The crew that lasted until the end of Below Deck Mediterranean Season 5 seemed a bit hastily put together. Captain Sandy Yawn was grasping at straws at one point in the season to fill the chief stew and chef positions. Bugsy Drake took over for Hannah Ferrier, but it was unclear whether she was coming back for another season. Chef Tom Checketts was not suited for yacht life, as evidenced by his ego-driven rages. And now that he is no longer dating Malia White, he has no reason to be slumming it without a sous-chef on the high seas.
Then there is always a re-shuffle when it comes to deck hands and the interior staff, so it was inevitable that viewers would be introduced a whole lineup of new people. Why have anyone on screen past their shelf-life when you can bring in new characters and new dramas? But does anyone that’s not in a management position even want to come back for more? Based on the turnover each season, it doesn’t seem so.
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.
Captain Sandy Yawn has been the branded as the most intense of all micromanagers. The Below Deck Mediterranean captain has a habit of inserting herself into any crew drama, and therefore into more camera time as well.
Maybe Sandy does this because she thinks it makes her a good leader. Certainly it’s a management style, but Captain Lee Rosbach can run a tight ship without watching over each dinner service or assigning cabins. So it could just for her own benefit that Sandy waltzes on screen at any opportunity, especially to the galley.
Some Below Deck crews are better than others. This season is a perfect example of that. Captain Lee Rosbach is coming through, as usual. And Eddie Lucas‘ comeback season is going well. Other than that, it’s hard to root for most of the Season 8 cast members. Then again, it’s tough to get to know so many new cast members every season, or at least it is for me. It would be a much better show if we actually knew all of the cast members on the season, so we could jump right into watching some drama.
Well, Below Deck alum Kelley Johnson just put together his dream crew. It’s all hypothetical, of course, but it would make for an interesting season if this group actually did come together. Interestingly enough, he didn’t include his sister/fellow Below Deck alum Amy Johnson in his list.
Hannah Ferrier may have been fired from Below Deck Mediterranean, but she is still following the franchise. Case in point are the Tweets that Hannah shared regarding Below Deck’s new chef, Rachel Hargrove. She seems to be speaking in support of Rachel after an episode in which Chief Stew Francesca Rubi shaded her uncouth sense of humor.
It’s no epiphany that charter chefs are difficult. Both Hannah and Kate Chastain struggled to deal with challenging personalities in the galley. No one more so than Hannah. She got Mila Kolomeitseva, who licked steaks and used box pancake mixes. Then there was Tom Checketts and his mansplaining tantrums. Adam Glick cooked decently, but belittled the interior staff.
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.
Kate Chastain has been on Below Deck so long now, that she can comment on the ghosts of seasons past. It’s been a bumpy road for sure between some of the stews she’s had to deal with, not to mention chefs. Adrian Martin was a gem and though Ben Robinson flustered in the galley on a regular basis, he and Kate had a rapport for sure.
This season, Kevin Dobson has been making life hell for not only Kate, but her interior team as well as deck hand Rhylee Gerber. There’s plenty of snark to go around. And unlike the incident where he was a plate short and couldn’t serve Captain Lee Rosbach, there are enough helpings for everyone.
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.