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Should you wake up a sleeping chef? “Below Deck Med” stars Captain Sandy Yawn and Aesha Scott have very different answers

Should you wake up a sleeping chef? That’s a question Under the Mediterranean deck Second Stew Elena “Ellie” Dubaich had to ask herself during the season 9 premiere. When Dubaich asked for a variety of experiences during her service, she was initially thrilled when Head Stew Aesha Scott listened and assigned her to the night shift when she will be the only person handling charter guests. A very hectic first day on the charter saw the in-house team scrambling to provide the best possible experience for the group with scarce supplies available. Unaware of the chaos, the charter guests – who happen to be young influencers – party with no sign of slowing down when Scott heads to her cabin for the night. Worried, Scott talks to Dubaich.

“You’ll be fine?” Aesha asks with some trepidation in her voice. “I just need a nap,” Dubaich replies honestly. “Mentally and emotionally, I’m fine.” Although clearly nervous about her second stew, Scott chooses to let her handle the late shift on her own. “I want to trust Ellie,” Scott tells the camera in her confession. “I’ve got to get up early, take care of (third baseman) Bri (Mueller) and get ready for breakfast.” As we see the charter guests continue to drink and take photos and videos for social media, Scott leaves the Dubaich upstairs to get busy.” Ellie said she wanted more service experience…so here goes,” Scott says with a laugh in her confessional. “Trial by fire!”

As Dubaich brings a pitcher of margaritas to the party guests at 12:20 p.m., one of them asks, “Would it be possible to order food late?” The group orders grilled cheese, mac n’ cheese and a “big plate of nachos,” and Dubiach seems overwhelmed but determined. He walks over to chef Johnathan “Jono” Shillingford’s cabin and knocks on the door. In her confessional, Ellie tells the camera: “On the boats I’ve worked on before, I’ve never had to offer food to drunk people.” “I feel overwhelmed. I need help.”

Hearing no response, Dubaich opens the door and pokes his head inside. “Cheffy, they’ve ordered food,” Dubaich tells cheerleader Jono. “It’s just too much food for me to do.” As Chef Jono shrugs, Dubiach says, “I’ll help you, we’ll do it together.” “Mm-mmm, I don’t think so,” replies Chef Jono. Realizing she’s alone, Dubaich tells her, “I’ll just make them grilled cheese and tell them that’s what we’ve got.” Frustrated, Dubiach walks into the galley as deckhand Gael Cameron prepares the hot tub for the deck guests. The group immediately starts asking Cameron for shots of vodka, mojitos and Moscow mules. Cameron radios Dubiach’s requests as she frantically searches the fridge for salsa.

Overwhelmed, Dubiach returns upstairs at 1:03 AM to tell the charter guests the deal. “Okay, what I have on the menu is just grilled cheese.” Disappointed, one of the guests asks for an update on the mojito. “I’m the only person working on food and beverage, so I’m doing my best,” Dubiach replies and heads back inside. Seeing his fellow yachtsman stressed, Cameron follows her and offers to help prepare the food. “A grilled cheese?” Cameron asks. “No, they all want grilled cheeses, so 7 grilled cheeses,” says Dubiach incredulously. As Cameron heads down to the gallery at 1:27, Dubaich googles how to make a mojito. “I don’t think I should take responsibility for making food,” Dubiach tells himself.

As Cameron desperately searches for butter, Dubiach heads downstairs to try once more to wake up Chef Jono. In her confessional, Dubiach reveals, “It’s not my responsibility to make meals for guests. Not only can I not serve cocktails for guests, but I also show that I am incapable of managing guests.” “Chef Jono’s selfish behavior makes me look bad,” continues Dubiach. Back at Chef Jono’s cabin, Dubiach pulls himself together and goes inside. “Look, the only reason I’m back is because this is going to be a problem,” Dubiach says. “I don’t want you to do this to yourself.” As Chef Jono returns, the episode ends. So viewers were left with this question: Did Dubiach do the right thing by trying to wake up Chef Jono, or should he have let him sleep and deal with the guests as best he could?

It’s a “tricky” question, according to Scott. “For me, with my experience, you wake up the chef,” says Scott. “It’s not the stew’s responsibility to make food.” Scott wisely points out, “If Ellie hadn’t been running to make food, then she would have been able to keep up with the drink orders and not be so stressed and so behind.” Having screened the episode herself, Scott admits it was “frustrating to watch”. “A kitchen is so different from a home kitchen,” notes Scott. “I wouldn’t know how to go into the kitchen and make some nachos.” Although Scott admits that “every boat is different,” she herself “always woke up the chef.”

While Scott thinks it’s a boat-to-boat policy, Captain Sandy Yawn thinks otherwise. “No,” says Captain Sandy. “You never wake up the cook.” Wisely, Captain Yawn notes that when it’s after midnight, the guests are usually “just drunk and want to eat.” “The right move is to just pull out the panini maker.” However, she chooses to look at the incident as a learning experience for both Dubiach and Chef Jono instead of something that warrants disciplinary action. “Usually the cook prepares something for the stews to put in the oven and heat up,” Captain Sandy explains. “He just didn’t have the experience at the time (to know that).” Captain Sandy also knows that “Elena did what she thought was right.” “Elena will know not to wake him again,” says Captain Sandy firmly.

So should you wake up a sleeping chef? After listening to both Scott’s and Captain Sandy’s responses, we have to admit we’re still torn. However, what the captain says usually goes.