more flight attendant catering secrets!!
As a corporate flight attendant, it is my job to make sure that each flight, no matter the destination or origin, is catered with the highest quality food, and looks as good as it tastes!
This can be one of my biggest challenges on the job. Specifically, remote locations and FBOs that do not have a VIP caterer on hand. ( or where my iphone APP does not apply!). This is where resourcefulness and creativity come in.
Generally my trips origin will be my home city, so its really my destination and return trip that I am concerned with..
Prior to my trip, I research the destination. I always find out what my options will be. I start by “goggling “ the local restaurants, markets, and cafes in the area.. I try and get a sense of what I will be dealing with and what my restraints will be when it comes to my passenger’s requests. (Believe it or not, in remote locations, it is easier when they do not have their mind set on a specific menu). When the decisions are left up to me, , I usually have a pretty high success rate!
I also ask fellow crew members if they are familiar what that specific area and what they have found to be great sources of catering.
Lastly, I call ahead to the high end hotels and ask for suggestions from the concierge.
Flying out of the remote location, is where the fun really begins.
I compile all the information I have gathered in my research prior to the trip and I work with it.
First, Chances are good that all areas have a local produce market. This is where I like to purchase my items for salads, vegetable crudités, fruit baskets, and sometimes desert. I always want my catering to be as fresh and flavorful as possible so my actual shopping is done as close to the departure time as possible.( Depending on how much preparation time I have, I will visit the markets and restaurants a few days before departure).
Although Paris is one of the places that has many catering options, they also have one of the best and largest farmers markets!
I also love to captivate the local “flavor”. For example, If I am on an island, or anywhere near the sea, I visit the fish markets and plan a fish or seafood dish for one of the entree choices. ( I would also include a local delicacy in the menu for a surprise choice.). Although Hong Kong is a city of many catering choices, I always visit the wharf and fish market there.
Ketchikan Alaska is also a great place for fish. There is also a great little family owned Deli there that has supplied me with some great catering like tuna fish or seafood salad, and home made Salmon cakes!
For fresh bread, pasta, or pastries, I look for the best bakeries, or again local markets.
While I am walking around the area, I will also ask the locals (provided they speak some English), where I can find specific items. They will always know the best places in the area!
I was once on a trip to Sao Paulo, Brazil, a place where i did not know much about prior to my trip. As luck would have it, there was a festival going on, and it gave me an awesome opportunity to get some great catering ideas from the locals. It was also fun for my clients when i hosted a mini ” food festival” on the jet of some great local favorites!
For a list of some of my favorite finds, feel free to email me. and I invite fellow flight attendants to comment and tell me where their secret food / catering finds came from on their trips!
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