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!

With Love,
Cobblestones and Heels

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About cobblestonesandheels1

Corporate flight attendant / travel coordinator Southern, CA. Originally from NY. but since home is where the heart is, mine is truly in the whole world. My favorite song and one i would dedicate to all my readers is: "My Wish" by Rascal Flatts"

Posted on October 3, 2012, in Corporate flight attendant. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Hi there! I found your site tonight and read the whole thing 🙂 wanted to thank you for the tips and sharing especially for someone just beginning this career. As you can be on call all year around I was curious do you get any compensation for working on national holidays? I’m on a trip right now and am paid on the lower end of the average as I’m training with this company to get experience which I’m beyond grateful for, but I want to make sure I am not getting taken advantage of either. Im on a training salary for six months with them. Any advice for a novice in this area?? Thanks in advance and please keep posting!

  2. Hi there! thanks for reading and inquiring!
    First, do you work for a company in the US or is it over seas? geographically speaking, the industry differs a bit in pay as well as other things.
    In reference to the holiday pay- well, its not typical to get more $ for working a holiday.. its pretty much expected. If you work directly for an owner, than its up to their discretion if you choose to pay you more or a bonus for holidays. If you want, email me and i could go into a lot more detail. It would help to know more details about your specific job/ company, in order to give you the best advice!
    This is a wonderful career with more pros than cons! In order to make the most out of it, you are doing the right thing by doing your homework!!
    fly safe and i look forward to your email!
    with love,
    cobblestones and heels..

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