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The Daily Dish Below Deck

Below Deck's Rocky Has More Culinary Cred Than You Think

The #BelowDeck mermaid/stew has some real kitchen skills. 

By Laura Rosenfeld

It's no secret that Below Deck star Raquel "Rocky" Dakota has a passion for the culinary arts. She practically begs boss Kate Chastain to let her work her magic in the Eros kitchen every chance she gets. With Rocky's always-eccentric and over-the-top personality, it'd be easy to dismiss her enthusiasm as all talk and no walk. However, Rocky is actually quite the skilled chef whose accomplishments might even impress Kate. And yes, her repertoire goes beyond just being able to craft a whipped cream bikini top for crewmate Connie Arias — although that takes talent, too.

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Before joining the Season 3 cast of Below Deck, Rocky studied at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York. All the while, she also worked as a barista at the city's Happy Bones coffee shop, according to her LinkedIn page.

yo #rachelray XOO

A photo posted by @raqueldakota on

Of course, Rocky doesn't just make a mean cup of joe. She can also bake up a badass dessert to go along with it, as she showed during an episode of Spike's hybrid food competition Frankenfood last year. Everyone's favorite free-spirited mermaid rather fittingly served up a dish called "Rocky's Surf & Turf," which consisted of vanilla ice cream, a calamari garnish, squid ink chocolate sauce, and — to top it all off — a cookie with calamari baked inside of it. Rocky knocked out the competition and made it to the final round of the show, but unfortunately, she ultimately lost out on the $10,000 prize and a spot on the menu of the New York bar and restaurant Lillie's Times Square.

But none of that mattered because Rocky quickly moved onto her next cooking gig, and it was a prestigious one at that. Rocky worked as a line cook at the Element 47 restaurant at The Little Nell, a five-star hotel in Aspen. Just like the charter guests on Below Deck, visitors to The Little Nell probably only expect the best, so that speaks volumes about Rocky's culinary skills.

Though Rocky hasn't cooked much on Below Deck this season, she hasn't given up on her culinary career completely. It's quite the opposite, actually. Since filming on Season 3 of Below Deck ended, Rocky got a job in a food truck in Hawaii. She has also done some freelance work as a sous chef on a megayacht. As that Instagram photo shows, wearing chef's whites definitely suits her.

Like any exceptional chef worth her weight in beef cheeks, when Rocky isn't preparing food, she's posting some mouthwatering food porn on Instagram. Whether it's salads that look like works of art or next-level chocolate-covered strawberries, Rocky's food pics are so good, you can practically taste the mouth-watering goodness. If only that's how the Internet really worked.

two big, fat, super creamy, hand-dipped Éclaires!!

A photo posted by @raqueldakota on

Ultimately, if this whole yachtie thing doesn't work out, who knows? Maybe Rocky can try out for Top Chef next. We already knew she'd be an entertaining contestant, and now we've seen that her cooking skills are up to par, too.

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