Below Deck Mediterranean brought back Chef Ben Robinson this season; since we last saw him, he'd been building up a land-based catering business of his own.
He's loving the life as the owner of that business — but that doesn't mean that it's all gone without its hiccups. And one of those challenges results from Chef Ben's fame on TV.
Explaining more about the day-to-day operations of his catering business, Ben told The Feast, "I have a full-time assistant now, and she’s amazing: Lisa. She does everything up to contract signing and then at that point, I talk to [the client] over a menu. So she just buffers a lot of that noise out. It’s tough because you never know people’s intentions — and they might just want to talk to Ben on the phone or whatever so she kind of sifts that out. So I only talk to people who have actually given me a deposit."
Ben is pleased to be able to have built his business to the point where he has someone to run this kind of interference. "I used to close the deals by myself and we got some weirdos," he told The Feast. "It was funny: We had one lady who wanted to fly me out on a private jet, put me in a guest house, and this big party on the shore line. And I thought well this is a bit fishy."
Do tell, Ben!
"So I asked my brother to handle it because he’s actually an agent. And he says, well what’s your address? And we looked her up and it’s like a shack in the middle of a forest!" Ben explained. "He’s ballsy, so he’s like, 'Are you sure this is the house because we looked it up and it seems be a shack in the middle of a forest.' And she’s like, Oh we use that for storage. OK!"
He recalled, "That was hilarious, but we don’t have to do deal with it too much anymore."
It turns out Ben's (intoxicating) voice and his brother's are strikingly similar. So if the problem did continue to persist, could it work for his brother to just impersonate Ben on the phone? Well yes, he said... but no.
"We have exactly the same voice, but I wouldn’t trust him [to act as me on phone calls] because I think I'm more soft hearted. I can be a little hard core but James is... I don’t want to use entitled or arrogant but — entitled and arrogant! And he’ll say anything to anyone... so that might not be good for my brand."
—Reporting by Laura Rosenfeld
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