Captain Lee Rosbach welcomed new chief stew Francesca Rubi to his crew in the Below Deck Season 8 premiere on November 2. Since this is the first new chief stew he will be working with since Kate Chastain, who served as chief stew on Below Deck for six seasons before announcing her departure from the series in February, Captain Lee noted that it's going to take some time for him and Francesca to build that bond.
"The relationship that any captain has with a chief stew is critical, and I've had the same chief stew for the last six years," Captain Lee said in an interview during the season premiere. "It takes a long time to get to the level of trust that Kate and I share, and she has huge shoes to fill."
However, Captain Lee said that he had a good feeling about Francesca and seemed impressed by her background in event management. "Francesca, she really seems quite competent, she seems to know her stuff, but she's got a lot on her plate," Captain Lee shared in an interview during the episode. "People don't realize how difficult it really is. We'll see if she can pull it off."
During her Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen debut on November 2, Francesca opened up about developing that working relationship with Captain Lee this season of Below Deck. "I'm really happy I worked with Captain Lee. He is a mentor in the industry, and I know that there's a lot to learn from him," she shared. "Our relationship is growing, and the chief stew-captain relationship is getting stronger, so it's good."
After hearing Francesca's comments, Captain Lee praised the chief stew for a "total delightful response to [Andy Cohen]" and added that "she kept her head down and did her job." "Well done Chez," Captain Lee tweeted.
Francesca does have tons of experience in the yachting industry, after all. "I've been in yachting overseas in the Mediterranean for about five, five or six years," she said on WWHL. "And I've been working in Sydney Harbor as well for another five years on top of that, so a little while."
Though she hasn't had any interaction with Kate just yet, noting on WWHL that she "would love to" talk with her Below Deck predecessor, Francesca said she was familiar with the series before Season 8. "I didn't have any expectations," Francesca said of coming into this season of Below Deck. "I did watch the show, and I thought it was fantastic. I thought it was a great opportunity to creatively, create unique experiences for guests that they've never had before, and that was really exciting to me."
Want more Below Deck? New episodes air every Monday at 9/8c or catch up on this season through the Bravo app.
Check out a preview, below.
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