Below Deck Mediterranean season 9 episode 2 recap: don't wake the chef

Screenshot of Below Deck Mediterranean season 9 episode 2
(Image credit: Bravo)

The Below Deck Mediterranean season 9 crew is having a rough first charter. The episode ended with Chef Johnathan "Jono" Shillingford refusing to help the second stew, Elena "Ellie" Dubaich, cook late-night food for the guests. The rocky seas continued in the second episode, "Sneak, Sip, and Sink."

Guests in the kitchen

The charter guests were tired of waiting for their beverages and food, so some of them hopped behind the bar to tend to the drinks. "It's nicer service than the actual crew," one of the guests said. Then, some guests headed to the galley to "help" move the process along. One of the deckhands, Gael Cameron, helped Ellie cook seven grilled cheeses and that was good enough, although the guests had requested multiple other items. Finally, at 2:50 am, the guests went to sleep. Ellie, on the other hand, didn't get to put her head down until everything was cleaned up and put away, which turned out to be after 6 am.

In the morning, Jono didn't have any regrets about not fulfilling his chef duties. "Last night, I am happy that I did not betray myself," Jono said in a confessional. "Standing up for myself, it's always been an issue for me, particularly growing up in the closet. So, I have to stick with myself, and I’m proud of that. I gotta do me!"

Chief Stew Aesha Scott caught up with Jono in the galley and he filled her in on the evening. "Did you hear what happened? They tried to wake me up," Jono said, explaining how Ellie came into his room. "To be fair, that's the only [thing] they wanted, late-night snacks," Aesha said. "Okay?" Jono replied. Production flashed back to a couple of days earlier when the lead of each department met to discuss the upcoming charter. In reference to the late-night snacks request on the preference sheet, Aesha said, "I've got chips and dips." Jono added, "If there's any, like, quick snacks, obviously I'll take care of it."

Captain Sandy backs Jono

Captain Sandy Yawn called Jono to the bridge. "So I heard last night that someone tried to wake you up," Captain Sandy said, noting she was going to address it in the all-crew meeting after the charter. "When you go to bed, you're down," she continued, suggesting that in the future he make paninis and put them in the fridge in case guests wanted late-night bites. Jono said he couldn't go back to sleep after he was awoken because he "had so much anxiety."

The charter ended and the crew said their goodbyes to the guests. At the tip meeting, Captain Sandy brought up the late-night snacks request from the night before. "Never wake the chef," she said. "What you're going to do," she addressed Jono, "is prepare food for the panini maker. And whoever's on nights, make the paninis, don't wake the guy." Ellie jumped in to explain it wasn't just paninis, the guests were asking for various snacks. Captain Sandy cut her off and reiterated her message: don't wake the chef.

After the tip meeting, the crew went back to doing what they had to do. "Just know not to wake me up ever again," Jono said to Ellie, noting he was empathetic to her being in a "crazy situation" and, from then on, he would prepare food ahead of time.

Back in her room with Sabrina "Bri" Muller, Ellie vented her frustrations about feeling a lack of compassion and the focus being on not waking the chef. "What about the fact that I didn’t get any f***ing sleep because I was up for 25 hours to make the guests happy?" Ellie said.

First crew night out 

Screenshot of Below Deck Mediterranean season 9 episode 2

(Image credit: Bravo)

To celebrate completing the first charter of the season, the crew dressed up in their off-the-boat best and headed out for a night of dinner, drinks and dancing. Deckhands Gael Cameron and Nathan Gallagher had been innocently flirting (though Gael has a boyfriend on another boat), but things intensified on the first night out. "Gael? Holy f***ing s**t. She's attractive. She has a boyfriend. But I hold no loyalty to anyone," Nathan said in a confessional.

At dinner, lead deckhand Joe Bradley was charming both Ellie and Bri. "He knows exactly what to say, what to do, how to look," Bri said in a confessional.

After dinner — and what appeared to be many rounds of drinks later — the crew hit the dance floor. Both Bri and Joe and Gael and Nathan were dancing with one another. On the sidelines, Ellie expressed to Aesha that Joe was her type. Aesha encouraged her to go for it, even though he was dancing with Bri, because "no one's made any claims." Ellie said, "I think I want to play hard to get."

However, when Bri went to use the bathroom, Ellie went to Joe and they danced. Could there be a love triangle ahead?

Back at the boat, the flirting continued. "We need to lose these cameras," Nathan said to Gael. Meanwhile, Bri and Joe shared a snack à la Lady and the Tramp style.

All of the crew members headed to bed — except Gael and Nathan who just wanted the audience to think that. "Where should we meet that has no cameras?" Nathan texted Gael. "The starboard bow locker has no cameras. Let's go there," she replied. "Tell me when you are there and if you get caught," Nathan texted back. We'll have to wait until next week to see what happens from there.

New episodes of Below Deck Mediterranean season 9 premiere Monday on Bravo and then are available to stream the next day on Peacock. 

Caitlyn Fitzpatrick

Caitlyn has been a professional editor and writer since 2014, and her work can be found on a range of websites, including Hearst's, POPSUGARStyleCaster, and InStyle. Her favorite TV shows are Law & Order: SVU and Organized CrimeThe Real Housewives franchise, just about anything on Bravo, and Netflix Originals.