Well, this season of Below Deck Mediterranean has turned out to be one for the record books — namely, because this is the first time we've ever seen a third stew take charge as the chef onboard, while the chef was still a part of the crew.
Yes, Captain Sandy Yawn asked Anastasia Surmava to take over things in the galley when Chef Mila Kolomeitseva's cooking just wasn't cutting it with the charter guests in Monday night's episode. That left Mila to assist Anastasia with preparing the meals.
Captain Sandy explained her decision to put Anastasia in this role during the Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen After Show Monday night (clip above). "Well, yes, because we're a team, and a team has each other's backs, so that's how I run a boat. If I had to go in and fry some eggs, I would do that because that's what a team does," she said. "You're on a boat in the middle of the ocean or wherever we are, and I don't have a lot of choices. It's not like I can go send the tender to grab a chef."
The Below Deck Med boss added she was completely confident Anastasia could step up to the plate. "I heard she actually was a chef on other boats, smaller boats, so it's like, hey, you cook for four, you cook for 12, what's the difference?" she said.
Having the newfound responsibility as the yacht's chef wasn't the only challenging part of this crew change, Anastasia said during a recent interview with Decider. "I know that Mila has a lot of hate against her but I still know what it feels like to be in a position where a guest doesn’t like your food. To be demoted in a way and being like, 'Oh, this third stew is coming into your area and she’s gonna help you,' I just felt bad. It’s a s--tty situation," she shared. "But at the same time, you are the reason why this is happening. But yeah it was awkward AF. It was super awkward. I was like, oh god, this Russian lady is gonna kill me."
But the benefits of rising to the occasion usually outweigh the risks. "I definitely felt like I was gaining recognition for stepping up and being a team player. Not that I was doing it because I needed the recognition but it’s always nice when your bosses, the people you look up to, the people who are gonna tell you, hey you’re great or you’re not, I really value their opinion," Anastasia told Decider. "So when they do come and say, hey Anastasia good job, I’m happy. It feels good. Everybody wants it."
What's next for Mila on Below Deck Med? Check out a sneak peek of an all-new episode airing Monday at 9/8c, below.