You can take the chef out of the Caribbean but you can't take the love of the high seas out of the chef — no matter where in the world he's set sail. And that's just the case for Ben Robinson, who is back in the galley on Below Deck Mediterranean, premiering May 3.
Ben is certainly not new to the upstairs-downstairs drama of yachting life, as viewers have seen over the course of his run on Below Deck. Now, they'll get to watch him cook up delicious meals for charter guests off the glamorous shores of the Mediterranean, under the helm of Captain Mark Howard. The Daily Dish spoke to Ben about working with a new crew, changing locations, and what he's like when the cameras aren't rolling.
How would you compare this particular experience in the Mediterranean with the Caribbean?
Chef Ben Robinson: It’s just tough to equate and be sort of diplomatic about that one, but I do feel like the Caribbean was — I think we got off to a bit of a stuffy start with various cast members and that kind of almost sort of set the precedent for that series. Whereas the Med was just such a clean break and everyone was just having a great time and very unfiltered. Essentially I do feel like the crew were more fun and a little less filtered than the real work hard play hard mentality.
Which brings me to my next question, what is the difference yachting in the Caribbean versus the Med?
The Mediterranean has civilization and the Caribbean really doesn’t. It’s a huge difference, but the similarities are quite amusing. They're both volcanic land forms that pop out of the ocean floor, so there are similarities with the lie of the land. But the contexts are very different in terms of civilization, ancient worlds, buildings, people, culture.
Obviously one of the landmarks of Below Deck is that things get very dramatic very quickly. Are we going to see that happening in the Mediterranean as well?
I mean, yes. Probably more than ever, I’d imagine. If you video tape a crew on the boat for six weeks it’s going to be drama. It’s crazy. It’s the ultimate reality show because we’re imprisoned on this boat. You just can’t get in your car and go home or run for the hills or whatever. You can’t really have a conversation without it being recorded and it’s a tough one.
We’ve seen you on television and watched your career on the show, but what is something we’d be surprised to know about you? What are you like when the cameras aren’t rolling? What are you like when you’re at home? Who is the Ben behind the Ben?
That’s funny. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to figure that one out, to be honest. I think it’s changed me in certain ways. Like, obviously, going out is very different now. I don’t know. I think I probably become a little bit more sort of stay-in, entertain at home [person]. I think it may be because going out is a little much now. You’ve got to kind of be prepared for that. I’m really family-orientated. My brother, both my brothers and my sister, now have moved down to Fort Lauderdale where I live and so I’m very family-orientated which people would probably be surprised in.
So the whole family just moved down to Florida. Do they like it down there?
Yeah they do. They used to visit me — they used to live here in New York, actually. I think the weather kind of encapsulated them.
Would you ever want to have a cooking show?
I would. I think I’m probably working towards that. I believe in Below Deck and I don’t think my course has quite run out. I love the show. Yeah, ultimately. [Below Deck is] still a lot of fun and I hope you got a couple of years left and we’ll take it from there. But, yeah, a cooking show could be a good idea.
For now, you can check out Ben on Below Deck Mediterranean every Tuesday at 9/8c. Check out a preview, below.