One of the main factors people consider when moving into residential aged care is the food, and it’s no wonder why. Said to be the “spice of life”, food is essential to our wellness in a number of ways. A nutritious and flavourful diet is vital in supporting both our physical health as well as emotional wellbeing. Good food nourishes the body, brings people together, and provides enjoyment in everyday life.
If there is a person who understands the importance of good food, it’s Bryan Seeborun. Currently a Regional Catering Manager at Regis Aged Care, Bryan has a long history of working in a diverse range of industries where the quality of food is paramount. Originally from the UK, Bryan started his career as an Executive Chef in Michelin Star restaurants in the South of France and London.
Bryan obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality and Catering Management in 2006, and HACCP and Business Management qualifications before joining the Royal Navy as a Catering Manager. After moving to Australia in 2013, Bryan continued his career in catering management working for several major providers across various sectors, including BHP, Corrections Victoria, the Geelong Cats stadium, and Sodexho’s aged care division. Loving the sense of purpose and personal satisfaction in aged care work, Bryan seized the opportunity to join Regis Aged Care in October 2020.
“Unlike most people you come across in work, the elderly love putting time aside to share their experiences, and their stories can transport you to another time. There’s nothing more rewarding than walking into a room full of those people smiling and knowing you’re part of the reason why”, he says.
Having overseen food services across several different organisations and sectors, Bryan is particularly proud of the catering program at Regis Aged Care. The organisation uses local produce wherever possible, and prepares and cooks meals fresh on the day. The menu is designed in consultation with residents, chefs, the national catering team and a Dietician which ensures meals meet food likes, cultural and religious preferences, and special dietary needs. Importantly, Regis ensures its menus meet the evolving needs of the older generation.
“As the current population ages, we are seeing an increase in cultural diversity. By 2021 more than 30% of Australia’s older population will have been born outside of Australia, and we are adapting to this shift by offering culturally-tailored choices.”
Asked to describe a typical day in his role at Regis, Bryan explains that catering management is a busy, high-paced, and rewarding practice. The nature of his work is highly varied and involves planning events, creating menus, and managing the delivery of a high-quality catering program across the homes in his region. His favourite parts of his job are interacting with residents and developing the chef managers and catering teams in the homes. “Seeing the catering team members grow under your leadership, and making residents happy with the food, are the biggest factors that make everything worthwhile,” he says. When such priorities are at the forefront of catering management in aged care, a great sense of reassurance is offered to those thinking about moving in. Throughout life, many of us consider good food to be a highlight of our day, and people like Bryan demonstrates that this is still a very much reality in residential aged care.