‘Below Deck Med’: Was Miscommunication the Real Reason Why Chef Tom Melted Down?

Chef Tom Checketts from Below Deck Mediterranean says if he had more time to fully assess the provisions, he would have been in a better position to ask for assistance from Captain Sandy Yawn.

Tom Checketts
Tom Checketts |Karolina Wojtasik/Bravo

Checketts slowly spiraled after he was once again given subpar provisions. Yawn tried to help but he was so angry he barked at the captain. “I think it was more miscommunication,” Checketts said in the Below Deck Med After Show.

“I think in that instance, I think that Sandy got involved a little too early because I had no idea what was going on with it,” he said. “She called the provisioner who she thought had delivered the fish. It was the wrong person. I had sent it back and as far as I was aware they were going to bring the right fish.”

Chief stew Christine “Bugsy” Drake received the provisions and was the one to inform Checketts the fish was frozen. That’s when confusion and anger ensued.

Too many cooks in the kitchen?

Yawn warned Checketts’ girlfriend, bosun Malia White to stay out of the galley kitchen. Checketts was leaning on White to be a bridge of communication with Yawn and it wasn’t helping. “Tom needs to come to me, and ask for support,” Yawn said during the After Show. “That direct line of communication is always open to me and I would do whatever it takes to help him.”

“But I need to know specifics on how I can help him because I’m not a chef,” she continued.

Malia White, Tom Checketts, Jessica More, Christine "Bugsy" Drake
Malia White, Tom Checketts, Jessica More, Christine “Bugsy” Drake| Karolina Wojtasik/Bravo

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Yawn wanted a simple “yes” or “no” answer if a specific provisioner brought the right fish. But Checketts said in the After Show he was still getting up to speed on the situation so he truly didn’t have an answer for her. He became extremely curt, which prompted Yawn to call a meeting.

“I think that kind of came across as me being awkward,” Checketts remarked. He demanded patience from Yawn during the episode telling her not to put him in a “yes” or “no” position.

Who said the fish was frozen?

Yawn walked into the kitchen just as Drake told Checketts the fish was frozen. He didn’t have time to actually check the fish because Yawn was instantly asking him about it. She insisted he told her he had frozen fish and became frustrated when he said he did not know the actual state of the fish.

“You know, last charter of the season, you wanna kill it,” Yawn said during the After Show. “Fish comes in too warm you don’t want to anyone sick. It’s not easy. So how Tom handled it, I think he handled it like any other chef would that’s on their last charter. Exhausted.”

Christine "Bugsy" Drake
Christine “Bugsy” Drake| Karolina Wojtasik/Bravo

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“And then when your captain comes in and asks how can I help and makes a phone call, and that doesn’t really help you,” she said. “I mean yeah he’s gonna spiral and lose his mind. Because again, he’s exhausted. He’s lost reasoning. Now I don’t know how to have the food conversations. That’s him. And if he doesn’t get the response he needs, he needs to share that with me. Otherwise, I can’t help him.” She added that if they couldn’t get what they need, she would have helped him figure out what to do instead.