BWH and the Department of Food Services mourn the loss of Manar Alsebai, executive chef, who passed away suddenly on Sept. 6. He was 53.
Widely regarded as a beloved mentor in the department, Chef Alsebai joined the Brigham more than seven years ago. He is remembered by the Brigham community for his warmth, his vibrant personality and his love for teaching others.
Susan Langill, RD, LDN, Brigham Health Food Services director, described Chef Alsebai as an “exceptional human being.”
“He was empathic, selfless and hardworking,” Langill said. “I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to work with him.”
Chef Manar was dedicated to enhancing the patient dining experience and ensuring that it was always equal to the level of care patients received at the Brigham.
In addition to his role as executive chef, Chef Alsebai, of Milton, enjoyed participating in monthly cooking demonstrations on the Tower 2 mezzanine along with colleagues from the Department of Nutrition, where they prepared heart-healthy meals together.
Chef Manar also loved celebrating fun occasions with his Food Services colleagues. From handing out Cracker Jacks at the Garden Cafe during a Red Sox opening-day game to serving up Hawaiian-themed foods during a staff luau, he always sought to bring joy and excitement to everyday moments, many of his colleagues said.
In 2013, Chef Manar and colleagues were honored at the Massachusetts Health Council Awards Gala with the “Chef’s Choice” award for their fish taco bowl.
Marcelo Almeida, lead cook in Food Services, had worked closely with Chef Manar for more than seven years. They participated in many food competitions together, including the one in 2013. Describing Chef Manar as one of his “best friends,” Almeida said it has been difficult coming to work and not seeing Chef Manar in the kitchen.
“He motivated me every single day,” Almeida said, adding that he will forever cherish the moments they shared together. “He was like my brother.”
Almeida and Chef Manar often chatted about their love for cooking.
Peter Lamb, director of Food Services, said that Chef Manar was a mentor to his colleagues in Food Services and that he led by example.
“If you were to walk through our kitchens right now, you would witness his legacy: a well-organized and heartfelt workplace,” Lamb said. “That’s a gift from our dearly loved executive chef.”
Outside of the kitchen, Chef Manar enjoyed spending time with his family, swimming, painting and growing vegetables in his garden.
Chef Manar is survived by his wife, Debbie, and daughters, Shareen and Ayla.
A 529 college savings plan has been established for the Alsebai family. Those who would like to contribute can visit ugift529.com. Use code J7J-99N to allocate your donation.
Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Chef Manar Alsebai, Sept. 20
All are invited to celebrate the life and legacy of Manar Alsebai, executive chef in the BWH Department of Food Services, who passed away suddenly on Sept. 6 at the age of 53.
There are two services scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 20, in honor of Chef Manar:
- 1:30 p.m.: Zinner Breakout Room, Shapiro Center, first floor
- 4 p.m.: Building for Transformative Medicine, Room VTC 020D6B, second floor