Who Are the Chefs on ‘Below Deck’ and ‘Below Deck Med?’

This season of Below Deck Mediterranean showed how the superyacht chef can literally make or break a charter. While every crew member’s job is vital to a successful charter, crew members acknowledge that supreme cuisine is one of the biggest factors to a healthy tip.

The franchise has featured the talents of a number of superyacht chefs. Some chefs have returned for multiple seasons, whereas others were “one and done” on the show.

Kate Chastain, Adrian Martin, Ashton Pienaar
Kate Chastain, Adrian Martin, Ashton Pienaar |Greg Endries/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Thus far, Below Deck has featured four different chefs. Below Deck Med included one crossover and three other chefs. Who are these culinary superstars?

Ben Robinson

Robinson was the first chef Below Deck and Below Deck Med fans met. He started on the flagship season of the show, plus did a crossover to be the first chef on Below Deck Med.

Fans went wild for his easy-going, charming nature, plus he received rave reviews for his food. When the chef on Below Deck Med started to fail on season four, fans were sure Robinson would appear. But alas, he’s made it clear he’s taking a break from being a superyacht chef for now.

When a fan asked why superyacht chefs seem so stressed, he provided a great answer and a clue about why he is taking a break. “Most Charter Chefs have a 5 year expectancy. I did it for 13. Head chef on the largest #yacht age 28. Crew and guest require 300 plates a day on #BelowDeckMediterranean#BelowDeck on your own… We look forward to your job application.”

Leon Walker

Below Deck took a chance on a new chef after Robinson was in charge of the galley kitchen for the first two seasons of the show. Walker came with a strong background as a chef but had previously worked mainly on cruise ships.

His one-hit note turned sour for chief stew Kate Chastain as she started to tire of constantly presenting charter guests with another round of beef cheeks. The two often argued and never seemed to quite get along.

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

Walker was ultimately fired after a fire started in the galley kitchen one night while he was sleeping. An investigation revealed the fire started when Chastain tried to cook something for the guests and Walker left greasy pans in the oven. After Walker was fired, Robinson returned to finish the season.

Matt Burns

Burns brought a kinder, gentler approach to the job. He got along with everyone but struggled sometimes in the kitchen. He revealed he recently split from his girlfriend and felt the pain from the breakup impacted his food.

But he rallied and managed to deliver delicious meals on a regular basis. However, he never quite seemed to fully enjoy his time on Below Deck as he continued to pine for the lady he left on land.

Matt Burns
Matt Burns |Virginia Sherwood/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Burns only appeared in one season but had plenty of fans and got along well with the entire crew. He also bonded with deckhand Bruno Duarte on charter as the two would often brainstorm about the menu. Duarte ultimately became both a yacht chef and chief stew.

Adrian Martin

Martin became somewhat of a superyacht whiz kid as he completely wow’ed Captain Lee Rosbach and Chastain. Chastain was skeptical at first due to Martin’s babyface and overly chill demeanor. But once the first charter was underway she was blown away with his culinary creativity and consistent rave reviews from the guests.

Martin is a native of Sint Maarten, which is an island in the Carribean. Even though he was raised on the island he was born in the U.S. “I was born in Houston, Texas. My dad is from Louisiana and my mom is French, but I was raised on St. Maarten mostly, and I feel more like a St. Martiner than an American,” he told The Daily Herald in 2012.

He was once asked who would be his dream guests. “I would wake up Bob Marley and make him a herb incrusted space soufflé so he would fly back up to Zion peacefully; then I would wake Genghis Khan, the Mongol warlord, and make him a juicy horse tartare to ease his lust for blood; and finally, the stunning Egyptian pharaoh Cleopatra; I would make her a hydromel infused foie gras to see if it is as good as what her expert chefs made.”

Adam Glick

Fans met the adorable surfer chef amid a love triangle during his first season. Glick first appeared in season two and was already in love with deckhand Malia White. The two met before filming started but decided to keep their relationship quiet.

But the relationship fell apart when White caught feelings for bosun Wes Walton. This aggravated Glick and he lashed out by putting onions in a guest’s meal who specifically requested no onions in his food.

Captain Sandy Yawn decided to give Glick one more chance to impress her. Thankfully Glick delivered and then some. He returned for season three and rocked each dish. Glick was so into impressing the guests (even “Mr. No Onions” returned) he sometimes forgot to feed the crew.

Mila Kolomeitseva

Kolomeitseva started season four of Below Deck Med, but only lasted two charters. Unfortunately, she began the season with food poisoning and her journey only went south from there.

Yawn was initially impressed with Kolomeitseva’s training and remarked how her resume stated she trained at Le Cordon Bleu. However, Yawn and the rest of the team were shocked when Kolomeitseva began meal service by pulling tacos from an Old El Paso box. Yawn asked if the tacos were for the crew and was stunned when Kolomeitseva said they were for the guests.

Kolomeitseva was eventually fired after two charters of chaos. She served Yawn’s friends fish from a can, which was “slimy” plus she struggled to make basic pancakes. Upon letting her go, Yawn appointed third stew, Anastasia Surmava to take over as the full-time chef.

Anastasia Surmava 

Surmava may have saved the day on Below Deck Med as Yawn was able to tap into her talents when she saw Kolomeitseva was struggling. She asked Survmava to take over while Kolomeitseva was still on the yacht and then asked Surmava to step in temporarily when Kolomeitseva was fired.

But Surmava’s persistence and talent paid off. After showing off her culinary ingenuity for one charter, Yawn offered her the full-time chef job. Although Surmava stressed out about moving into the position, she showed she was more than ready.