After weeks of speculation, it was a surprise to almost no one that Chef Ben Robinson returned to Below Deck Mediterranean this week to take the place of Anastasia Surmava. Fans had been picking up on social media clues for weeks, and they were thrilled to find out that Robinson’s return was official. And, the same goes for several current and former crew members from Below Deck and Below Deck Med.
During the episode, Surmava decided to step down from the chef role that she inherited from the disastrous Chef Mila, and she returned to her job as third stew. Captain Sandy Yawn also hired Surmava’s replacement, and that meant there was no room onboard for June Foster.
Captain Sandy knew she had to let Foster go, but it wasn’t easy considering she had helped out the Sirocco crew when they were short-handed. Foster wasn’t happy about the decision, saying, “You don’t do that to people, it’s wrong.”
Captain Sandy said the decision wasn’t personal, and it had to happen because the new Chef was on his way. And, of course, it was Robinson, who had previously appeared in Seasons 1 through 4 of Below Deck and Season 1 of Below Deck Med.
The reaction on social media was immediate, with Emily Warburton-Adams writing “Yassssss,” along with a heart and a praying hands emoji.
“The man, the myth, the legend himself. Welcome back @BenRobinsonChef,” tweeted Nico Scholly. “Time to get loooooooooose baby!!!”
“The passion that @BenRobinsonChef has [and] what he does is the passion that I have [and] what I do [and] that makes the most amazing experience for the guests. What my industry lacks sometimes is that passion for your job,” tweeted Captain Sandy. “He’s amazing.”
Adrienne Gang and João Franco also had good things to say about Robinson, but the beloved chef himself was nervous about coming back. He says it was good and it felt right, but his nerves got to him when he thought about the demands that come along with being a yacht chef.
— BravoTV (@BravoTV) August 20, 2019
He says he wondered if he could handle it physically because the job requires a 20-hour workday, six days a week.
Robinson left Below Deck in February 2017 after Season 4, and he says that the break was good for him. He explained that “back in the day” he was doing a lot of Below Deck, and he never really got off the roller coaster. But now, he can look at things with “clearer eyes.”
New episodes of Below Deck Mediterranean air Monday nights on Bravo.