I grew up around food and catering and learnt so much from my father. He ran catering operations at a large New South Wales’ retirement group and then for a meal provider for the Queensland aged care, health, hospitality and retail sectors. From there he branched out into contract catering and I was involved in our long-running catering business servicing retirement communities, education facilities and clubs across Brisbane. At our peak, we were operating out of 15 kitchens with more than 130 staff and responsible for supplying around 5000+ meals per day.
As Group Executive Chef I’m responsible for Seasons’ supply chain into our kitchens, all food safety, preventive maintenance schedules and break downs, menu creation and assisting all Seasons communities and chefs as much as possible. My focus is supporting all communities to offer the best possible food service.
Food is so important. It brings us all together and this is even more so in aged care communities. I want all our residents to have the best possible experience every time and look forward to coming into dining rooms and enjoying a freshly prepared meal with great company.
I love what I do – whether I’m in the kitchens cooking or in the office planning the next event or next menu. I’m attending the Maggie Beer Foundation ‘Creating an Appetite for Life’ masterclass to gather ideas and network with like-minded providers.
I personally meet with residents at each community every six months to gather direct feedback, coupled with ongoing feedback from our staff and residents. We send our menus off to a dietitian for review and work closely with them to ensure residents’ dietary needs are met. As we age, we tend to eat less so we need to make sure our meals are well balanced and full of what we need to sustain us through the day and maintain a healthy weight.
Seasons menus are seasonally based, operating on a 13-week cycle menu.
A fresh approach to our meals has been one of my main goals since taking on the group role in 2017, replacing 95% of the frozen vegetable options with fresh options. This is of course more work for our kitchens every day, but our chefs continue to champion freshness. We’ve enlisted some new suppliers and have fresher produce delivered more often.
We offer more choice here at Seasons than ever. As well as the standard menu, residents can now enjoy a choice of seven lunch options and five supper options. These change every other menu rotation to ensure there is always something different on offer. We’ve introduced breakfast buffets across most Seasons communities so residents can have breakfast at their leisure. And we work closely with our care partner Envigor to manage any food intolerances and dietary requirements as set by residents’ dietitians.