Captain Sandy Yawn was thrilled to get Chef Ben Robinson back on the Sirocco after a turbulent time in the galley on Below Deck Mediterranean, which saw Chef Mila Kolomeitseva fired and Anastasia Surmava step down. But Chef Ben's experience cooking for the yacht charter guests didn't go flawlessly off the bat — and he's owning up to making a key mistake that led to it happening.
"I think I can speak on behalf of many people," Ben explained on the Below Deck Med After Show. "When we’re very drunk, we don’t want fancy food. You don’t want bloody tuna tartare and all the rest — you want something with fat, grease, cheese. That’s what you really want, isn’t it? I get it, I've been there. It was a bad read."
But perhaps more importantly then cooking up the wrong food, Chef Ben admits to committing a larger professional sin: not communicating adequately with the charter guests.
"As a chef on yachts, I never regretted communicating with the guests," he said. "It’s just so much better — you just thank yourself for doing it, because if they can come up with a unanimous dish that everyone would be OK with, most of the time that’s going to be a lot easier than what I had planned because I tend to overthink everything. And you can’t be blamed for a dish that the client has requested, so it’s a good thing to do."
He knew why the communication broke down this time, but still doesn't defend his part in it.
"I think I was put off communicating with them after the first lunch when they were kind of a little too much. I think I kinda just wanted to... hunker down a little bit in the galley safety. But that was probably not the right move," he said. "In hindsight I probably should have spoken to them more. There's always a lesson, and you’re never blameless — because if you’re blameless, then you’re not going to learn."
In the end, he said, "My takeaway from this is at the end of the day, I'm still their chef. So if i’m learning about them… the learning doesn’t stop when they arrive on the boat. The learning actually begins. So hopefully by the end of it, you come out on top."
Hit play on the clip above to watch Ben explain the breakdown.
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