‘Below Deck’: Chef Ben and Captain Lee’s Relationship Started ‘Dwindling’ After Season 1 – Prefers Captain Sandy

Chef Ben Robinson described his Below Deck relationship with Captain Lee Rosbach as being somewhat tense after season 1, admitting that the environment became a little competitive.

He believes his relationship with Rosbach and perhaps a few other crew members took a hit when he was the crossover chef on Below Deck Mediterranean. And while he sees Rosbach in Ft. Lauderdale from time to time, Robinson would prefer to work with Captain Sandy Yawn.

Chef Ben said he had a ‘great relationship’ with Captain Lee on ‘Below Deck’ Season 1

Eddie Lucas, who was also on Below Deck Season 1 once said that Rosbach “hated” the crew and was a little annoyed he was even filming the reality show. But Robinson had a different experience with Rosbach and said they had a good relationship during the flagship season.

Captain Lee Rosbach, Kate Chastain, Ben Robinson from Below Deck appeared at BravoCon
Captain Lee Rosbach, Kate Chastain, Ben Robinson | Ralph Bavaro/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

“Honestly, Lee and I had a great relationship,” Robinson recalled on the Side Piece with Melissa Pfeister podcast. “I think we had a great relationship for season 1. [But] I think our relationship kind of started dwindling a bit as the seasons and that franchise expanded.”

He added, “I think that probably happens with a lot of reality casts. It’s kind of like being in a band, you know? Like when you start hitting it big and the guitarist starts arguing with the lead singer. And different contracts. It’s like Slash and Axl Rose [laughs].”

His crossover may have created tension

Robinson’s relationship with Rosbach and others shifted when he was the crossover chef on the first season of Below Deck Mediterranean. “I think they felt slightly jilted when I went over to the Med,” he recalled. “Which is fair enough. Obviously, everyone wanted that. I mean obviously, Kate [Chastain] and Lee would have loved to have come and joined me over in the Med. And there were probably some misgivings there.”

“But it’s only natural,” he continued. “And I took it in my stride. I’m so oblivious to other people’s emotions because I’m essentially a sociopath.” He joked that after a lot of counseling he recognized, “There is such thing as jealousy.”

Robinson worked for Captain Mark Howard on Below Deck Med Season 1. Howard recently died and Robinson recalled that he was a “lovely guy.”

Chef Ben prefers Captain Sandy

Robinson said he always gets asked who is his favorite captain since he’s worked for Rosbach, Howard, and Yawn. “Captains, they’re like my children,” he remarked. “I can’t have favorites.” And while he doesn’t have a favorite he was open about sharing which captain he preferred to work under.


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“Lee has a much more old school, old-fashioned kind of approach to being a captain,” he said. “Which is fine and I’m actually used to that. Sandy’s very hands-on. I think Sandy’s genuinely concerned about how green her crew is and takes responsibility for it. Whereas Captain Lee’s approach is probably a little smarter. He’s like this is on you guys. Whereas Sandy is kinda like, ‘S*** this is kinda like about me as well!’ Different methods.”

But when it came down to a speed round of having to choose between Rosbach or Yawn, Robinson went with Yawn. Especially if he were to return for a partial season.