Chef Mila from ‘Below Deck Med’ Licked Guests’ Food: Is This Common?
Chef Mila Kolomeitseva‘s first episode of Below Deck Mediterranean may have gone from bad to worse. Her debut on the show was supposed to be promising. A female chef, trained at Le Cordon Bleu set her up for hopeful success.
Unfortunately, she faced a number of challenges. Ranging from being infected with food poisoning to creating a menu that could have been masterfully prepared by an eighth grade home economics class.
Captain Sandy Yawn was clearly concerned when she saw taco preparations from a box being readied for guests. But cameras (and Twitter) caught something else Kolomeitseva did that raised some serious concerns.
Why (in the world) did she do this?
The good news is Kolomeitseva tried to prepare steaks for the guests. The bad news is she not only licks the raw meat, she microwaves the steaks, which were apparently underdone.
This all goes down after Kolomeitseva is caught on camera coughing and admitting to having food poisoning. She is also licking her fingers and touching the guests’ food too, People reports.
Of course, the crew was flummoxed by the behavior. But so was everyone watching the show. “#BelowDeckMED oh my god!!! That chef licked her fingers after she touched the steak, then touched it again!!!!! She was just throwing up!!!!!!” one person tweeted. Others were able to capture the specific video of Kolomeitseva’s offenses and shared it on Twitter.
Chef Ben has something to say about it
Chef Ben Robinson, who is a breakout star from both Below Deck and Below Deck Med was live tweeting during the show. He observed both what was being prepared for guests and how the food was being prepared.
“What’s wrong with tacos, it’s Tuesday Sandra, I mean Sandy….” Robinson joked when the tacos appeared on camera. He then warned, “First she’s ill, now it’s tacos… This may not be a healthy start to the season.”
He then had a few thoughts about microwaving the steaks. When a fan asked what he thought about this practice, he elusively responded, “Honestly I never thought of that one… I’m dying to find out….” While he is rumored to take over, he insists he’s “just a fan” and not coming back.
Tasting the food is common but…
Most chefs will sample the food to ensure it is prepared to perfection. However, when it comes to tasting the food being cooked for customers or guests, chefs are advised to do it without contaminating the dish.
“As a chef, when I cook, I taste—like I expect my cooks to,” food blogger and chef by Jonas Mikka Luster wrote in Slate. “Take a disposable spoon (or use the two-spoon method) and try that sauce, try that puree, try everything. Ideally, we have our production down to the point where every dish tastes the same as every other dish they made from that batch of ingredients, but things happen.”
So while the intention is to interact and sample the food, chefs are advised to use a disposable spoon in order to avoid contaminating the dish.
Guests may get more of the ‘chef’s taste’ than they know
Best practices in kitchens aren’t always followed. Which is why dining at an open kitchen may be appealing to customers. “That means the observant diner can see the scraps left on the floor and glimpse the other bad habits that cooks get into when they forget someone is watching,” Michael Bauer wrote for the SFGate.
However, Bauer recounted an email he received from a reader who dined at an open kitchen. The diner witnessed two cooks tasting the sauce and then putting the spoon back in the pan or pot. While the reader didn’t end up ill, it was still pretty unnerving.
Bauer admits he’s seen this behavior on more than one occasion. “After a while the kitchen crew gets so used to the open kitchen they forget they’re being observed. I’ve seen cooks pick their nose and stir a pot, run their fingers through greasy long hair and arrange garnishes on a plate, and repeatedly use the same spoon, time and time again, often kept in their breast pocket.” He adds though that, “for every infraction like that you’ll find two dozen other places that are very careful.”