‘Below Deck Med’: Which Crew Member Has To Hit a Home Run for Charter Guest Johnny Damon?

Below Deck Mediterranean charter guest, MLB great Johnny Damon returns and the pressure is on one crew member in particular.

Damon, wife Michelle, and friends appeared on the series during season 4. While the guests partied hard, Damon and his wife said the food missed the mark. He liked his food extremely hot and the temperature was often off.

Tom Checketts
Tom Checketts | Karolina Wojtasik/Bravo

Damon’s wife Michelle said the food simply wasn’t “five star.” Third stew turned chef Anastasia Surmava balked at the remarks in the Below Deck Med After Show. But Captain Sandy Yawn knew cuisine would ultimately be a sticking point for Damon now that he makes a return to the show.

All eyes will likely be on chef Tom Checketts who only recently joined the crew this season. So what is Checketts up against and what is he going to have to get right this time?

Johnny and Michelle Damon dish about they wanted from the experience

The couple explained what they hoped to gain from being on a luxury yacht. “Mostly we said we wanted to experience more of the local cuisine,” Michelle Damon told Bravo’s The Daily Dish podcast. “We didn’t want to have American food like cheeseburgers or tacos; we just wanted to have more of the local delicacies.” 

However, Johnny Damon said some of the local fare wasn’t his favorite. “We were on a boat so I know that’s difficult,” he remarked. “I know I had to send back a rare steak but that stuff happens. You can always undercook and still get the steak right but once you overcook … so I get it. I wasn’t too upset. But we did get some weird delicacy that we probably asked for. It was disgusting; it was, like, a sea urchin.”

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He also said his food wasn’t consistently hot, which chef Ben Robinson remedied for future charters. The galley kitchen wasn’t close to the dining area, so Robinson purchased metal domes that he placed over the dishes. The domes kept the food hot and were removed once the plates were delivered.

Anastasia Surmava was surprised with the Damons remarks

Surmava was taken aback when the Damons complained about the food. “I never got any negative feedback and then at the end, they went to Captain Sandy and were like, “We didn’t like her food,’” she said in the  Below Deck Med After Show. “And then they were like, ‘Come to our ski house in Colorado, we wish we could take you home with us.’”

“But then they went to my boss and told her that like, it wasn’t really good,” she added. “Why say that at the end of the charter?” She also shared that she was always open to making anything the guests requested too.

“I told them in the beginning if there’s anything I can change that you don’t like, tell me and I’ll change it,” she said.

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Surmava shared with Showbiz Cheat Sheet that the chef position is highly stressful. “The huge thing is you don’t have a team,” she said. “You’re completely by yourself and you don’t have your bussers and dishwashers and your pastry chef. You don’t have any support, really. On the bigger yachts, you may have a sous chef and a crew chef. But generally, you don’t.”

“So you’re everything, you’re it,” she added. “It’s really stressful and you have to be so organized and so good with time management. I think a lot of people watch the show and were like, ‘How come you just couldn’t get it out hot or on time?’”

Johnny Damon returns to Below Deck Mediterranean on Monday at 9/8c on Bravo.