The Below Deck franchise has seen nine different chief stews at the helm of operations throughout the OG series, Mediterranean, and Sailing Yacht.
There have been some unforgettable moments because of these ladies, and none more unforgettable than some of the bad relationships between chief stews and stewardesses that blew up famously or crept through the entire season painstakingly.
The role of chief stew is exceptionally difficult and requires them to wear many hats all while keeping a smile on their faces and putting the guests first.
Each chief stew has had exceptional moments on the job but there have been many times where the pressure of the job, the managerial responsibilities, or times when the inability of their subordinates has made them crack.
The relationship between a chief stew and their stewardesses is vital to the success of the charter season as a whole and it is of the utmost importance for that working relationship to be strong. Cheif stews have to be able to rely on their stewardesses to know the depth of their job and execute it flawlessly, and if they can’t, that’s when problems emerge.
Other times, internal boat relations or situations that happen off the boat can play a factor in the deterioration of the delicate chief stew and stewardess dynamic.
There have been many chief stew and stewardess relationships in Below Deck franchise history that got extremely dicey and ended in tense exchanges, hurt feelings, and in some cases, one of them walking away from their role.
This list captures the top 11 worst chief stew and stewardess relationships from the hit Bravo show to date that Below Deck fans are sure to remember.
1. Hannah Ferrier and Lara Flumiani
Hannah immediately felt disrespectful vibes on Season 5 of Below Deck Med from Italian second stew Lara and it only got worse from the jump. Lara had a problem accepting Hannah’s authority and direction and began pushing every button that Hannah had.
Then the boiling point came when Hannah put her fingers in Lara’s face while Lara was instigating Hannah and fanning the flames by being condescending and rude.
Captain Sandy had to get involved and she also saw how manipulative and toxic things had gotten so quickly between the two and told Lara that she needed to stop with the attitude. Lara left the boat the next morning with no notice and didn’t return.
2. Kate Chastain and Simone Mashile
Kate faced two relatively new stews during Season 7 of Below Deck with not enough time to train them. She made Simone her second stew because she had the most experience even though Simone was green on service.
When Simone didn’t uphold the service standards the way Kate wanted, Kate began to have an attitude toward Simone. Simone approached Kate to have a talk about the tension and that’s when she told Kate that she shared her frustrations with another crew member which made Kate even madder.
Kate told Simone to her face that she was a bad second stew, patronizingly said that she shouldn’t have to give direction, and then said privately that training is a gift.
3. Heather Chase and Jessica Albert
Jessica came onto the yacht on Season 9 of Below Deck with a positive mentality ready to take on the laundry room where she felt most comfortable. However, a few days of charter season proved to sour Jessica’s mood, and Heather, in her chief stew role, corrected Jessica for the mistakes she was making with turn downs and housekeeping.
Jessica’s mood further deteriorated because of personal issues and she became very mopey which Heather and fellow stewardess Fraser found insufferable. Heather felt like Jessica wasn’t taking her direction and had a bad demeanor.
Heather decided to put Jessica on service and when that didn’t go well either Jessica had had enough and left the boat hours before the next charter started.
4. Kate Chastain and Jennifer Howell
Season 5 of Below Deck was hard for viewers to watch as Kate and Jen were at each other’s throats the entire time and consistently threw low blows at one another. Both of them made it to the end of the season despite their massive issues and ill feelings towards each other.
Kate didn’t find Jen to be very bright and those feelings came through in her tone when she spoke to Jen. Jen took that and Kate’s questionable managing style that season as disrespect and it quickly became clear that there would be conflict whenever they were in the room with each other.
Their conflict even boiled over in front of the guests when Kate told Jen with guests standing there that she sucked at her job.
5. Hannah Ferrier and Bugsy Drake
Hannah and Bugsy first worked together in Season 2 of Below Deck Med where Bugsy felt like Hannah wasn’t pulling her weight throughout the season and pushed a lot of responsibilities off herself.
Bugsy’s feelings of not having support from Hannah came to a catalyst moment when she confronted Hannah and told her that she was a lousy chief stew. Bugsy had been a chief stew before and felt it was within her boundaries to let Hannah know how she could improve but Hannah wanted no part of it.
The pair didn’t leave the yacht on good terms but had to work together on Season 5 of Below Deck Med. After Hannah was fired that season for a drug offense and Bugsy filled in her role as the chief stew.
6. Francesca Rubi and Elizabeth Frankini
Francesca quickly became overwhelmed when she realized she couldn’t rely on her third stew Izzy to move as quickly as she needed to and keep things up to standard so she relied heavily on Elizabeth during the beginning of Season 8 of Below Deck and even gave her a second stripe into the second stew role.
When their third stew joined the deck team and they got a competent new third stew is when Francesca started seeing cracks in Elizabeth’s work performance. What really irritated Francesca was Elizabeth’s deflection and lack of accountability for things going wrong and her inability to fulfill her second stew duties.
Elizabeth’s whimsical nature also started to rub Francesca the wrong way and led to massive tensions between the two women.
7. Adrienne Gang, Kat Held, Sam Orme
Adrienne’s managing style on Season 1 of Below Deck did her no favors as far as getting the respect and best work performance out of her two stews Kat and Sam.
Kat and Sam detested Adrienne’s micro managerial approach and they fed off of each other negative experiences with Adrienne. Kat referred to Adrienne as “the devil” and Sam was totally insubordinate to Adrienne.
8. Hannah Ferrier and Brooke Laughton
Hannah and Brooke started out on a good foot but things between the women became strained on Season 3 of Below Deck Med after Brooke started falling for Joao whom Hannah hated.
As Brooke’s feelings for Joao grew, so did Hannah’s detest and it pushed the two apart on and off the boat.
When these tensions started to rise, Brooke started feeling like Hannah wasn’t doing an equal amount of work and was taking advantage of her in their work setting. It all came to a head when Brooke confronted Hannah but really didn’t get anywhere.
9. Kate Chastain and Caroline Bedol
Kate immediately hit it off with her second stew Josiah and their close relationship pushed away the third stew Caroline on Season 6 of Below Deck. On top of that, Caroline’s sensitive nature, problems at home, and injury onboard contributed to her bad spirits.
It didn’t help that Caroline caught Kate and Josiah talking badly about her more than once behind her back.
It got to a point where Kate couldn’t stand Caroline’s mopiness and Caroline lost all trust and respect for Kate as a leader.
10. Jenna MacGillivray and Madison Stalker
Jenna quickly became wrapped up and unreachable after starting a boat romance with chef Adam Glick on Season 1 of Below Deck Sailing Yacht. Jenna’s abandonment of her leadership role and criticism of her stewardesses greatly irritated her second stew Madison who felt like she was picking up all the slack.
Jenna felt like Madison was trying to front like she was running ragged and playing many roles and beat down Madison’s work ethic which only angered Madison about the situation even more.
So between Jenna being checked out and Madison feeling no support, the whole season never had a fine point for their relationship.
11. Kate Chastain and Raquel ‘Rocky’ Dakota
Season 3 of Below Deck saw Kate try to manage wild card Rocky who’s unpredictable and scrutinizing behavior really ground Kate’s gears.
Rocky’s secret tryst with Eddie only added to her volatility throughout the season and Rocky started acting out in many different ways that slowed down the efficacy of the interior crew.
Rocky was also not afraid to share with Kate the things she didn’t like about her and Kate dished it right back which added to the drama of the charter season.
Below Deck airs Mondays at 9/8c on Bravo.