‘Below Deck’: Would Kate Chastain Rather Work With Chef Leon or Chef Kevin?

Chief stew Kate Chastain from Below Deck has now worked with five yacht chefs. She’s experienced three seasons with chef Ben Robinson but also worked with chef Matt Burns, chef Adrian Martin, and chef Leon Walker.

She began season 7 with optimism about the new chef, Kevin Dobson. But this optimism quickly eroded when Dobson constantly criticized her and even tried to muscle his way into her department. He told the interior (and exterior) teams how to serve his dishes and even served during a beach picnic.

Kate Chastain
Kate Chastain | Karolina Wojtasik/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Although Chastain seems to be supremely annoyed with Dobson, he isn’t the first chef to get under her skin. Walker and Chastain not only had significant tension, Walker flatly told Chastain he did not like her on more than one occasion. When Chastain appeared on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, a viewer wanted to know which chef she’d work with again.

Her answer was a little surprising

Without hesitation, Chastain said, “Honestly, Leon.” Cohen seemed surprised. “Wow,” Cohen replied. Why? “Because he didn’t speak much at all,” Chastain said. “Which was better than Kevin speaking so much.”

Cohen affirmed that Chastain didn’t care for the amount of “speaking” Dobson was doing. “I mean, Kevin is like a Pinterest recipe chef,” she said. “He says I don’t have foodie tastes, but he makes chicken parm.” Cohen adds that the loves chicken parm. Chastain says she too likes chicken parm. But Cohen adds, “But not a boat.”

Then Cohen shares that he received tweets from fans wondering if the issue between Chastain and Dobson is just sexual tension. “I think it’s definitely not for me and I think it’s definitely not for Kevin,” Chastain says. Cohen looks perplexed and asks if something deeper is occurring. “No, I just don’t think either of us wants to be around each other,” she concludes.

No love lost with Walker

Although Chastain felt that Dobson talked more than Walker, she certainly didn’t feel that way during Walker’s season (season 3). Like Dobson’s chicken parm, she wasn’t a fan of Walker’s constant beef cheeks go-to either. She shared with Bravo that getting a word in edgewise with Walker was close to impossible.

“I don’t normally bite my tongue during heated confrontations, but with Leon it was different,” she said. “First of all, he made it nearly impossible to get a word in with his constant aggressive interruptions. Secondly, after working with Leon for a few weeks, I just knew that any point I tried to make would fall on deaf ears. Trying to get Leon to calmly and rationally hear any viewpoint other than his own would be a waste of my breath.”

Leon Walker
Leon Walker |Virginia Sherwood/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Chastain added that she was fearful of Walker’s temper too. “It was very clear that Leon has a healthy temper and is comfortable crossing boundaries of respect,” she said. “I don’t know how to explain it other than I was legitimately scared that if actually told Leon what I honestly thought about him, he would fly off the handle and do something we would both regret. If a rabid dog were to come at me, I wouldn’t go and agitate it further or say, ‘Hey buddy let’s talk our way through this.’ I’d just tiptoe away and hope that it didn’t attack me from behind. It was the same feeling with Leon. Civilized communication is a skill that some creatures simply are not capable of learning, unfortunately.”