Below Deck Mediterranean season 9 episode 3 recap: guests unimpressed with the meals

Captain Sandy Yawn and Johnathan Shillingford in Below Deck Mediterranean season 9
Captain Sandy Yawn and Johnathan Shillingford, Below Deck Mediterranean (Image credit: Fred Jagueneau/Bravo)

Last week, the Below Deck Mediterranean season 9 crew celebrated the completion of their first charter of the season—and things got flirty, as seen in episode 2. The third episode, "Drifting Standards," welcomed a former guest who’s also an Olympian and a friend of Captain Sandy Yawn, so the bar was high for the tired, aka hungover, crew.

Paddleboarding gone wrong

Deckhand Nathan Gallagher and a charter guest, Laura, took paddleboards out in the water, but the sea worked against them. "We’re trying to row back to the yacht. We’re actually going backward because the current is that strong," Nathan said in a confessional. They were 300 meters away from Mustique, the yacht. The crew and other guests couldn’t see them; that’s how far out they were.

After 45 minutes of being stranded, suddenly, a catamaran pulled up to the yacht carrying Nathan and Laura, having been rescued from the water. Captain Sandy was informed about the situation and wasn’t happy. "This is embarrassing," she said to Lead Deckhand Joe Bradley. Although Joe took accountability for the incident, Captain Sandy said it ultimately landed on Bosun Iain Maclean.

Iain apologized to the primary charter guest, Gigi, however, he wasn’t taking total accountability with his team. While the guests were in the water, he sent Deckhand Gael Cameron down for a break, so he knew exactly who was on deck and how many eyes were on the guests. Instead of all three deckhands being there, Iain made it so there were only two — and one was in the water with Laura.

Preventing a late-night snack fiasco

On the first charter, a major issue occurred when the guests requested late-night snacks, but Chef Johnathan "Jono" Shillingford refused to get up from his sleep to make them. Elena "Ellie" Dubaich had to scramble to make drinks and bites, and she was upset that Captain Sandy didn’t have her back about the situation.

To avoid it happening again, Jono said he would make snacks in advance that Ellie could heat up if needed. "I’ll still prep anyway because I don’t want you to be in that situation again," he said. "And I am sorry it happened." This was quite a turnaround from Jono’s original attitude about the situation, but he was committed to working as a team and avoiding the problem from arising again. Jono and Ellie agreed to move forward and work together.

Unimpressive meals

Screenshot of Below Deck Mediterranean season 9 episode 2

(Image credit: Bravo)

The first meal of the charter was lunch, and it didn’t appear that the guests were super impressed, noting an offputting flavor in the rice. "It’s not Rachel good, but it’s good," one guest said, referring to Rachel Hargrove, who was the Below Deck Mediterranean chef two seasons ago.

These guests, who had appeared on a previous episode, were used to fantastic food and many courses. For dinner, the crew started off with a "wow" with synchronized service, where each person placed a plate in front of a guest at the same time. However, the guests were less than thrilled with the chicken dish, describing it as "pretty decent." In her confessional, Captain Sandy expressed that chicken isn’t typically something served on a superyacht.

When it was time for dessert, Chief Stew Aesha Scott wasn’t into the idea of deconstructed chocolate sponge cake with raspberry sorbet on top. "Sponge cake is the most boring out of all the cakes," she said in a confessional. "This is like poop on a platter. You made me serve chicken, and then I’ve got to give them sponge cake. Like I’m going to be the face of all of this shi*t."

The guests weren’t happy with the dessert, either. They called the flavor "unusual" and noted that it could be more chocolatey.

The following morning, Jono made huevos rancheros for breakfast. They requested the meal at 8:30 a.m., however, the first guest didn’t come up until nearly 9:30 a.m. when the food had long been made. By the time everyone was ready to sit down for breakfast, the eggs had been sitting for nearly an hour and a half. Jono didn’t warm them up before sending them to the guests — although what he should have done was wait until the guests were ready to eat to start cooking the eggs — and they complained that they were "completely cold." Aesha asked him to remake them for the primary charter guest, Gigi.

Gigi went to Captain Sandy to fill her in on the cold eggs. She also complained about the previous night’s dinner. "Chef’s choice, and this is what you give us?" Gigi said, referring to the chicken. She noted the issue with the dessert and lunch not being great.

"I know Gigi. She wouldn’t complain just to complain," Captain Sandy said in a confessional. The episode ended with Captain Sandy calling Jono to the bridge.

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.