Ben revealed during his first-ever Facebook live stream Tuesday that, although he was born and raised in the United Kingdom, his mom is originally from the United States. "My mum's American. She's from Philly, so we've always summered in Cape Cod," Ben said, while explaining to fans how he ended up in the U.S. "I kind of grew accustomed to this lovely weather we have down in Florida and in the Caribbean. So I actually bought a place five years [ago] down here in Fort Lauderdale, and I never looked back. I love it."
Ben previously revealed last season of Below Deck Mediterranean that his father is the best-selling British author Patrick Robinson, who co-penned the book Lone Survivor. While Ben's posh upbringing did include playing sports with the likes of Prince William and Prince Harry and attending boarding school, growing up was actually an earthier experience than you'd expect. "I was working alongside my mother. We come from a big family," Ben shared during his Facebook live chat. "Also a very rural background. We lived in the hills of England, we grew all of our own vegetables, we lived in a hunt. So the gamekeeper would drop off all of the pheasants and rabbits and all of that. And I was learning how to deal with livestock or freshly shot animals or whatever. We took a lot of pride in our vegetable patch."
Ben said it was this experience that made him realize he wanted to one day become a chef. "And that's how a lot of chefs actually start. You know, they start with that rural upbringing, and it really helps," he explained. "I had a very acute taste. It was kind of uncanny, actually. So it was kind of decided very early on that I should do something with that. And honestly, I didn't really want to do it, but I fell into it and then I just started loving it, people loved what I did, and I just thought, screw it, let's do this. And I've never looked back. And that was when I was 18."
When Ben got older, he had a wonderful way of testing out that "acute palette" of his. "I love red wine. I actually know a lot about red wine. I was fortunate enough to grow up with a pretty serious cellar in England. My dad's a collector," he said while talking about his favorite drinks. "So I love French vintages and I'm a bit of a wino, for shiz."
Naturally, Ben eventually found himself in New York City, one of the food capitals of the world. "I lived in New York. It's a tough city. I'm not gonna lie, but I did not make it there, so I probably won't make it anywhere," he said. "But I'm doing my best down here in SoFlo. I got thin-skin now, so I can't really hack that stuff, to be honest. Plus the food margins of New York City are absolutely absurd. A tiny little restaurant could cost you up to 50K in rent, hence the massive turnover."
Besides, it sounds like Fort Lauderdale is home to Ben now. "I would like a restaurant here and it will be in Fort Lauderdale," he said. "I do high-end, exclusive catering down here in Florida, and I also fly around the country cooking for private people, making their events very memorable. No customer unhappy thus far, so we do really well with that."
But of course, we love seeing Ben live and work on the high seas every Tuesday night at 9/8c on Below Deck.