Melissa Tristine Keough has been a corporate flight attendant for nine years and a demonstration flight attendant (called “IFCs”) for eight of those years. Melissa extensive experience as a cabin crew member operating in Russia. As you will see below, this level of expertise is especially true of her journeys to Moscow.
Melissa has received training at Aircare FACTS, MedAire and Corporate School of Etiquette. Her last recurrent training was in May 2014. She takes pride in having experience flying on aircraft including Challenger 601, 604, 605; Challenger 850 Converted CRJ to Business Jet; Global Express, Global 5000, Global XRS, Global 6000; and Gulfstream 2, 4 and 450. Keeping herself available on a global scale, Melissa is based out of Bradley Airport (BDL / KBDL), Westchester County Airport (HPN / KHPN), Teterboro Airport (TEB / KTEB), London Luton Airport (LTN / EGGW), Berlin Shönefeld Airport (SXF / EDDB) and Luanda Quatro de Fevereiro Airport (LAD / FNLU).
When discussing career highlights, Melissa shared that her “greatest achievement is that I have a job that I love.” Secondly, is her work in a flight department for a company that was “built to support our international sales executives and their overseas counterparts. The great challenge was to understand each client’s specific needs.”
In addition to loving her job, Melissa is also passionate about good food and creating new dishes. “I truly love coming up with dishes that incorporate simple, organic products with herbs and spices. Indian, Italian and Middle Eastern cuisine are my main influences. Simple combinations that blend together, complement each other, taste amazing and present beautifully on expensive china are just fantastic to me!”
Since Melissa is well-traveled within Russia, we got her expert insight into the country’s food trends and cuisine. “Moscow has always had the reputation for meat and potatoes, accompanied with great vodka. However, over the past seven years, Russia’s restaurant scene has really transformed into one of the best in the world. They have taken the most popular dishes from all over the world and perfected them. Sushi there is absolutely fantastic! In fact, all fish dishes – either traditional or fusion – are wonderful,” said Melissa. “Personally, I still order borscht every time, my favorite traditional Russian dish. This comes in variations of game or meat stew with sliced sautéed roots, vegetables, fresh mushrooms served over a cornmeal or potato-based puree.”
Melissa also has helpful tips to keep in mind if you are coming up on your first trip to the area and are in need of in-flight catering. “Russia is a great place, full of history and culture. Moscow and St. Petersburg are very expensive, so prepare for that. Research where you will be staying, where you plan to get catering from, and try to get a menu ahead of time,” she said. “Most handlers will meet the aircraft with caterers. Russia approaches catering very differently from most countries. There are at least 10 world-famous restaurants (such as Pushkin Café, Nobu and Gorki) in Russia that handlers will order because they will stay open 24 hours. However, they will not open until 1700 to the public. You can have the handlers place the order and deliver it to the aircraft. Keep in mind the cost is high. If you have time as a crew and can pick it up on your way to the airport, it does cut the cost.”
Overall, Melissa says that traveling to Russia has become much easier since her first time there. To make your trip even easier, she says to “always carry your passport with you to avoid any fines. If you decide to explore on foot, be sure to have a fellow crew member with you. Stick to only using taxis or cars strictly ordered for you and the crew by the handler or hotel.” In addition, Melissa says to “bring lots of money; breakfast alone could cost $50 USD or more. Remember to have fun, be nice to everyone and tip generously.” The next time you are looking for a corporate flight attendant with global availability, contact Melissa Tristine Keough at email@example.com.
This article is part of a series of interviews we are conducting with corporate 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.