'Below Deck Med:' How Did Captain Sandy Make 'Below Deck' History?

The only time a crew member moved into a new full-time position mid-season on Below Deck and Below Deck Mediterranean is in the bosun job. Otherwise, no existing crew member has ever stepped into an entirely new full-time role on the show. Until now.

Captain Sandy Yawn move the bold move to upgrade third stew Anastasia Surmava to the position of chef. After witnessing Surmava’s talent and determination, moving the third stew to full-time chef was a no brainer for Yawn.

So when Yawn asked Surmava if she wanted to remain in the chef position or go back to being third stew, she found herself in uncharted territory. Because this was the first time a crew member took over as a full-time chef.

This was a first for ‘Below Deck’

For a brief moment, third stew Raquel “Rocky” Dakota assumed the chef role when Chef Leon Walker was fired on Below Deck season three. Dakota only held the position briefly as Chef Ben Robinson quickly returned to save the day.

But this situation is entirely different than what occurred with Dakota. Yawn placed Surmava in the position temporarily but saw how Surmava knocked it out of the park. So she wanted to offer the position to Surmava full time.

“I trust her, I’ve witnessed what she can do and she has the right attitude,” Yawn says in a confessional interview. “Why wouldn’t I want to propel someone from the third stewardess to the galley. Let’s do this. Let’s see your potential.” After the episode aired, Surmava posted a picture in her black chef coat. “You can say I’m not a chef, but you can’t say I don’t look good in black,” she wrote.


Yawn breaks the news to chief stew Hannah Ferrier who looks nervous to be losing Surmava, but also because she isn’t sure if this is the right environment to learn. Plus the entire team appears pained knowing not only is the tight stew team breaking up, but they are also losing deckhand Travis Michalzik to the galley kitchen to assist Surmava.

But Yawn, the eternal optimist, is thrilled to be able to give Surmava the opportunity to fly. During the episode, Yawn tweeted, “So proud of Anastasia stepping into this new role. Can’t wait to see what she does!”

The crew received the largest tip on ‘Below Deck Med’

One possible reason why moving Surmava to be the full-time chef was an easy decision was because the tip was so big. Yawn met with her team in the main salon and congratulated everyone for a job well done. “You did an amazing job,” Yawn said to Surmava. “You are a chef.”

Yawn continued to share more good news. “Because we did such a fabulous job, this is the biggest tip we’ve ever gotten in the Med,” Yawn exclaimed. “$27,000!” As the crew loses their minds, Yawn says that each crew member receives $2,330 for the single charter.

In a previous episode, bosun João Franco and chief stew Hannah Ferrier discussed the importance of the chef role on a superyacht. The crew was worried about their tip when Kolomeitseva was in charge. “I think at the end of the day the chef, they do carry at least 50% of the work on the boat,” Franco remarked. “They’re single and it’s all about the food.”

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