• Brendan ‘serves up’ a 15-year hospitality career with Resthaven

    Brendan ‘serves up’ a 15-year hospitality career with Resthaven

    With two decades’ experience wearing his chef’s hat, Resthaven Aberfoyle Park cook, Brendan Keville, certainly knows a thing or two about running a commercial kitchen.

    After spending several years working overseas as a professional chef, Brendan started with Resthaven Leabrook in 2008.

    He says, ‘It was a welcome change after working at the high-end The Scotsman Hotel in Edinburgh, Scotland!’

    ‘With the change in pace, it was easier to focus and have more time to make great-tasting food.’

    ‘I always remember: People go to a restaurant by choice, but in aged care, this is someone’s home.’

    ‘Enjoying good quality food is so important to quality of life. With that in mind, I always give the same level of dedication and care to my food as though I’m working at a five-star restaurant.’

    Brendan happily worked at Resthaven Leabrook for ten years, until word came through the grapevine that Resthaven Aberfoyle Park was looking for a head cook, in time for its opening in July 2018.

    This opportunity could not have been more perfect for Brendan, as the site — at 100 Hub Drive Aberfoyle Park — was only a few minutes’ drive from his house!

    ‘My team and I were so lucky to enter a brand-new purpose-built kitchen. My first two days on the job involved unpacking all the new equipment, and setting up the space as to how we thought we’d use it.’

    ‘At first, we were constantly reviewing what did and didn’t work, and changed things from time to time.’

    ‘It took a little while to settle in and find our feet, but after that, we ran like clockwork.’

    Trust and respect are really important values to our team. After all these years, we’re a strong tight-knit family.’

    A passionate foodie, Brendan says, “I’m very big on cooking fresh — I use fresh food as much as possible. I love to ‘feel’ the ingredients, and really pride myself in serving home-cooked favourites.’

    ‘Before each seasonal menu release, residents are given the opportunity to complete meal and menu surveys, so that they can indicate their preferences, discuss things they want to try, or request their favourite meals.’

    ‘Our most recent survey showed an increase in multicultural food preferences, so we often change things up by cooking Indian, Italian, and Chinese cuisines.’

    ‘We cater to individual dietary needs, and work with dietitians to ensure that serving sizes and textures are adjusted according to each resident’s requirements.’

    After all these years of working with Resthaven, what strikes Brendan most is the misconceptions of hospitality roles in an aged care setting.

    ‘I think people give aged care a hard time, but I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else.’

    ‘I work regular hours from Sunday – Thursday, which helps me maintain a healthy work–life balance. This was particularly helpful when raising my two young children, as I could spend time with them at home on Fridays, and now can help out with the school run on most days.’

    ‘The continuity is nice too — unlike a restaurant, the number of people needing to be fed each day doesn’t change.’

    ‘The job security is also a big bonus. While so many restaurants closed due to COVID-19, I could still go to work each day and do what I love.’

    ‘Most importantly, I don’t work split shifts, which is a dream for any cook!’

    ‘If you’re looking for a meaningful and long-lasting career in hospitality, Resthaven has it all.’

    Resthaven employs more than 3,000 staff across 40 locations in South Australia — open the door to your future career today.

    Interested in working with us? We’d like to hear from you!