Ben Robinson's return to Below Deck Mediterranean was absolutely brilliant, if you ask us. The chef, who previously appeared in Seasons 1 through 4 of Below Deck and Season 1 of Below Deck Med, was a culinary master in the galley, serving up magnificent meal after divine dish during the remaining few charters.
However, the seasoned chef said he almost had to leave before the charter season was over.
Ben told The Daily Dish during an interview in August that he was struggling with a bad case of sciatica, pain along the sciatic nerve that radiates from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg, when he arrived to join the Below Deck Med crew this season. He said he was even "limping a little bit" when he boarded the Sirocco.
"I had this bloody sciatica, and I was really struggling to walk when I got on the boat, honestly. It was tough," Ben said. "Without Ibuprofen, I almost had to quit. So I was eating about 4,000 milligrams of Ibuprofen a day just to get through it."
Luckily, all that Ibuprofen and hard work in the galley seemed to heal Ben just in time for the season to be over. "The magical thing was when I got off the boat, I didn't have sciatica anymore. I literally walked my ass off [laughs]. Yeah, I just forced it out of my system!" Ben said. "I actually walked off in better health, in better spirits than ever. And I was proud of it."
You may have noticed this season that Ben has adopted a bit of a healthier lifestyle all around, including cutting back on drinking. "I've definitely grown up a bit. I think I took it a little bit more seriously, and it's probably because I realized I was older, and I wasn't as virile as I once was," he explained. "I felt like I owed it to myself to take it more seriously because it was gonna be harder. And so I didn't drink as much, if I'm gonna be honest with you. And I know I like a drink."
Ben has kept this up since stepping off the Sirocco, working on strengthening his focus and doing "crazy things like yoga." So yes, he's more of a zen Ben these days. "You have to be because if your chemical balance isn't right, and your head isn't right, you're gonna do stupid stuff. You're gonna overreact, and it's gonna affect your food," Ben said. "I consider chefs to be artists, and if our head isn't in the right place, then our food isn't gonna get there."
Ben has more culinary thoughts in the Below Deck Mediterranean Season 4 After Show, above.
See him at work in the galley, below.
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