It has been an interesting season of Below Deck Mediterranean. Most of the charter guests have been well-behaved, so much of the focus has been on the crew. Jack Stirrup and Aesha Scott have given us a taste of romance. Joao Franco has stepped up as bosun and has kind-of-sort-of changed his behavior for the better. Travis Michalzik has offered up a free PSA on the dangers of drinking too much. And true to her word at the beginning of the season, Chief Stew Hannah Ferrier has actually become a…competent employee!
The galley has been the scene of much of the drama this season. Chef Mila Kolomeitseva was fired for her epic failure as a chef. Anastasia Surmava stepped into her shoes, but has admittedly struggled as an untrained chef in a demanding job. All season long, there have been rumors of a return of Ben Robinson to the show. Now, we know that the rumors are true and Ben is back to replace Anastasia in the galley.
Ben spoke to Bravo’s The Daily Dish about his return to the Below Deck franchise after being absent for a few seasons. He said that his return to the show had “a bit of a fairytale feel about it” because he had not been on the show in awhile. Ben also explained, “It was really good. It felt right. It was lovely.” And we know when Ben says “lovely,” he means it!
One of the reasons Ben is happy to be back is because of the Below Deck fans. He revealed he was “definitely excited” that viewers would get to see him again. Ben knows that many fans look forward to his return, saying, “I’m just sort of awaiting the [onslaught] of everyone on social media. That’s kind of crazy, isn’t it? It should be fun.”
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It is probably a safe bet that most fans would like to see Ben back. Like the other Below Deck chefs, he could be a wee bit temperamental, but Ben was also good about making amends with whoever he had blown up at.
Chef Ben is a veteran of Seasons 1-4 of Below Deck and Season 1 of Below Deck Mediterranean. He admits that his break from the show “did him a lot of good” and that he is now able to see things with “clearer eyes.”
The stress of being on the show season after season was challenging for Ben. He confessed, “I feel like I was doing a lot of Below Deck back in the day. I never really got off the roller coaster, so I was just sort of in perpetual roller coaster mode. So now I’m in a good place.”
The chef position seems like it would be the most high pressure job on the yacht. You not only have to keep demanding charter guests happy, you also have to feed the crew. The job is no 9 to 5 gig–the chefs are going from morning until late in the evening, responsible for three gourmet meals a day. Unless you are Mila–then it is time to open up some cans and call it fine Le Cordon Bleu cuisine!
Coming on board well into the charter season was a benefit to Ben. He said, “I’m coming in already feeling the light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s much more manageable both mentally and obviously physically. Since Below Deck, I can safely say I haven’t worked that hard.”
The punishing schedule of a yacht chef was a challenge for Ben on past charters. He stated, “I don’t think it’s possible for a human to work that hard since I worked about 20 hours a day for six weeks straight. I was obviously a little scared as well at the same time. Can I handle it? I knew I could handle it mentally, but physically–am I physically able?” We hope so Ben–we can’t take another chef switch-a-roo!
What has Ben been up to since leaving Below Deck? He has been running an exclusive catering company, where he cooks for corporate and private events in the United States.
Ben knows that he is blessed to be in the position he is, sharing, “I’m really, really lucky. Obviously, I put in a lot of time, a lot of years on these boats. I worked really, really hard. But yeah, it’s amazing. I’m very, very privileged.”
RELATED: Below Deck Mediterranean Star Travis Michalzik Thinks Hannah Ferrier Just Wanted An Excuse To Get Out Of Their Date
Crediting much of his current success to the Below Deck franchise, Ben declared, “Obviously, it’s been greatly facilitated by Below Deck, so I’m obviously very thankful for that program.”
Viewers are thankful too, Ben. It is great to have you back and we are expecting some amazing things from the galley!
TELL US–WHAT DO YOU THINK OF BEN’S RETURN TO BELOW DECK MEDITERRANEAN? HOW DO YOU THINK ANASTASIA WILL ADJUST TO BEING A STEWARDESS ONCE AGAIN?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]