Chef Mathew Shea has proven to be unreliable during his stint on Season 6 of Below Deck: Mediterranean, but his food has been a remarkable hit with the guests. Aside from the fact that he forgot to make one guest a special entrée during a family-style meal, his food hasn’t received any complaints so far. Is his food really that good?
Still, his plating could use a little work. One reddit user takes time to visibly review his food in every episode, and using this metric isn’t generally all pans. Fine dining is about engaging all the senses, and that includes arranging the food in artful way. The reddit reviewer also notes that his choices can be uncreative and repetitive. Mat and other chefs on the show, have served caprese salads so many times it could turn a viewer off of burrata.
While these are valid critiques, Chef Mat does seem to pay close attention to the preference sheets and strives to give the entire group of charter guests what they want, even if they have wildly different demands. Guests and crew often comment about how good it smells when Mat’s in the kitchen, with one guests exclaiming that it smelled like “God himself was cooking.”
A major thing Chef Tom might need some training on is fire safety. We have seen him twice wrestle with oil fires that could have caused major damage to him and everyone else on the boat. In his latest battle with fire he got a gnarly second degree burn on his finger. Thankfully, that was all the damage done, but he then struggled to cook with one hand while in a lot of pain. He pushed through the pain however, and the guests were given their food on time without even knowing the chef was injured.
Bosun Malia White was recently asked what she really thinks of Mat’s food. Malia once dated Chef Tom Checketts, who sent out beautiful plates during his time filling in last season after Chef Kiko left. Malia does think that Chef Tom needs work on his plating, but she loved his food. “It was delicious,” Malia told BravoTV.com. “I think compared to some of the other chefs that we’ve seen, we don’t see the same level of plating, but his food, taste-wise, is absolutely amazing.”
Two-time charter guest Roy Orbison Jr. has also recently given his opinion of Mat’s food on Below Deck alum Adrienne Gang’s Gangplank podcast. He ate Chef Kiko’s food during his first charter with the show, and while he found Chef Kiko’s personality amazing, Roy Jr. said his food wasn’t that good. He found Mat’s food to be “fantastic,” however.