This special live event celebrates the June 18 opening of MorningStar Senior Living in Hillsboro, Oregon. In this segment, Executive Chef/Dining Room Manager Darrin Bristol joins Suzanne Newman. Bristol finds it fulfilling and rewarding to to work in a senior living environment. At the end of the day, he makes the food he loves, but it has more meaning, and makes a difference. At this independent living community, he enjoys being able to create a restaurant-style experience in this “upscale retirement living” atmosphere that is similar to what you’d find in a hotel or country club restaurant. Just like a restaurant, they accommodate common special diets like gluten free or vegetarian. They don’t offer a diabetic menu, but they can offer appropriate foods for a diabetic person to make those choices on their own. Specials keep it interesting for everyone, and works in meals that residents love.
Schedule a tour! For folks outside the Portland, Oregon area, MorningStar has communities from the midwest through the Pacific states. Find a community near you at MorningStar Senior Living.com.
View Episode Transcript
*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
Welcome to the answers for elders radio show. meet the trusted experts who will give you straight answers and will health guide you on the path of later life care. Now here’s your host, founder, caregiver and CEO, Susan Newman, and welcome back everyone, to answers for all. There’s radio network and we are here again at Morning Star Hillsboro and we thank all of you that are interested in learning a little bit more about senior living, what it’s like, the different lifestyles than because we are in a brand new community. And for those of you that might be familiar with Hillsboro, organs right outside of Portland, not too far from here, and one of the great things about Morning Star Hillsborough is that you know you guys are in this amazing area. There’s a shopping center down the road. There’s IT’s really easy to get to. It’s off of highway twenty six near Beaverton, so it’s got really wonderful accessibility and things like that. And we are here with the executive chef, and I said chef, of Morning Start Hillsborough, Mr Darren Bristol, and Chef Bristol, thank you for being with us very welcome. Thanks for having me. You know I am always interested before we even get started, how did you get into the senior living world, in your culinary world? Well, dare, my career, I tried a little bit of everything. I’ve spent a lot of years working in restaurants, hotels, country clubs, and those are rewarding, but those individuals are go to restaurant Sir and for the enjoyment of the me or it’s not as rewarding. Yeah, I wanted to use my knowledge and skill to do something more fulfilling and rewarding. I fell on a niche with seeing your living to be that, yeah, that at the end of the day, I get to do the same food that I love, but it has more meaning, sure, and definitely more rewarding and fulfilling. Yeah, yeah, and I you know, I think that so many of us are lucky that we are in an industry like this, because I know what it feels like to wake up every day knowing that you’re going to make a difference and to go to bed at night thinking about all the magical moments. You know, we talked about, you know, I connected with this person or they were so thrilled there’s just so much that that can happen in that we can we can do together. So I think I’m scream more. Yeah, so you are the executive chef of Morning Star Hillsborough. Tell us a little bit about your job. Well, the the fun part about this is that in this community here we are independent living only. So it’s very much just like an actual restaurant. So we want to create a restaurant style experience. We call this upscale retirement living. Yeah, so it’s very similar to a country club or hotel atmosphere when you come to the restaurant. Huh. So what I have enjoyed the most is the opportunity to create menus for three different dining areas. We’re an offer food to be served by the pool down to the salon. Many opportunities for is including our pub, the full bar. So a lot of opportunities to do some really fun things here. Well, and like today, here you have this wonderful open house. So you’re busy doing all different types of things going on and you know, I think about if I’m a senior and I’m thinking about, you know, what’s my next chapter? Maybe I’m in a house. It’s just too much for me to deal with anymore. I, you know, I need to downsize, I’m going to simplify my life, but I want to have start having fun. I don’t want to have to worry about, you know, getting new roof on the house or, you know, getting a gardener to pay all of the expenses to do that. And so one of the Nice things about living in a community like this is it’s all inclusive. You know, you come in, you pay one rate a month and then you get your meals provided, you get, you know, utilities paid for. So you start, you know, putting that together. It’s not expensive, you know, and especially the quality of what you’re getting. And, most importantly, for those of us that work with seniors, we know how important socialization is. The worst thing in the world, in the world that senior can do is isolate themselves and just sit in front of a TV. That is not a good thing. So what you do is such a vital part of keeping seniors active by having them come together and celebrating, whether it’s an event or a meal. And of course you probably work quite a bit with your like the the life enrichment programs, where you do different kinds of events and things like that. So if I’m a person that’s looking into senior living, how do you accommodate those, let’s just say, those would like special dietary requests, like if somebody’s diabetic or something like that? Sure. So the way we deal with the special diets here in this community is we’re just like a restaurant where we accommodate the most common types of, you know, right dietary restriction, such as, you know, gluten free or vegetarian things of that nature. As far as things like diabetic meals, we don’t do a diabetic diet. That we can offer appropriate foods for diabetics for people to make those choice and they can make those choices on their own. And we don’t have assisted living, so we don’t do any texture modifications or anything of that sort. So our residents who live here are very familiar with their diets and what they can or can’t have. Now we make accommodations for our most dietary street. Yeah. So, so in that cases, for example, I know I walked, took a little bit of a video tour around and one of the things I noticed you’ve got the menu and the specials posted on the wall, which is really amazing. And so what you do? I’m assuming you have a standard menu that you can always pick things, and then you do special items. Is that correct? As what I was there’s both of that. We have some of our menu items will never change, right, and then we can do specials for those menus as often as we want to. For our menus in the fine dining and also in our everyday dining room. Those menus will change every single week, uh Huh. And then we can repeat the popular awesome, because then you never get tired of going there because something new all the time. That’s really it keeps you on your toes too. It keep interesting for everyone, that’s for sure. And as more and more residents move in and make this their home, we love to get to know them and get to take their request. So so there’s things that they would love to see on the menu, I will work those in. Well, I love that. And you know, that’s the thing about we keep saying about senior living and an organization like this. The last thing any organization like morning star Hillsboro or any place. They don’t want seniors to lose their passions, and there’s a lot of seniors that have passion over certain types of food and if that’s something that that’s important to you, you’ll find a way to make it happen every once in a while so that they can have that opportunity to maybe have ethnic meals. I know. I know when my mom was in senior living we used to have a tradition on Christmas Eve that we’d always have oysters to and so I she loved my oyster suit. So I met with the chef and I said, would you mind if I bring in a pot of oysters to for my mom and I? And he goes, absolutely not and no problem, and so they set us up in the corner just to make regular dining room, but we had a Christmas d Eve meal together and I think they’ve out a salad. They brought us, you know, different kinds of things to go with it, but that was the beauty of having that a combination and having those things that they love. Sure then you also have a private dining room. Tell us a little bit about that. We should do so. Our private dining room is available by reservation also, and that offers our residency opportunity to do any special occasions with family or friends or just enjoy time together with whoever they choose. They can order off of any of the men use it are available at the time, or they can bring in food. Yeah, so if they’re having birthday party and they’re bringing in some younger kids, that you can bring in pizza or Burgers or whatever they want to and just have their all little party in the private dining room. You know, that’s so important. You know I mean oftentimes family will come to visit and to be able to have so that maybe dad lives here and doesn’t necessarily drive very much anymore or is maybe a little bit uncomfortable with being in a restaurant where it’s noisy, hard hearing or things like that, you can bring the party to him and certainly do things together like that. So very true. Yeah, so obviously you guys right now in this opening how open house, you have all touch different things going on. Tell us about what’s going on today. So today we do have a few things. We are setting up for Father’s Day tomorrow. I saw that what you’re going to have tomorrow. That’s pretty special fun. Fill everyone in on that way to be pretty fun. So we’re going to do a big father’s Day brunch tomorrow. Typically our brunches are going to be every Sunday. That’s going to be our big meal. Other day off for other meals to go for dinner. But you know, you can eat enough at Brunch time that it that it cares about, pretty much like got me for the rest of the day. Yeah, so what are you serving in the branch tomorrow? Tomorrow we’re going to do LASAGNA, we’re going to do green beans and then all the breakfast items from Bacon, sausage, eggs, we’re going to do French toast, then the lunch stuff like salad, the Lasagnie, of course. Yeah, all the pastries and brownies, cookies, pretty good spread from all homemade from scrash. So we invite everyone to come down if you’re in the Greater Portland area, even if you think that this might be something interesting, just to check out. You know, if you’re if you’re in your it’s an over fifty five community. So really the thing that’s really amazing if there’s so many, you know, young people here, like there’s so much vibrancy and I think that’s really what the energy is when you walk at so I’m so glad to get an opportunity to meet you you’re excited to be working with you from here forward. So in the meantime, everyone, if you’re interested in Morningstart Philipsboro or any morning star community, just go to morningstarcom. You will see that Morning Star has communities all throughout Kindad the western sector of the United States, but as far east as Iowa. I know that there’s a community there. But we’re very excited to have you guys on board and please come visit morning star fills borough and will be right back. And after this we at answers for elders. Thank you for listening. Did you know that you can discover hundreds of podcasts in our library on senior care? So visit our website and discover our decision guys. That will help you also navigate decision making. Find US and answers for elders. DOCUM
Listen to More Answers for Elders with Suzanne Newman
Keep an eye out for future Answers for Elders podcasts on the Senior Resource Podcast Network! Thanks for listening, and be sure to keep scrolling for more articles by Suzanne. For more AFE podcasts, visit AnswersforElders.com and subscribe on your favorite platform!
Founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., Suzanne Newman proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne Newman found herself on a 6-year journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. In 2009, she became the founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., subsequently hosting hundreds of radio segments and podcasts, as well as authoring her first book. Suzanne and Answers for Elders, Inc. have spent 14 years, and counting, committed to helping families and seniors along their caregiving journeys by providing education, resources, and support. Each week on the Answers for Elders podcast, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including Health & Wellness, Life Changes, Living Options, Money, Law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.
Connect with Suzanne
Visit AFE on the web: https://answersforelders.com/