Below Deck Med’s Chef Jono speaks out following charter guest backlash: ‘Worst charter of my career’

Chef Johnathan "Jono" Shillingford Below Deck Med cast photo
Jono opens up about Below Deck Med. Pic credit: Bravo

Chef Johnathan “Jono” Shillingford has opened up about the charter guest backlash he endured on Below Deck Med.

The second charter on Season 9 of Below Deck Med was not great for the self-taught chef.

Gigi Fernandez and friends complained about the food more than once.

Captain Sandy Yawn saw first-hand how unhappy the guests were with Jono at dinner on the last night of the charter.

Now, as Below Deck Med fans wonder if Jono will last the entire season, he has spoken out about the show’s last two episodes.

Taking to Instagram, Jono had much to say about the recent backlash and criticism.

Below Deck Med’s Chef Jono speaks out following ‘worst charter of my career’

In an IG video, Jono did his own recap version of the last two Below Deck Med episodes while it seemed he was changing at work.

“This is definitely the worst charter of my whole career,” he began the video. “The worst! So basically, I just finished watching Episode 4. Not only is it weird to, like, watch yourself on TV but like rewatching what was probably the worst freaking moments of my career has been honestly so hard.”

The chef discussed his love of cooking and how he puts everything he has into each meal. It’s hard when Jono gets such negative feedback as he did with Gigi and her friends.

Jono knew something was off with him on that charter but couldn’t figure out what it was, even joking that maybe Mercury was in retrograde. While he did agree with the backlash over the sponge cake, he defended that chicken was a yacht food.

“I definitely feel though, like with the whole chicken fiasco, like chicken can definitely be a star in a dish, especially like refined met cuisine where you’re cooking with like, you know, free range, beautiful, amazing products. Chicken can definitely be a star. So, like, I don’t actually agree with that feedback, but hey, you live, and you learn,” Jono expressed.

Although he’s not making excuses, Jono revealed that normally, there would be a sous-chef on a yacht the size of Mustique. Jono did take full responsibility for the cold eggs and continually using a spice the guests didn’t like.

Chef Johnathan “Jono” Shillingford reflects on the disastrous Below Deck Med charter

Jono credits the charter as a learning experience despite the struggle and criticism.

“The whole charter has basically been a really great learning experience for me, and I’ve taken into consideration everything. You know what the guests had said, and I’m going to use all of their feedback to make me a stronger chef. There’s no denying, though, like 100% that this was the worst chatter of my entire career.,” he stated.

Jono’s having the worst charter of his career air on television only made this situation more of a teaching moment. The chef knew exactly what he signed up for, so he’s not blaming anyone or anything but himself.

“What’s most important to me though, in this message is just saying thank you to all the people who’ve continued to show me support, my friends, my family, people who’ve just started watching the show and, like, see my value and appreciate me as a person already. And my skills as a chef. It means so much to me. I love you guys for that,” the chef said.

Before ending his lengthy video, Jono gave Below Deck Med fans a bit of a teaser, promising the show would only get better and encouraging fans to keep watching. Jono also teased that the worst was behind him, which leads us to believe he just might be there until the end.

Does Jono’s video change your thoughts on him?

Below Deck Med airs Mondays at 9/8c on Bravo. Seasons 1-9 are streaming on Peacock.

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