With Mila Kolomeitseva in the galley, Below Deck Mediterranean has a female chef for the first time in franchise history. And that's a groundbreaking opportunity for the chef — although she's encountered significant challenges including gastrointestinal distress and backlash after she served pre-fab taco shells to charter guests.
Captain Sandy Yawn told The Feast that Mila's position as chef is "very critical to the boat — because if the food’s bad, the charter’s bad." And it's all about the chef's performance, not gender: "To be honest, I don’t ever think about gender when it comes to the crews," Sandy told us. "I think about their position."
And while chief stew Hannah Ferrier registered her concerns about Chef Mila right away, she told us why she approached the situation with a light touch.
"I've worked with female chefs in the past and I think it’s such a different dynamic," Hannah told us at Bravo HQ in L.A. "Because I feel like when I'm going head to head with a man, it’s like — all’s fair in love and war. And I know this sounds bad, but I couldn’t treat a female chef the same way as a male."
She explained that's "because I’m naturally so much more protective over women than I am men. So I wouldn’t go for a female chef the way I'd go for a male chef."
Hannah explained that her "natural instinct" is to want to support other women out of solidarity with the sisterhood. "I'm a girl’s girl," she said. "So I protect them."
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