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The Daily Dish Below Deck Mediterranean

Below Deck Med Season 9’s Chef Is... an Architect? “Fake It ‘Til You Make It”

Find out how Chef Johnathan Shillingford got started in culinary after stepping away from his architectural practice.

By Jamontae Hickman

Captain Sandy Yawn is gearing up for another wild charter season, and you better believe she has a poised crew with stellar accolades by her side.

How to Watch

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

In the video above, which is a preview of the Season 9 premiere of Below Deck Mediterranean (airing June 3), the boss welcomes her team aboard motor yacht Mustique, where she reunites with two familiar faces and becomes acquainted with new ones. Upon Sandy’s initial greeting, she is pleased by Chef Johnathan Shillingford’s resume — particularly his background in architecture.

As Chef Johnathan enters the cockpit to meet Sandy for the first time, she immediately raves about the job title listed on his CV. “I love how you say culinary architect,” Sandy says, to which he replies, “My training is architecture, so I feel like I build food.”

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Chef Johnathan Shillingford explains his background in architecture 

Johnathan Shillingford wearing his chefs uniform for his yachting role

During a confessional interview, Johnathan explains how he transitioned from his career in building design to becoming a cuisine master. “I grew up in a family of chefs, went to school for architecture, moved back to Antigua, and opened up my architectural practice,” he shares.

He goes on to reveal that he decided to take on his first job as a chef after one of his projects didn’t go as planned and has been cooking ever since. “Simultaneously, my best friend was working on a boat that needed a chef for a week,” he says in the clip above. “One week turned to two years on that first boat.”

While Johnathan’s experience is impressive, to say the least, he made it known that it wasn’t easy for him at first, saying, “Being a self-taught chef, my whole career is based on like, fake it ‘til you make it…”

Get to know more about Johnathan by reading his official bio.

All about Chef Johnathan Shillingford

Hometown: Roseau, Dominica 

Birth Date: July 7 

Zodiac Sign: Cancer 

Years of Experience in the Yachting Industry: 7  

Special Skills: "Twerking, singing, cooking all the food and design. I’m also great at accents. "

What Bravo shows do you watch? Real Housewives, Queer Eye [for the Straight Guy,] Top Chef and Project Runway

Who do you miss most from home when you’re traveling for work? "My mom. Gilly is my rock and the best cheerleader anyone could ask for."

What was your first impression of the Mustique? "She’s a cute, big, old girl who maybe needs a facelift."

Favorite place you’ve been on charter/place you traveled? "I love French Polynesia and the Tuamotu islands. Both are, literally, heaven on Earth."

See more of chef Johnathan and the rest of the Mustique crew by tuning in to the Season 9 premiere of Below Deck Mediterranean on June 3, at 9/8c on Bravo.

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