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The Daily Dish Below Deck Mediterranean

Captain Sandy Reveals a "Huge Red Flag" About Chef Jono as He Worries His “Job Is at Risk”

Below Deck Mediterranean's Captain Sandy Yawn has concerns about Johnathan Shillingford's food. 

By Abby Feiner

Captain Sandy Yawn is beginning to have doubts about Chef Johnathan "Jono" Shillingford.

How to Watch

Watch Below Deck Mediterranean on Mondays at 9/8c and next day on Peacock. Catch up on the Bravo app

Season 9, Episode 3 of Below Deck Mediterranean ended with the primary charter guest complaining to Sandy after being served eggs that had been sitting out for over an hour (and were therefore cold), in addition to chicken breast at dinner the night prior and a dessert that was "not good." Of course, Sandy was determined to figure out what was going wrong in the galley.

Episode 4 of the season kicked off with Sandy asking Jono why the eggs were cold, to which he responded that breakfast service was "delayed" and he had prepared the food ahead of time. 

"For a chef to say to me that he cooked the eggs when breakfast was supposed to start instead of cooking to order is a huge red flag," Sandy said in an episode interview. "But at the same time, he did well last charter [and] we're mid-charter now. I have to give the chef the opportunity to show me that he can do this, finish this one strong, and then I will assess the next charter."

Although lunch that day was a hit with the guests, Jono began to feel the pressure when he learned Sandy would eat with the group for their final dinner of the charter. 

"There's a lot going on with this dinner because not only is Captain Sandy joining them, but it's their last meal on the boat, so there's a lot to be proved," he said. "Being a self-taught chef, if someone asks me to make something and I've never made it before, I'm gonna make it. But if I make a mistake and the captain picks up on that mistake, your job is at risk."

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Unfortunately, the dinner didn't exactly impress the guests — or the captain. 

When the primary guest asked about the spices in Jono's gazpacho appetizer, he admitted, "The first time I made it I followed someone's grandma's seemed authentic."

Sandy wasn't thrilled with the response, explaining in an interview, "When a client asks, 'What's your recipe?' Maybe in the future, don't say, 'Some grandma's recipe.' Just say it's a secret recipe. You don't want them to know you Googled it and it's someone else's."

Split of Captain Sandy and chef Johnathan Shillingford in their yachting uniforms.

Sandy was also underwhelmed with the main course, fresh pasta with tiger prawns and seared scallops. "This is a super yacht. The food shouldn't just be okay. It should be excellent," she said. "Jono is 0 for two now."

Aesha Scott reacts to Chef Johnathan Shillingford's food

Aesha Scott wearing her yachting uniform on a boat marina

Aesha Scott also had concerns about the chef's meals after he burned the cakes he was serving for dessert. 

"I got grocery store sponge cake last night. Now I've got overcooked lava cake with melted ice cream tonight," Aesha said in an interview. "What is this? It's only charter two. I've found myself question too many of the chef's dishes, so I think I need to start maybe saying something to him."

Captain Sandy Yawn reveals she's looking for a "backup" chef

Sandy decided to put a plan in place in case Jono didn't work out.  

"The entire meal was sub-par," she explained. "I'm gonna get through this charter, and when the guests get off I'm going to have a very real conversation with Johnathan. But I am definitely looking for a backup [chef]."

After the guests departed, Sandy and Jono had another conversation about what happened, and he expressed that he was very open to receiving feedback so he could improve. Still, Sandy was keeping all options open. 

"I know we're only in charter two. The food has to be perfect from charter one," Sandy stated in an interview. "But in the past, I've given second chances. The one thing I'm not going to wait on is finding another chef, just in case he doesn't come through."

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