Before Below Deck Mediterranean kicked off this season, Captain Sandy Yawn told The Feast that the "chef is critical" to the crew's success because "food carries the charter." And as the season has rolled on, we've seen her fire Chef Mila Kolomeitseva atfer guests complained about her food, promote third stew Anastasia Surmava to run things in the galley, and ultimately welcome back Ben Robinson, whose talents make Sandy feel "blown away."
If it seems like Sandy has high standards in the galley — yes, she should, and she does... and her expectations come from her own experience.
Her parents divorced and her mom and stepdad owned a meat business when Sandy was growing up. "And I always say we were child slaves. We walked a mile to our bus stop, we had to get up at 5:30 in the morning, we had seven horses, 42 dogs, my dad was a hunter, we lived on six acres, and we had to feed all the animals," Sandy explained to The Feast.
"He would go hunt... So after school, after we did our homework, we worked in our meat shop. So we would slaughter the cow, and we had a cooler, so the beef would hang," Sand explained. "So I'm like a meat snob, I was never was a big beef eater, but I loved pork. We always had meat on the table, every night."
And that abundance was because the whole family put in work. "We worked. My childhood was one of work, that's why my work ethic is so strong because that's how I was raised. But we played hard, too," Sandy said. "He had horses, we had motorcycles. We didn't go to the mall — we went riding."
Beyond that, Sandy gets her love of food from her mom. "My mom was gourmet. My mom, my mom's sisters [were] gourmet, their desserts were beyond. And the food! We used to can our own tomatoes. We made pickles out of cucumbers. We used to shell black-eyed peas in our living room. We worked!"
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