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Style & Living Below Deck Mediterranean

Mathew Shea Reveals the Toughest Part of Being a Yacht Chef

The Below Deck Mediterranean chef detailed "the hardest part about being a yacht chef" — and what's "pretty awesome."

By Abby Feiner
Mathew Shea Yacht Chef

Although Mathew Shea shared his frustration over being a one-person department on this season of Below Deck Mediterranean, the chef is also happy to open up about the perks of working on a yacht.

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Because "there's no budget," Mathew recently told, "you just get to work with the freshest and best ingredients while getting paid to travel...So the whole thing is pretty awesome."

"Once you have experience, you can kind of pick and choose your jobs," he continued. "I've been kind of able to pick and choose jobs that keep me closer to home, which is nice."

Mathew also elaborated more on why operating without a culinary team is "the hardest part about being a yacht chef." He explained, "It's just a lot of work: Ordering, provisioning, putting stuff away, prepping, cooking for crew, cooking for guests, washing dishes. It's demanding." Even with the support of a full team, working on yachts has unique challenges. "It's just a lifestyle choice," Mathew said, "You know, it's hard to have a steady relationship or be home on holidays or see family."

On the show's July 26 episode, viewers saw Mathew get upset when Captain Sandy Yawn told him that he needed to cook crew lunch on drop-off days. "I thought I'd have a chance to sit down and plan menus and write inventories and do prep," he said in an interview during the episode. "It's just what needs to be done when you're your own department and get no support." 

Want more Below Deck Mediterranean? Season 6 airs Mondays at 9/8c on Bravo with early access to new episodes on Peacock 

— Reporting by Laura Rosenfeld 

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