We’ve met a lot of chefs on Below Deck. The turnaround is not as high as the deck or interior crew positions, but most of them have left after one season. Sometimes, as in the case of Mila Kolomeitseva and Leon Walker, they don’t even the last the season. In both cases, Ben Robinson stepped in to finish the job.
Ben is the OG chef of the franchise. He was cast in season 1 of Below Deck, back in the days of Adrienne Gang. When Adrienne left, the glorious Kate Chastain filled the Chief Stew position and the rest was divine reality TV history. Kate and Ben had a fun, flirty rapport that also included a lot of dry wit and sarcasm. Ben also has my approval for turning down Below Deck Mediterranean chief stew Hannah Ferrier. Ben decided to leave yachting for a while after finding love on board with Emily Warburton-Adams. He has been quiet about his love life since they broke up in 2017. Now, Ben is sharing a new romance.
Has there ever been a humble chef in Below Deck history? At the moment, I cannot think of one. Some of them have at least waited a few episodes before unleashing their crazy and getting demanding.
Chef Kevin Dobson has been very critical of the interior crew, with a list of demands for Kate Chastain and her team. However, it’s not like he’s been Mr. Perfect himself. During the last episode, he yelled at Simone Mashile for no reason. He also failed to order seafood for a “seafood extravaganza”-themed dinner. Seriously, he didn’t order one seafood item. Instead, he just expected the inebriated guests to return to the boat with success from their fishing trip. Now, Captain Lee Rosbach is sounding off on the new Below Deck chef.
Despite the inexplicable decision to end Below Deck Mediterranean without a reunion, fans can still get some insider scoop from Season 4. Cast members have been making the rounds on Watch What Happens Live in a bid to make up for it, and also extend their fifteen minutes of fame.
Most recently was the interior supporting team of Anastasia Surmava and Aesha Scott. These gals were the most competent and least dysfunctional duo that Chief Stew Hannah Ferrier had to work with. They also became good friends with their superior and never questioned her work ethic, unlike in previous seasons. So their storylines had less to do with discussing Hannah’s inadequacies and more to do with the aftermath of Anastasia’s shortcomings in the galley.
Captain Sandy Yawn had her hands full this season keeping her crew in line on Below Deck Mediterranean. First, it was debacle after debacle in the galley with incompetent chef Mila Kolomeitseva. Anastasia Surmava had difficulties with the burners and often sent out undercooked or cold food. Travis Michalzik rocked it professionally, but was reprimanded for reeking of alcohol after a particularly hectic night out. Jack Stirrup only found motivation to
stay on board work in the form of Aesha Scott. Chief Stew Hannah Ferrier got the brunt of Sandy’s wrath and was often questioned about her choices in team management and table settings. But that’s nothing new.
But one person always had Captain Sandy’s good opinion. Bosun Joao Franco was promoted from deck hand last season and did a stellar job, according to the Captain. During the season finale, Joao gave an interview to Sandy’s colleague and received a job offer. So did anything come of it or was it a producer’s stunt to further a narrative. The deck crew versus the interior vying for Sandy’s praises perhaps?
The casting agents (usually) do such a great job selecting the crew members for Below Deck and Below Deck Mediterranean. It’s just tough getting to know these people throughout a whole season only to have most of them disappear from TV immediately after. The only cast member who has been on every season of Below Deck is Captain Lee Rosbach. The employee turnover rate is unbelievable on this show.
Still, that doesn’t stop the alums from dishing on the drama and sharing their opinions. Below Deck Season 6 deckhand Rhylee Gerber had no problem
talking back speaking her mind last season. Even though she’s not on the show anymore, she’s still keeping up with the drama and has a lot to say.
Last night’s season finale of Below Deck Mediterranean was a tale of too little, too late backhanded compliments. I still think we need a reunion (and I’m super curious about the real reason that’s not happening, but unfortunately I’m not the one in charge over at Bravo) because one of the biggest questions I want answered is why Captain Sandy Yawn turned suddenly on Hannah Ferrier in the last gasps of the season.
Was it just an amalgamation of so many lazy moments that built up for Sandy? Was Sandy tired of feeling like Hannah wasn’t hearing her demands? Was Sandy influenced by Ben Robinson‘s opinion of Hannah?
But, seriously, why is Sandy – on the last day, of the last charter – upset that table is not set at 5am? Meanwhile the deck crew is just twiddling their thumbs. They put the slide up, they take the slide down, you do the jet ski pokey and you shake your whizz all around… Like what guest is going to wake up, and before they’ve had coffee, decide to take a brisk jet ski ride or slip down the slide?
Tonight we say goodbye to Below Deck Mediterranean. Since there is no reunion for season 4 this is likely the last time we’ll ever see this crew on our TV!
I have my predictions about who will be returning next season (a Mila/June redemption tour, anyone?!) and whose ship has sailed off into the sunset (Colin Macy-O’Toole). But, overall I’ve enjoyed this season and have a real soft spot for this cast!
Hannah Ferrier was under Captain Sandy Yawn’s radar for most of the season. With all the catastrophes to deal with in the galley, it was a hierarchy of needs situation. It was all about supporting fledgling chef Anastasia Surmava after Mila Kolomeitseva left. When Ben Robinson returned it not only finally gave Sirocco an experienced chef, it also elevated the expectation of professionalism and service. If the food is amazing, the service and décor better match it. Maybe that’s why Hannah was so uncomfortable upon Ben’s return.
It’s been a seasonal trend now on Below Deck Mediterranean. At some point, Hannah would have to be roused from her complacent stupor. Usually that task falls on Captain Sandy, but there have been several second stews that also voiced their concern about Hannah’s lack of initiative. Her standard of, “the guests aren’t complaining,” just doesn’t cut it. Now we can add Ben to the list of colleagues that Hannah will stubbornly refuse to learn from.