Chief Stew extraordinaire Kate Chastain quit Below Deck and the yachting industry after a volatile season filming with bosun Ashton Pienaar. The environment was so toxic, that she walked away from a fantastic job and adoring fans to pursue a life on land. Kate always called Fort Lauderdale home while in between yachting seasons, but decided to give a new location a try.
New York City did not suit Kate. Or rather, the vibrant city under strict coronavirus lockdown did not suit her. Chalk it up to bad timing, but the former chief stew was in her West Village apartment in March of 2020. She quickly evacuated to Florida to self-isolate as the pandemic began, but returned to New York in January 2021. Kate is now back in Florida. Perhaps on a more permanent basis, because she got a new place. And she has a very very charming new neighbor.
Kate revealed to Us Weekly that her recent move back to Florida is permanent. As the yachting industry hub, Fort Lauderdale is familiar to her, and she runs into Below Deck alums all the time.
Kate said, “I just moved to Fort Lauderdale, [Florida], and there’s a lot of familiar faces from Below Deck around here. I hung out with Bobby [Giancola] — he’s from my hometown — and Colin [Macy-O’Toole] and Kelley [Johnson] last weekend.
But who is the new neighbor that Kate has been gushing about? None other than Chef Ben Robinson.
“I live upstairs from Chef Ben,” Kate revealed, “actually, I just bought a condo. I just bought a condo upstairs from Ben.”
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Below Deck fans will remember Kate and Ben’s galley flirtation well. It was the golden era of the show, just the way they shared a dry sense of humor and always riffed off each other. But it wasn’t just friendship between Kate and Ben, she admitted to hooking up with the dapper Brit on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen in July 2019. Apparently, she spilled the beans when explaining why Ben is her all-time favorite crew member. She said, “that might be because we had sex.”
Their fling was short-lived, but they maintained a friendship since then. And Kate revealed that Ben even helps her with her condo.
“Everybody thinks it’s weird, but it’s actually — we’re like family,” Kate said, “let me tell you, I’ve only gone grocery shopping twice in a month. He even made food for my dog once, and he’s cleaned my AC filter.” Kate added, “it’s good to have a guy who could do all that handy stuff.”
Kate speculates that Ben feels comfortable with her friendship because she is really cool with his girlfriend, Kiara Cabral, as well. Ben confirmed his coronavirus romance with Kiara in May 2020.
“The reason it works is because I love his girlfriend. Not in that way,” Kate explained, “they came to visit me last summer when I rented a house [in Florida] during the pandemic, and she lives down there and our dogs get along. It’s great.”
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Florida always beckons Kate back, but she’s grateful for the experience in Manhattan.
“I am so thankful that I had a great year in New York, right before 2020,” Kate said,“ [I] got the experience, and then I went back ‘cause I still had my apartment, which was inconvenient, but I went back and I loved the experience and I’m so glad I did it. I’m a Florida girl. I like driving my car. I like warm weather. I like palm trees. I’m just really happy with the way it all turned out.”
Now that Ben is off the market, does Kate have another yachtie crush? Yup, but it’s only eye candy reaction because he has a girlfriend as well. It’s the engineer from Below Deck Sailing Yacht. “I think we can all agree that the engineer Colin [MacRae] is the hottest guy ever, and I just mean on the planet,” Kate said, “if y’all haven’t checked out his videos about his sail yacht — I mean, if you’ve got a few minutes — I highly recommend it.”
RELATED: Kate Chastain Shades Hannah Berner Following Summer House Exit; Hannah Announces Comedy Tour
TELL US- WHAT DO YOU THINK OF KATE AND BEN’S FRIENDSHIP? WOULD YOU MOVE CLOSE TO AN EX-FLAME? IS COLIN THE HOTTEST GUY EVER?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]