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Kate Chastain Has Been "Trying" to Get Rachel Hargrove on Below Deck Long Before Season 8

The Below Deck alum has a theory on her former co-worker's drama with the My Seanna crew.

By Laura Rosenfeld

Captain Lee Rosbach and Eddie Lucas aren't the only two members of the Below Deck Season 8 crew with whom Kate Chastain has previously worked. The former chief stew was once in the same crew with Chef Rachel Hargrove back in the summer of 2013 before either of their journeys on Below Deck began.

"We were working on this yacht. The owners pretty much lived aboard, but they were so cool and so nice and treated us like family," Kate recalled. "I was the chief stewardess, she was the chef. We had so much fun together laughing that the owner would say, 'We love hearing all the laughter coming from the galley. We love that you guys have so much fun.'" 

In fact, that yacht owner knew that Below Deck viewers would fall in love with Kate and Rachel before they ever even graced our screens.

"One time, he peeked his head in while we were getting his dinner ready. And we were, I think, we were making live lobsters. Rachel had one of these lobsters [the yacht owner] was about to have for dinner out of the pot, and we were doing like a puppet show with it singing," Kate said. "He popped his head in, caught us doing that and said, 'I think that yacht show needs the two of you.' And so, it turns out, he was right."

Of course, Kate soon joined the Below Deck crew in Season 2, working with Ben Robinson in the galley. Though Kate famously hit it off with her new chef friend, she continued to hold out hope that she would one day be able to work with Rachel again. 

"Oh, I was trying [to get Rachel on Below Deck] from the first season I did before I even knew Ben," Kate said. "I was like, 'Oh, by the way, if you guys need a chef, I know a great one. She’s incredibly talented and very funny. She’s gorgeous. She was on America’s Next Top Model. I think she’s great.' And then, my second season when there was Leon [Walker], I said, 'Hey, I know a great chef named Rachel if anybody — remember the Chef Rachel I recommended?' And then other seasons, you know, there was Chef Kevin [Dobson]. I was like, 'What about Rachel? We can bring Rachel in. Anybody? Rachel?' So, yeah, for the last six years, I was trying to get Rachel." 

Kate's dream of Rachel joining the Below Deck crew finally came true in Season 8. Unfortunately, that was also the first season following Kate's departure from the show after six seasons as chief stew. "So imagine my great delight when the year that I leave, guess who’s the chef? Rachel. So that’s been wonderful," Kate said with her signature sarcasm.

Though you might think it was bad timing for these two ships passing in the night, Kate said that she doesn't see things that way. "I think, honestly, it’s the best timing possible," she said. "Rachel and I on a boat, it would have just become a different show."

In regards to whether Kate would ever return to Below Deck now that Rachel is chef, she said, "I will certainly come back as a charter guest. I would love to."

Luckily, Kate is still on our screens as one of the co-hosts and executive producers of Bravo's Chat Room and a cast member of Below Deck Galley Talk.

As she watches Rachel in Season 8 of Below Deck, Kate said that one thing that has been "surprising and disappointing" is the tension that has grown between the chef and Eddie. However, Kate offered a theory that may be able to explain Rachel's drama with the bosun, as well as some of the chef's other behavior this season.

"I think this has a lot to do with the geography of the boat or the layout of the boat," Kate said, noting that she was previously on My Seanna in Season 6 of Below Deck. "That galley down there, if you watch when Adrian [Martin] was chef [in Season 6], we used that other side of the galley by the window as the stewardess pantry. And [Season 8 chief stew Francesca Rubi] didn’t do that. It’s Rachel down there by herself."

Having the stews and others in that area of the galley helps foster a better connection between the chef and the rest of the crew, according to Kate. 

"When we used that part of the pantry, I’d be getting the placemats, getting ready for lunch, talking to Chef. And so, I think another thing is because Rachel’s been working down there by herself — you see her, she’s hilarious, she loves to teach people, talk to people, we had a great time working together — and I think that Rachel’s behavior on days off or her quitting is just her feeling or her being frustrated because she’s just been working with no one interacting with her," Kate explained. "And so, I feel like if maybe if Eddie had gotten to know Rachel in the way where she was not as frustrated, they would actually get along great."

There's more drama on the way in Season 8 of Below Deck. New episodes air every Monday at 9/8c or catch up on every episode ever through the Bravo app.