it’s as creamy as a cloud,” he said in his video, showing off muffins, deviled eggs and other Duke’s inspired treats. “If it’s the best on Earth, than it’s the best in Heaven.”
But Perry noted his video was never posted after she submitted it. That’s when she realized the contest was only for people older than 18. So the cameras were turned on Perry, a foodie who enjoys mixing up flavors and ingredients, also bringing home ribbons for her recipes.
“You never can have too much Duke’s,” says the apron-clad Perry, putting it on her salad.
After convincing all of her friends to keep voting for her video on the social networking site, she found out she won.
“They told me they had a surprise and I thought, ‘Oh goody, maybe it’s a lifetime supply of Duke’s,’” she said. “They wanted Wyatt to come out and do the commercial, too.”
The pair made their way to Richmond, with Wyatt’s mom, and they were treated to the celebrity life with meals, someone doing hair and make-up and a camera following them around.
Perry and Wyatt were taped, along with others who participated in the contest, and asked several questions to make a series of commercials with themes such as heritage, tomato sandwiches and passion, among others.
“I’d give up mustard for a lifetime for a bottle of Duke’s,” she said in one ad. “It’s a wonderful Southeastern secret.”
Later, the pair went to dinner with the other actors in the commercial and a photographer followed Wyatt around.
“He said, ‘You are giving me the best shots in the world,’” Perry said. “We had pizza and [Wyatt] asked for Duke’s and they took photos of him squeezing Duke’s on the pizza.”
Since their return, the commercial has aired on local channels.
“People call me and say, ‘Oh my God, I saw you on television,’” Perry said. “Or they see me at the grocery store and ask me about it.”
A few weeks ago she noticed a woman looking at her, cocking her head and staring.
“I said hello to her and she finally said, ‘Did I see you on TV?’” Perry said. “But that’s the only person who didn’t already know me personally.”
While Wyatt may continue to seek a career in Hollywood, Perry will keep up her efforts as judge in cooking competitions, offering classes and being a personal chef, among other endeavors.