‘Below Deck’: Chef Rachel Says Captain Lee Is ‘Phenomenal’ and a ‘Genuine Person’

Chef Rachel Hargrove is excited to return to Below Deck for another season, sharing that Captain Lee Rosbach is a “phenomenal” person and someone she truly enjoyed working for on the series. After an explosive first season, Hargrove became one of Rosbach’s favorite chefs. But not without going down a pretty rocky path first.

Rosbach’s jaw dropped to the ground when Hargrove was so disgusted by the guests’ requests on a preference sheet, she quit. But she didn’t just quit. She exclaimed that the guests could go “f**k” themselves and continued to say, “eat my cooter” when anyone approached her about giving the charter a chance. Hargrove returned to the boat the next day and Rosbach gave her a second chance. She knocked every meal out of the park and continued to impress him for the remainder of the season.

Chef Rachel Hargrove and Captain Lee Rosbach from Below Deck have a laugh on WWHL
Chef Rachel Hargrove and Captain Lee Rosbach from Below Deck have a laugh on WWHL | Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank

Hargrove said she’s thrilled to get another chance to be on Below Deck and work for Rosbach. “Captain Lee, he’s phenomenal,” she said during an Instagram Live chat with On This Day Entertainment. “He really is who he is. He’s a very genuine person. Very down to earth. Lovely, lovely person. So it was great to work under Captain Lee for the two seasons. So it was a blessing.”

She also credits production for delivering an outstanding series, which is nominated for an Emmy. “My producer Lauren Simms and Courtland [Cox], they’re amazing,” she said. “[The Emmy nod] is well deserved for all of production. They do a great job of editing and all of that.”

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For his part, Rosbach has grown to appreciate Hargrove. However, he was stunned when she quit and delivered a slew of expletives as she left the boat. “Rachel snuck into the galley and loosened up the proverbial lug nuts, cuz the wheels definitely came off tonight,” Rosbach wrote in the episode blog. “You really went off the rails. I for sure didn’t even see this coming at all. I know what you meant when you told me to go have sex with myself, and I know it wasn’t directed squarely at me, but I still can’t say I wasn’t surprised.”

“Blew me away and sure put me, and the crew, in a tight spot to say the very least, one I hope we can recover from no thanks to you,” he continued. “You knew I might have to cancel the charter, and the boss will have to refund the charter money, and the crew won’t receive any tip, so yeah, it’s going to be tough.”

But Rosbach had a new perspective looking back at the moment. News that coronavirus (Covid-19) was only emerging pushed Hargrove to the brink. Her boyfriend lived in Italy, which was the hardest hit at the time. She had just received a phone call from him and was seen crying in the bathroom and in a panic.

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“After watching the buildup of things you were going thru, I can see where you may [have] been having a tough stretch,” he wrote in his blog. “But still I expected better from you and was sorely disappointed in your behavior. Not much else to say about that, I wish you all the luck and whatever is bothering you, I hope you find the key to it somewhere.”

Hargrove later clarified that explosive moment when she quit. “If you listen to the actual footage, I’m not telling him to go ‘F’ himself,'” she told E!. “‘Cause there’s a very background part you’ll hear, ‘Not you, I love you.'”

She added,  “I would never tell Lee exactly himself to go f**k himself.”