Bravo Network has once more appeased audiences with another drama-filled season of Below Deck. This season was filled with champagne, caviar and tropic thunder, and featured growing tensions among the crew, with award-winning Chef Ben Robinson, 33, coming back to sooth tides. Currently based out of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, chef speaks exclusively to atombash.com about Below Deck, as well as his continuous effort to create cutting edge cuisine coupled with nutritional awareness.
Elena Calero: Has South Florida’s multi-culturally diverse community influenced your career?
Ben Robinson: Absolutely! I always pride myself on cooking regional cuisine, and having been based here and in the Bahamas for many years I have been so fortunate to pick up many takes on local ingredients. Prior to moving down to South Florida I had no idea what a conch was, now I am able to prepare it in many different ways. The spiny lobster was also something I had to get my head around, as it is very different to its Northern cousin, even the fish down here is far different to the north. Snapper, grouper, and mahi mahi, we are so lucky to have them on our doorstep and I thank all the people along the way that have taught me the South Florida/ Island way of cooking.
EC: What inspired you to become a Certified Health Coach and focus on weight loss?
BR: Our society has not been conditioned to think of food as a cure. We don’t respect it, or even plan our meals very far in advance. And why would we? So few of us were ever taught how to eat, or which food combinations work best. In fact, only an alarming five percent of doctors have taken any courses to learn about nutrition. This is for one simple reason: there isn’t much money in selling plant based foods and mineral water. Big Pharma is the way to riches in today’s medical field, and that is where the tide has gone. It is called the practice of medicine for a reason, and drugs are quickly becoming a leading killer in America. It is incredible what certain foods contain, which nutrients our bodies crave in times of illness or distress. I have personally made it my responsibility to focus people on a more nutritious diet to lose excess weight that has plagued them for years.
EC: What prompted you to become involved with cancer and addiction?
BR: I had a client a few years ago who had been very sick for many years, in and out of remission, morbidly obese, and addicted to many vices. It occurred to me that they were all correlated. Her addictions lead to the cancer, and obesity. She was in a terrible rut and the doctors were not helping with her nutrition. She reached out to me and we changed her life. In the first year she lost 100 lbs. She has remained in remission now for the longest time ever with no signs of the cancer returning. This was an amazing experience for both of us; Kathy showed me how important a healthy lifestyle can be, and proved the value of nutrition to the world.
EC: How did you get to be on Below Deck?
BR: I applied for a job on an online forum that stated it would be televised, however I didn’t really give it much thought. I guess I believed in my ability as a yacht chef, having been head chef at the tender age of 28 on one of the largest yachts in the world .
EC: How has your life changed after Below Deck?
BR: People stop me in the streets and at the market for a chat, and I most certainly I welcome this, as I’m a people person. Fans have also ask me to livestream cooking sessions for them online, and that’s also been a wonderful experience. It gives me the chance to connect with foodies as both a chef and instructor.
EC: Was there any thoughts of not going back on Below Deck?
BR: I love being part of the “Below Deck” team. I think I have a few more seasons in me.
The reunion show of Below Deck airs Tuesday at 8pm ET on Bravo