He said one big difference is how guest preference sheets are handled on the show. He also said that despite the fact that some crew members will fight over rank at some Under deck seasons, Rank is serious business in real sailing and is not up for debate.
Robinson was also the head Chef on the largest sailing yacht in the world before they’re fired up Under deck. He remembered experience was very different as what the Sailing yacht below deck crew experience.
Boss Ben says preference hands on “Below Deck” are “Equal Opportunities”.
Robinson said the yacht chef works with the main charter guest differently in real sailing than in normal sailing Under deck. “Well, I mean, it’s our job as chefs to really diagnose the preference sheets,” he told Showbiz’ Cheat Sheet.
“Obviously more favorable to the primaries,” he said of real sailing. “Unfortunately, it’s a kind of equal opportunity [on the show]. So that didn’t really happen before Under deck with me really. The primaries would only write what they wanted because they pay for it. So you can suddenly have a boyfriend or girlfriend of someone who really has nothing to do with it and is definitely not paying.”
“All of a sudden it’s like, well, you kind of screw it up for everyone, you know? As if there were only so many hours in the day,” he added. Robinson famously faced this conundrum when the charter’s lead guest, Timothy Sykes, brought his chicken finger-loving girlfriend Under deck charter. When Robinson served her gourmet meal, she wrinkled her nose. As a result, Sykes punished the crew by removing a good chunk of their tips.
Robinson added: “I read a series of eight preference sheets and none of them would agree on a plate of food. And it’s kind of absurd. So you know, we kind of lost that kind of primary experience. As I said, it’s a kind of equal opportunity.”
Rank is taken far more seriously in real sailing
Robinson also recalled that rank isn’t as strictly enforced on the show. “And I think a lot of things get lost on this show,” he said. “For example, rank just doesn’t seem to matter. People are like subordinates who talk back [laughs]. Talked back to superiors and such. And that doesn’t usually happen on yachts. But yeah, telling a story and being loud is important, and that’s what Under deck doing.”
“So we can’t blame them, but it’s tough for senior officers to deal with because they cause problems with the boat. You don’t belong here. So that would be a very quick conversation in general. But yeah, but they drag it out and it’s fun. It’s a spectacle.”
Chef Ben didn’t often cook at full steam when he was working on a sailing yacht
Robinson had a different experience as chef on Athena, the world’s largest sailing yacht. Sailing yacht below deck Onlookers watch as the crew scold as Captain Glenn Shephard suddenly wants to set sail. The boat heels drastically and objects fly around.
Robinson said Athena only set sail twice while he was working on the sailing yacht. “Honestly, as a chef on Athena, we were 300ft plus. And we only sailed twice a year [laughs]. And the reason for that is because you’re dealing with such expensive equipment because of all the hydraulics and bearings that when the boss wants to go sailing, you kind of want to enjoy that equipment.”
“We’re not trying to save money. So we rely on our engines and just get to our waypoints or wherever we go. So it’s basically just a lot less liability. But it’s great for me. And the one time we went sailing, Jim Clark was kind enough to wait for the lunch service to end. Everything was stowed and then we went sailing and indeed we were at a 45 degree angle. But at that point I was on the deck chilling.”
https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/chef-ben-reveals-preference-sheets-rank-sailing-differ-below-deck-real-yachting.html/ Chef Ben reveals how preference lists, rank and sailing “below deck” differ from real yachts [Exclusive]