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Redefining In-Flight Catering

Kathryn Martone – Corporate Flight Attendant in Southern California

There are so many beautiful coastal cities in Mexico, and Cabo San Lucas, or “Cabo” for short, is one which remains at the top of the list. We consulted Kathryn Martone, a Corporate Flight Attendant based in Southern California, to get a personal insight into this popular destination. Throughout her fourteen years as a flight attendant, she has frequented Cabo and has a lot of great tips to share on the area.

Kathryn not only has flown to numerous locations around the world, but she has done so on a variety of aircraft, including Gulfstream II, III, IV, V, and 550; Falcon; Challenger; and Boeing 747 and 767. She has received training from Flight Safety International, Corporate Air Parts Training (CAPS), and Aircare FACTS Training. Although her last recurrent was September 2013, she is also a cabin safety instructor, so she is always current. She stays active in the business aviation community and attends NBAA conventions. Prior to becoming a flight attendant, she received a bachelor’s of science degree in psychology.

Lobster fajitas and freshly made guacamole are highly recommended by Kathryn to try while in Cabo. She also shared some valuable tips on the best places to dine, such as “The Crazy Lobster Bar & Grill for the lobster tacos! It’s also a local spot with great prices and huge portions. (Ideal when I really want to cheat off my normal diet!) Another great place for evening meals and weekend fun is Baja Cantina Beach. It’s actually on the beach and lit by big torches. The prices are also great, and they serve traditional Mexican dishes. For an upscale dining experience, try Mi Casa. They have a great chef there who keeps to traditional dishes with fresh seafood and homemade everything!”

When discussing activities in Cabo, especially for people traveling there for the first time, Kathryn says, “I love riding horses on the beach in Cabo! You can even ride in the water! Growing up riding, I still love to seek out this activity when I travel! In Cabo you can “rent” horses, or go with a guided tour. Of course, when I am feeling lazy, I love to find a hammock on the beach (many resorts have them). I will just let it rock me to sleep for a great mid-day nap, or bring my favorite book to read and relax with!”

While Cabo is a fantastic location (and that hammock sounds divine), Kathryn had a lot more to share, including some of her other favorite locations and cuisine. Her top three destinations include “South of France (because of the food-fusion of French and Italian), Paris (for the food and culture), and Africa (for the safari experience).” From her varied travels, her top food choices are “sushi, Italian cuisine, and Thai cuisine.”

Continuing on the topic of food, Kathryn shared some insight into in-flight catering challenges she has faced, such as, “Some clients are afraid of eating certain foods in Mexico (and many other countries they are not familiar with, especially in developing nations). They will want me to verify details about where the food comes from. I am always very careful about where I get my catering from, specifically with items like meat, produce, and fruit, because most often these are the items people will get sick from if not properly cleansed and prepared. Since I really like to do a lot of cooking myself, sometimes I will package food I bought in the United States and bring it with me on the road to use for my meals when flying in and out of third-world countries.”

Being a corporate flight attendant means facing a variety of challenges and being able to engage in creative problem-solving. Kathryn says that to be successful in this career, “There are so many important qualities to have: detail-oriented, safety-minded, resourceful, and creative. However, maybe one of the most important is the skill of reading people and their needs. I can usually read a passenger within minutes of him or her boarding. I will be able to figure out who needs a lot of attention and who needs to be left alone. Being able to connect with people and accurately read their needs before they ask is somewhat of an innate skill. You can LEARN culinary skills, but ‘people skills’ are a whole other ball game!”

When asked what advice she would give to someone thinking about becoming a corporate flight attendant, Kathryn responded, “I would tell them to do their research before they spend money on training and making the life sacrifices that this career demands. They need to understand all aspects of the job, and the lifestyle that goes along with it, before they dive in. If it is truly their passion, then I tell them to go for it, but be ready to work hard! (Both on the job, and in getting a job.) It’s not easy, and it’s not for everyone, but it is WONDERFUL for those who were born with wings!” The next time you are looking for a corporate flight attendant in Southern California, or one who speaks English, French, and Italian, contact Kathryn Martone at kathryn.martone20@gmail.com.

This article is part of a series of interviews we are conducting with contract cabin crew members; individuals who are not employed by Air Culinaire Worldwide. If you would like to be considered for an interview, which is posted on our blog and all of our social media accounts, please contact socialmedia@airculinaire.com.

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